WINDOWS UPDATE breaks Quark, Corel, who knows what else?

Thomas Phinney's picture

If you use OpenType fonts with PS outlines (.otf) or PostScript Type 1 fonts, reportedly the latest Windows update is a bit dangerous. Read this before you decide to install!

NOTE: I have not verified this in person, as I don't use Corel or Quark apps. I also don't yet know whether any other major apps may be affected.

marcox's picture

Thanks for the link, Thomas. A number of my PC-using colleagues complained today that their Powerpoint presentations no longer properly display our OpenType corporate font.

J. Tillman's picture

Problems all over...
Serif Page Plus forms:
Adobe forums:
Microsoft forums:

Microsoft screwed up and they need to fix this!

JamesM's picture

Thanks for the warning. I use a Mac but I'm passing the message along to some clients who use PCs to view files I send them such as PowerPoints.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Apparently PowerPoint is affected in presentation mode only. Extra dangerous as one could not know there was a problem until trying to actually present. Ouch.

JamesM's picture


J. Tillman's picture

Article at Infoworld, but no comment from Microsoft yet.

Thomas Phinney's picture

This also affects Flash authoring, and the Flexi sign design app, it seems.

Zuhair Albazi's picture

Thank you Thomas.
I spend my whole day to correct the problem, uninstalled and installed several things. Just came across your this thread and knew the reason of the problem. My all documents formatting appeared to be destroyed in MS Word 2010.
After reading this I also uninstalled all the updates along with the above mentioned one and re-installed the MS Word 2010 but in vain.
I have to wait a few days and see if Microsoft releases any fix. The other way is to re-install Windows XP and every thing, quite a long work.

Thomas Phinney's picture

All the details in my blog post:

Known affected apps, how to uninstall, how to avoid installation, etc.

russellm's picture

Important question, I suppose: Is the use of fonts as a vector for distributing malware and viruses more than a theoretical issue?

Nick Shinn's picture

I’m planning to release my next typeface in .ttf format only, rather than .otf—for issues concerning screen rendering—this news suggest another reason.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Interesting, Nick.

phrostbyte64's picture

So what, if anything, is Microsoft doing about the issue. Are they wanting sales in Apple products to increase?

gargoyle's picture

Bear in mind, this isn't the first Windows update to fix security bugs in its font-handling code, apparently it's just the first one to break functionality. And from what I can gather, this latest vulnerability affects TrueType fonts as well; the update only breaks OTF fonts since they typically use a different system rasterizer and API call. But the overall threat does seem more serious now that every major browser supports webfonts, so simply visiting a website could load a malicious font.

dberlow's picture

"I’m planning to release my next typeface in .ttf format only, rather than .otf—for issues concerning screen rendering—..."

Nick, I think that's trowing the baby out wit da bat water. I'm sure they'll fix it soon, with the main reason to support .otf on windows being issues concerning screen rendering of .ttfs.

These font security patches sure are important to keep us all safe from malicious fonts.

J Weltin's picture


russellm's picture

anyone from Microsoft who can comment?

.... Nevermind . All better.

Thanks Thomas

Thomas Phinney's picture

Yes, all fixed now. Microsoft jumped on it fairly quickly. Nine days from release of bad patch to release of fixed patch.

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