A continuation of the same question here – I can't comment there due to insufficient rep. Exact same problem visually; unfortunately, the accepted solution seems to be out of date or incomplete.

This problem has been happening on occasion for a while; a refreshing of the page usually solved it. However, as of recently, that workaround seems to have stopped working.

All PDFs with text show up as illustrated in the image in the original question.

This is the original PDF.

DirectWrite can no longer be disabled; the flag to do so was removed some time in 2016.

Both Windows and Chrome are up to date. Reboots don't help. This is the only account on a personal laptop. Clearing Chrome's file cache didn't do anything, incognito mode (no extensions) has the same problem. Removing Chrome entirely including data and reinstalling only messed up my open tab history, no change to font rendering. Checking the font settings in Chrome, with the needed extension, shows nothing – reset to default in any case.

Rebuilding Windows fonts cache was not entirely successful; even after stopping the fonts service I still got denied removing some of the files even with the ExecTI workaround.

For my fonts, I don't have much installed beyond the standard Windows 10 Home package, I believe. A list from regedit below; looking in C:\Windows\Fonts I see nothing visually out of order either – restored default font settings, unhiding fonts based on language settings. Only "8514oem Standard" shows up before Arial then, which is apparently a standard Windows font.

For a last attempt to triple-check the Fonts; sfc /scannow leads to

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

Edge does render things properly; I don't have Adobe or other PDF readers installed.

