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So here is a screenshot of how poor "Helvetica Neue" is rendering for me on my Windows 7 PC, Chrome Version 46.0.2490.86, a simple file HTML page, note the location bar URL in the image:

enter image description here

And here is the entire HTML file:

<h4 style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue';">Helvetica Neue:</h4>
<div style="width: 500px;color:#000;font-family: 'Helvetica Neue';">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ius at esse nonumy similique, 
    ea quo erat mollis. Quo mucius legendos appellantur et. Eum cetero verterem cu. 
    Ex mei stet dolorum, mei perpetua disputando in. Mei affert eruditi consetetur et, 
    has in sumo fugit scaevola. Te eros illud veniam quo, minimum antiopam eu mei.
</div>

<br />
<h4 style="font-family: Helvetica">Helvetica</h4>
<div style="width: 500px;color:#000;font-family: Helvetica">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ius at esse nonumy similique, 
    ea quo erat mollis. Quo mucius legendos appellantur et. Eum cetero verterem cu. 
    Ex mei stet dolorum, mei perpetua disputando in. Mei affert eruditi consetetur et, 
    has in sumo fugit scaevola. Te eros illud veniam quo, minimum antiopam eu mei.
</div>
<h4 style="font-family: NotAFont">NotAFont</h4>
<div style="width: 500px;color:#000;font-family: NotAFont">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ius at esse nonumy similique, 
    ea quo erat mollis. Quo mucius legendos appellantur et. Eum cetero verterem cu. 
    Ex mei stet dolorum, mei perpetua disputando in. Mei affert eruditi consetetur et, 
    has in sumo fugit scaevola. Te eros illud veniam quo, minimum antiopam eu mei.
</div>

I do not have "Helvetica Neue" installed on my Windows 7 computer under C:\Windows\Fonts:

enter image description here

Using Font Expert to delve deeper, as c:\Windows\Fonts does not always show all installed fonts there is still no "Helvetica Neue" font installed:

enter image description here

Helvetica Neue does not show under chrome://settings/fonts:

enter image description here

The font-family rendered is indeed "Helvetica Neue" according to Chrome Developer Tools:

enter image description here

You can see that the Helvetica renders fine, no surprises there, and here is the Computed Tab of Chrome for Helvetica:

enter image description here

Here you can see my Chrome settings will default "Times New Roman" if the font does not exist and there is no other fonts in the CSS font-family:

enter image description here

Here we see Helvetica Neue renders fine on El Capitan Mac Safari:

enter image description here

Here is the same issue using a completely clean history, settings, bookmarks, etc with "New Chrome Session":

enter image description here

And you can see in the New Chrome Session Developer Tools that the Computed Font for "Helvetica Neue" is still Helvetica Neue:

enter image description here

Here is Firefox on my machine, it says the Computed font for "Helvetica Neue" is Helvetica Neue though at least the font is rendered clear and readable, and, not surprisingly is the same font as "NotAFont", this means the Computed column of Firefox Developer tools does not tell you the actual font used like Chrome Developer tools does :

enter image description here

My DPI is 96, my screen resolution is 1920 x 1080.

So it is proven the font-face is not installed in the Windows/Fonts directory on my machine and also proven that the font is not being delivered to me from the a server in the form of a .woff, .ttf, .eot, or .svg file.

Solutions I have attempted:

1) Adding the following to C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\User StyleSheets\Custom.css:

@font-face { font-family: 'helvetica neue'; src: local('Arial'); } @font-face { font-family: 'helvetica neue'; font-weight:bold; src: local('Arial'); } @font-face { font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; src: local('Arial'); } @font-face { font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; font-weight:bold; src: local('Arial'); }

References to first solution I attempted https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/J4dqHZD3dcs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjk1dAR0Z5w

2) Adding the following to my my file based test.html page I am using in this question:

<style>
  html, body {
        text-rendering: optimizeSpeed !important;
}
</style>

Reference for solution 2) https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/J4dqHZD3dcs

An interesting suggestion in the comments of this article: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/InstallingHelveticaNeueFontsWithGoogleChromeOnWindowsConsideredHarmful.aspx

It's because you use Helvetica Neue wich is meant for print not for web display. Go buy yourself a Helvetica font that is actually meant for web - Neue Haas Grotesk. This is Helvetica done right for web ;)

Is it true "Helvetica Neue" is meant for print? If so, why is it so prevalent in web design?

How is it possible that Chrome Developer Tools Computed tab says that the computed font is "Helvetica Neue"?

Since Chrome is finding "Helvetica Neue" somewhere, why is it so poorly rendered?

  • Does Helvetica Neue show in chrome://settings/fonts? – Vinayak Nov 27 '15 at 21:07
  • Hi @Vinayak, no "Helvetica Neue" does not show under chrome://settings/fonts, I added a screenshot to my question so you can see. – Brian Ogden Nov 27 '15 at 21:10
  • Could you use NewChromeSession and load that bit of HTML and see if the first paragraph is still rendered as Helvetica Neue? – Vinayak Nov 27 '15 at 21:25
  • @Vinayak it is still rendered "Helvetica Neue" using New Chrome Session, I added screenshots of NewChromeSession to my question – Brian Ogden Nov 27 '15 at 22:36
  • Hmmm... this makes me wonder if Chrome is taking the Helvetica font and just making it smaller and calling it "Neue" thus explaining this poor rendering. I know that's how it handles bold fonts if you don't actually have the bold font family (which also looks fuzzy and awful) , but I didn't think the keyword "Neue" should set off a similar behavior. Can you temporarily uninstall Helvetica and see if that's the cause? – tomysshadow Nov 28 '15 at 4:04
0
+50

In your FontExpert screenshot it shows that you have two Helvetica fonts installed. Have you tried temporarily removing one or both of them ?

You don't have a font called 'Last Resort' , do you ?

Do you have the same issue in Chrome Canary and Opera 34 ?

The two GPF topics you referenced are rather old - have you read some of the newer topics in https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topicsearch/%22helvetica$20neue%22 ?

  • No I haven't temporarily removed all Helvetica fonts installed, I could try this, though I do need Helvetica so I would have to reinstall I think. I removed one of the two Helvetica fonts though. – Brian Ogden Dec 12 '15 at 22:52
  • Haven't tested in Chrome Canary and Opera 34 though I am not sure what information would be that helpful from doing so... – Brian Ogden Dec 12 '15 at 22:54
  • You suggest to search GPF for newer topics was a good one thanks – Brian Ogden Dec 12 '15 at 23:07
  • The bounty for this question has expired, searching GPF for newer topics does result in at least one new potential solutions though I am on my Mac and not on my PC right now so I cannot test. Removing Helvetica entirely will probably work as well. So, thought I cannot say, this is the answer to the question definitely it was a helpful answer and so the bounty does not go to waste in the ether, I am giving it to you, Merry Christmas ;) – Brian Ogden Dec 12 '15 at 23:11

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