Can Fonts affect my PC?

I downloaded a bunch of fonts and installed them in my Windows font directory. While I was browsing the font selection in MS Word, I came across one in the pull down font selection window that had a blank spot where the name should be. I selected it and my computer INSTANTLY shut off. It didn’t power-down or start the shut down process, it just did an immediate reboot!


Upon opening MS Word again, I noticed that the “blank” font was in a section of fonts with the same name (*bold, *italic, *lite, etc…). I deleted every font with that name to rid my computer of what I viewed to be a “faulty” font. I continued to browse and added MORE fonts to the directory. Some of the fonts in the pull down menu are written in that particular font in the pull down menu itself, but only shows up as rectangular boxes when I attempt to use it in a document. After I finished installing fonts, NONE of my fonts work. They ALL show up as rectangular boxes… even the original fonts like Times Roman and Microsoft Sans Serif…

What’s the deal?

Corrupt TrueType fonts can definitely cause your computer to crash when a program tries to use them. I wouldn’t expect them to affect any other fonts, though.

      • What was the fonts that first started acting screwy, and where did you download them from?

Most versions of Windows don’t seem to be too happy when you have more than 200 or so fonts installed.

Being a font freak myself, I have about 4000 fonts on my machine, but only keep about 200 installed at any one time. The best solution is to get a font manager (I use Bitstream Font Navigator).

The way a font manager lets you have a lot of fonts without freaking out Windows is simple - it installs shortcuts to your fonts in the C/WINDOWS/FONTS folder instead of the fonts themselves.

If you like fonts, and see yourself collecting more, a manager program is the only way to go.

BTW, corrupt font files are very rare (although they do occur). Also, real font files are not executable and cannot spread viruses.

      • I don’t know about WinXP, 2000 or NT, but Win98 seems to bomb out around 1000 installed fonts, which corresponds with the base-2 number 1024. I never found anyone who had managed to install more than 1024, so I would bet that’s the limit in that OS.
  • I used to have 700-800 installed on Win98 with no problem, but I use a font manager now, just because you can keep fonts organized to find a particular style you need easier.