For a few weeks I’ve been having strange issues with browsers on my Mac. Firefox couldn’t render Arial properly, Flock had issues rendering fonts in search results, Opera was down right unusable and Camino had issues with Gmail fonts. Safari was just fine however.

Opera Browser Issues

Opera Browser Issues

I tried to Google the answer but got nothing. I thought it had to do with Snow Leopard, but it seemed I was the only one. I was pretty sure it had to do with fonts so I started digging.

The first thing I did was go into Font Book and search for duplicates. Font Book actually found quite a few and deactivated the dups. However, that didn’t fix the issue.

Then I decided to go though my font folders, both the one in the system library and the one in my user library, and remove any duplicates manually. I found three versions of Arial and removed the oldest ones. I actually just dragged them to my desktop so if I needed to, I could move them back.

Once I got rid of all my duplicate Arial font files, I also removed duplicate Verdana and any other fonts I could find.

The next step was easy, log out and back in. This ensured that the system would reload the fonts and forget about the versions I removed.

Once I was logged back in, I opened up Firefox, problem fixed. I checked Flock, Camino and Opera and there were also fixed!

Such an easy fix, but such a stupid problem.

Update: This font cleanup also fixed issues with VirtualBox freezing on launch under 10.6.1.