I upgraded to Mac OS X 10.7 on Saturday, and have been restoring some of my applications that I build from source, when I noticed that the man pages are failing to render the command line flags correctly, as you can see in the image below.Broken man page

Unfortunately, I can't guarantee when this started to happen, but since install I've only built ffmpeg, x264, nmap, libpcap and tcpdump from source.

I also can't actually guarantee that the man pages were intact when I first installed the OS. It looks like they're intact when I view them in Vim though, as you can see in this other screenshot of the same man file.Man page in vim

So, why are my man pages broken?

1 Answer 1


This looks like a problem with your bold font; as you can see here: screenshot of working manpage flags should be rendered in bold. You can do the following:

  • Open terminal preferences and try setting another font
  • Open terminal preferences and check “use light colors for bold text” option

If any of these makes the flags appear again, then my hypothesis is right.

I would then suggest you take a look at Font Book app (included with the OS) and validate it, or maybe even better restore the font.

If the font still isn't behaving, you can run again the 10.7.1 updater (if you ever installed it), or even do a system restore (the old “archive & install”, though I don't know how it works on Lion).

Another option could be to restore only the corrupt font with the help of Pacifist (alas, not yet available for Lion).

  • I've marked your answer correct because you are totally right. Unfortunately, it's a font installed by Microsoft Office and reinstalling it hasn't fixed the problem. Serves me right for being a Lion early adopter I suspect. Shame, I really like that font.
    – Lukasa
    Sep 3, 2011 at 12:53

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