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I was working with our account today who complained that a signature of "John Smith" was being printed on checks coming out of our accounting system.

Today was unusual, she was running our accounting system's client on the server because it runs faster if the client and server are on the same machine (and yes this is a very old accounting system).

When she runs the client on her workstation instead of the server it runs slower but prints the correct signatures on the checks.

So after doing a little more digging into the accounting system we discovered a font file containing the correct signature. However, (and this is very important) when we were accessing the file on her workstation using the UNC path. When we logged on to the server as administrator and opened the font file directly, the "John Smith" signature appeared again.

Now I know the first thing your going to say is that it was an identical directory that looks the same and isn't the share...I checked that my renaming the file on the server with the UNC path opened on the workstation; and the file name changed in both places.

So what is going on here exactly?

The workstation was a Windows XP machine, the Server is a Windows Server 2003 machine.

I also tried opening the file on my Windows 7 machine at work and the correct signatures show up, why would it display the "John Smith" signature on the Windows Server 2003 machine?

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What kind of font is this again? – MDT Guy Jun 13 '13 at 21:17
TTF (TrueType Font) – leeand00 Jun 14 '13 at 1:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Found out what the problem was thanks to the tech support of the Accounting software. There was a shortcut in C:\Windows\fonts\<name-of-font-file>.TTF and this shortcut pointed to the default signature file in the sample data folder of the accounting software. Both font files had the same name.

Deleting the shortcut caused the issue to go away. As for why opening the file on the server caused the other file to open, I guess it has something to do with registered fonts (or shortcuts to those fonts, apparently) being stored in that directory causes them to be selected as the default for that font name.

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