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I am using Windows XP. I have recently reinstall my OS. Now in every web browser on every website, wherever a HTML entity is used (e. g. #✓ - check mark), rectangles are shown instead.

When I enter this site:

I see this:

enter image description here

The same thing happens in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.

What's wrong?

EDIT: Does anyone see check mark characters properly on this page (I mean text character not the image) ?

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Do you get a rectangle for every character on that page? What about & (ampersand)? It appears you might be missing a unicode font? – w3dk Nov 10 '10 at 9:24
We are getting somewhere here. On this subpage: I see all characters correctly. But on that previous one there are rectangles. On this subpage: I see only Mars and Venus. – Davvid Nov 10 '10 at 9:45
I see only Mars and Venus on the planets page as well - so that's not unusual. To see all those special characters will need some specialised fonts IMO. For instance, in the screenshot you post, I see only the 2nd pair of scissors, the other 5 symbols are rectangles. However, you should perhaps be seeing more correct symbols by default than perhaps you currently are. – w3dk Nov 10 '10 at 9:53
Do you have the font "Lucida Sans Unicode" installed on your machine? - A very standard font these days on Windows (I think) and should support many of these characters. – w3dk Nov 10 '10 at 10:21
Yes, I have Lucida Sans Unicode but I don't see those characters I wrote about. – Davvid Nov 12 '10 at 12:42
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check to see if you have Arial Unicode MS installed on your system. I tried uninstalling mine and it caused the rectangles to appear instead of the symbols. It is distributed with Microsoft Office, so you might be able to get it from there, or from another computer with Office installed.

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That might be it. I had Office 2007 previously and now I use Office 2010 and I don't see this font. – Davvid Nov 10 '10 at 15:11
@Davvid Arial Unicode MS should come with Office 2010 as well, according to Microsoft, unless may be you have a 'lesser' version? – w3dk Nov 10 '10 at 15:27
"Note: Other Office 2010 installations will install a smaller selection of these fonts." So that's it. I have Office 2010 Home and Business not Office Professional Plus 2010. – Davvid Nov 10 '10 at 15:40
It's strange though that check mark character (✓) can't be displayed properly on "average" Windows machine :/ – Davvid Nov 10 '10 at 15:43

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