So I'm a bit out of ideas.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]
"Arial (TrueType)"="arial.ttf"
"Arial Black (TrueType)"="ariblk.ttf"
"Arial Bold (TrueType)"="arialbd.ttf"
"Arial Bold Italic (TrueType)"="arialbi.ttf"
"Arial Italic (TrueType)"="ariali.ttf"
"Bahnschrift (TrueType)"="bahnschrift.ttf"
"Calibri (TrueType)"="calibri.ttf"
"Calibri Bold (TrueType)"="calibrib.ttf"
"Calibri Bold Italic (TrueType)"="calibriz.ttf"
"Calibri Italic (TrueType)"="calibrii.ttf"
"Calibri Light (TrueType)"="calibril.ttf"
"Calibri Light Italic (TrueType)"="calibrili.ttf"
"Cambria & Cambria Math (TrueType)"="cambria.ttc"
"Cambria Bold (TrueType)"="cambriab.ttf"
"Cambria Bold Italic (TrueType)"="cambriaz.ttf"
"Cambria Italic (TrueType)"="cambriai.ttf"
"Candara (TrueType)"="candara.ttf"
"Candara Bold (TrueType)"="candarab.ttf"
"Candara Bold Italic (TrueType)"="candaraz.ttf"
"Candara Italic (TrueType)"="candarai.ttf"
"Comic Sans MS (TrueType)"="comic.ttf"
"Comic Sans MS Bold (TrueType)"="comicbd.ttf"
"Comic Sans MS Bold Italic (TrueType)"="comicz.ttf"
"Comic Sans MS Italic (TrueType)"="comici.ttf"
"Consolas (TrueType)"="consola.ttf"
"Consolas Bold (TrueType)"="consolab.ttf"
"Consolas Bold Italic (TrueType)"="consolaz.ttf"
"Consolas Italic (TrueType)"="consolai.ttf"
"Constantia (TrueType)"="constan.ttf"
"Constantia Bold (TrueType)"="constanb.ttf"
"Constantia Bold Italic (TrueType)"="constanz.ttf"
"Constantia Italic (TrueType)"="constani.ttf"
"Corbel (TrueType)"="corbel.ttf"
"Corbel Bold (TrueType)"="corbelb.ttf"
"Corbel Bold Italic (TrueType)"="corbelz.ttf"
"Corbel Italic (TrueType)"="corbeli.ttf"
"Courier New (TrueType)"="cour.ttf"
"Courier New Bold (TrueType)"="courbd.ttf"
"Courier New Bold Italic (TrueType)"="courbi.ttf"
"Courier New Italic (TrueType)"="couri.ttf"
"Ebrima (TrueType)"="ebrima.ttf"
"Ebrima Bold (TrueType)"="ebrimabd.ttf"
"Franklin Gothic Medium (TrueType)"="framd.ttf"
"Franklin Gothic Medium Italic (TrueType)"="framdit.ttf"
"Gabriola (TrueType)"="Gabriola.ttf"
"Gadugi (TrueType)"="gadugi.ttf"
"Gadugi Bold (TrueType)"="gadugib.ttf"
"Georgia (TrueType)"="georgia.ttf"
"Georgia Bold (TrueType)"="georgiab.ttf"
"Georgia Bold Italic (TrueType)"="georgiaz.ttf"
"Georgia Italic (TrueType)"="georgiai.ttf"
"Impact (TrueType)"="impact.ttf"
"Ink Free (TrueType)"="Inkfree.ttf"
"Javanese Text (TrueType)"="javatext.ttf"
"Leelawadee UI (TrueType)"="leelawui.ttf"
"Leelawadee UI Bold (TrueType)"="leelauib.ttf"
"Leelawadee UI Semilight (TrueType)"="leeluisl.ttf"
"Lucida Console (TrueType)"="lucon.TTF"
"Lucida Sans Unicode (TrueType)"="l_10646.ttf"
"Malgun Gothic (TrueType)"="malgun.ttf"
"Malgun Gothic Bold (TrueType)"="malgunbd.ttf"
"Malgun Gothic SemiLight (TrueType)"="malgunsl.ttf"
"Microsoft Himalaya (TrueType)"="himalaya.ttf"
"Microsoft JhengHei & Microsoft JhengHei UI (TrueType)"="msjh.ttc"
"Microsoft JhengHei Bold & Microsoft JhengHei UI Bold (TrueType)"="msjhbd.ttc"
"Microsoft JhengHei Light & Microsoft JhengHei UI Light (TrueType)"="msjhl.ttc"
"Microsoft New Tai Lue (TrueType)"="ntailu.ttf"
"Microsoft New Tai Lue Bold (TrueType)"="ntailub.ttf"
"Microsoft PhagsPa (TrueType)"="phagspa.ttf"
"Microsoft PhagsPa Bold (TrueType)"="phagspab.ttf"
"Microsoft Sans Serif (TrueType)"="micross.ttf"
"Microsoft Tai Le (TrueType)"="taile.ttf"
"Microsoft Tai Le Bold (TrueType)"="taileb.ttf"
"Microsoft YaHei & Microsoft YaHei UI (TrueType)"="msyh.ttc"
"Microsoft YaHei Bold & Microsoft YaHei UI Bold (TrueType)"="msyhbd.ttc"
"Microsoft YaHei Light & Microsoft YaHei UI Light (TrueType)"="msyhl.ttc"
"Microsoft Yi Baiti (TrueType)"="msyi.ttf"
"MingLiU-ExtB & PMingLiU-ExtB & MingLiU_HKSCS-ExtB (TrueType)"="mingliub.ttc"
"Modern (All res)"="modern.fon"
"Mongolian Baiti (TrueType)"="monbaiti.ttf"
"MS Gothic & MS UI Gothic & MS PGothic (TrueType)"="msgothic.ttc"
"MV Boli (TrueType)"="mvboli.ttf"
"Myanmar Text (TrueType)"="mmrtext.ttf"
"Myanmar Text Bold (TrueType)"="mmrtextb.ttf"
"Nirmala UI (TrueType)"="Nirmala.ttf"
"Nirmala UI Bold (TrueType)"="NirmalaB.ttf"
"Nirmala UI Semilight (TrueType)"="NirmalaS.ttf"
"Palatino Linotype (TrueType)"="pala.ttf"
"Palatino Linotype Bold (TrueType)"="palab.ttf"
"Palatino Linotype Bold Italic (TrueType)"="palabi.ttf"
"Palatino Linotype Italic (TrueType)"="palai.ttf"
"Roman (All res)"="roman.fon"
"Script (All res)"="script.fon"
"Segoe MDL2 Assets (TrueType)"="segmdl2.ttf"
"Segoe Print (TrueType)"="segoepr.ttf"
"Segoe Print Bold (TrueType)"="segoeprb.ttf"
"Segoe Script (TrueType)"="segoesc.ttf"
"Segoe Script Bold (TrueType)"="segoescb.ttf"
"Segoe UI (TrueType)"="segoeui.ttf"
"Segoe UI Black (TrueType)"="seguibl.ttf"
"Segoe UI Black Italic (TrueType)"="seguibli.ttf"
"Segoe UI Bold (TrueType)"="segoeuib.ttf"
"Segoe UI Bold Italic (TrueType)"="segoeuiz.ttf"
"Segoe UI Emoji (TrueType)"="seguiemj.ttf"
"Segoe UI Historic (TrueType)"="seguihis.ttf"
"Segoe UI Italic (TrueType)"="segoeuii.ttf"
"Segoe UI Light (TrueType)"="segoeuil.ttf"
"Segoe UI Light Italic (TrueType)"="seguili.ttf"
