Our company is using the following font family for most of our communications: Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk (can't post a direct link because of lack of rep, but it's accessible through fontsgeek.com)

Since we've upgraded most people to Office 2016 on Mac and PC, we've seen that the font family in it's entirety wasn't working Office 2016 (we had a really, really old version that was downloaded and kept on our servers for more than a decade, from another source than the one previously mentioned). I found the website previously mentioned, which had an updated font on it. Downloaded it on my Mac, and all seemed to work fine. I did a test document with every single font in the family, installed the same fonts on a Windows 10 computer, and opened it up: The fonts don't look the same! Mac seems to "fatten" the font up (or Windows slims it down, whichever one).

And to make sure the font itself is not problematic, I opened two specific fonts (from this family that differ from platform to platform when opened in Word) using Mac's Font Book and Windows' default font viewer in Explorer...and the fonts look exactly the same, at the same size. So it's really a problem with the Office suite not interpreting the fonts properly.

I've taken two screenshots of what the font look like on each OS. Could someone help me figure out why this is happening, and if there is a way to solve it ? Just to make sure we're all on the same page: This is the exact same document (not even a copy), opened on both platforms, at the same time.

Fonts on Word 2016 for Mac:

Fonts on Word 2016 for PC:

Does anyone know why that would happen ?

  • 1
    You work with two different operating systems. So its expected to have installed different fonts. Do you have one common font in both OS? – Romeo Ninov Mar 17 '16 at 13:43
  • 1
    The font files are the same, as provided by the website, for both OSx and Windows. The same font files are installed on both platforms, and they show up perfect in the Font Book (OSx) and Font viewer (Windows), but look different when opened in Office. Also, to specify something: We did not have this issue with this font back when users were on Office 2011 for Mac. The font opened the same on both platforms. – Alex Pilon Mar 17 '16 at 13:46
  • Part of your issues are listed in this Post hope it helps a bit. – NetworkKingPin Mar 19 '16 at 8:48

I downloaded one of the fonts in question and in word it lists that font as 'Akzidenz Grotesk BE Ex', in illustrator that same font is listed as 'Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk Extended'.

If you have created the document previously on the mac or another computer, or perhaps with an older version, it might be looking for a font that it doesn't see ( same font slightly different name ) and then may be substituting it with a different font entirely. In word on your Windows PC maybe check if you have multiple copies of that font, perhaps under slightly different names. You can also see in word through the below menu if the fonts are being substituted.

enter image description here


Thanks all for the help. In the end, it seems it was a mixture of a lot of things (fonts not having the same name, on different software, on different platforms, fonts not working, etc.).

Since we're going online (Office online, Dropbox, etc), we're gonna try and go with default "system" fonts that are available Online, so I'll drop this project and won't waste any more of my time on this!

Thanks everyone :)

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