"Segoe UI Semibold (TrueType)"="seguisb.ttf"
"Segoe UI Semibold Italic (TrueType)"="seguisbi.ttf"
"Segoe UI Semilight (TrueType)"="segoeuisl.ttf"
"Segoe UI Semilight Italic (TrueType)"="seguisli.ttf"
"Segoe UI Symbol (TrueType)"="seguisym.ttf"
"SimSun & NSimSun (TrueType)"="simsun.ttc"
"SimSun-ExtB (TrueType)"="simsunb.ttf"
"Sitka Small & Sitka Text & Sitka Subheading & Sitka Heading & Sitka Display & Sitka Banner (TrueType)"="Sitka.ttc"
"Sitka Small Bold & Sitka Text Bold & Sitka Subheading Bold & Sitka Heading Bold & Sitka Display Bold & Sitka Banner Bold (TrueType)"="SitkaB.ttc"
"Sitka Small Bold Italic & Sitka Text Bold Italic & Sitka Subheading Bold Italic & Sitka Heading Bold Italic & Sitka Display Bold Italic & Sitka Banner Bold Italic (TrueType)"="SitkaZ.ttc"
"Sitka Small Italic & Sitka Text Italic & Sitka Subheading Italic & Sitka Heading Italic & Sitka Display Italic & Sitka Banner Italic (TrueType)"="SitkaI.ttc"
"Sylfaen (TrueType)"="sylfaen.ttf"
"Symbol (TrueType)"="symbol.ttf"
"Tahoma (TrueType)"="tahoma.ttf"
"Tahoma Bold (TrueType)"="tahomabd.ttf"
"Times New Roman (TrueType)"="times.ttf"
"Times New Roman Bold (TrueType)"="timesbd.ttf"
"Times New Roman Bold Italic (TrueType)"="timesbi.ttf"
"Times New Roman Italic (TrueType)"="timesi.ttf"
"Trebuchet MS (TrueType)"="trebuc.ttf"
"Trebuchet MS Bold (TrueType)"="trebucbd.ttf"
"Trebuchet MS Bold Italic (TrueType)"="trebucbi.ttf"
"Trebuchet MS Italic (TrueType)"="trebucit.ttf"
"Verdana (TrueType)"="verdana.ttf"
"Verdana Bold (TrueType)"="verdanab.ttf"
"Verdana Bold Italic (TrueType)"="verdanaz.ttf"
"Verdana Italic (TrueType)"="verdanai.ttf"
"Webdings (TrueType)"="webdings.ttf"
"Wingdings (TrueType)"="wingding.ttf"
"Yu Gothic Bold & Yu Gothic UI Semibold & Yu Gothic UI Bold (TrueType)"="YuGothB.ttc"
"Yu Gothic Light & Yu Gothic UI Light (TrueType)"="YuGothL.ttc"
"Yu Gothic Medium & Yu Gothic UI Regular (TrueType)"="YuGothM.ttc"
"Yu Gothic Regular & Yu Gothic UI Semilight (TrueType)"="YuGothR.ttc"
"Courier 10,12,15"="COURE.FON"
"Courier 10,12,15 (120)"="COURF.FON"
"MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24"="SERIFE.FON"
"MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (120)"="SERIFF.FON"
"MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24"="SSERIFE.FON"
"MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (120)"="SSERIFF.FON"
"Small Fonts"="SMALLE.FON"
"Small Fonts (120)"="SMALLF.FON"
"Holo MDL2 Assets (TrueType)"="holomdl2.ttf"
"TeamViewer13 (TrueType)"="teamviewer13.otf"
  • Sounds like you've been pretty thorough already but try going to chrome://flags and toggling the "FontCache Scaling" setting. Clear cache each time before going to the pdf or do a ctrl+F5 when viewing it. If that doesn't work, are you able to provide a screenshot of how the pdf looks on your computer? Do all pdfs look wrong in chrome or is it just the one? What version specifically are Windows and Chrome? Also, if you download the pdf, then open with Chrome, does it look the same?
    – Mike
    Mar 12, 2019 at 19:25
  • FontCache Scaling didn't work. Also disabled hardware acceleration (through the normal advanced settings), cleared the cache, then hit ctrl+F5. Collected a few in this album. Same from Desktop. Note the third looks fine, but I suspect is also not using a 'default' font. Windows 10 Home 1809 17763.379 Chrome Version 73.0.3683.75 (Official Build) (64-bit)
    – Meeuwisse
    Mar 13, 2019 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


Turns out Windows does not show you all fonts installed in explorer, even if you explicitly ask it to. And the registry is also not a single source of truth. I had missed the importance of not relying on explorer in the replies given in the other discussion.

To see this, open Powershell and ls C:\Windows\Fonts. Suddenly there were dozens of fonts listed in front of Arial - including ALIEN5.ttf.

The solution was then simply cp C:\Windows\Fonts\arial.ttf C:\Windows\Fonts\001-arial.ttf (this requires administrator rights - in the start menu, right click powershell and "Run as administrator") following a reboot.

  • 1
    After 4 years of trying, dozens of searches, you provided the actual solution. Bless
    – skybreaker
    Jul 14, 2020 at 15:18
  • Finally, the one solution that works. Thank you! Sep 21, 2021 at 22:58

Change the font in Chrome and see if it changes the way the PDF looks. Then change them back and see if it stays fixed.

Did you see any difference? If not, please elaborate on what you mean by:

Checking the font settings in Chrome, with the needed extension, shows nothing – reset to default in any case.

What extension and have you tried disabling/removing it?

Also, check out Google chrome rendering pdf fonts incorrectly

While you may not have a font registered, check if it exists in your fonts folder, see if Arial is the first one when listed alphabetically.

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