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Strange Font Problem in Opera 12.17

  • I'd already checked out the author mode/user mode setting, and the various options under them, but no setting seemed to make the problem go away.
    Also, I'm pretty much certain that the settings are all the same on the version that has the problem as they are on the other XP version that doesn't!
    I will run them up side by side again and have another look to see if there is any difference between them.

  • Hi again. Well this is very embarrassing!

    I've just checked again on my other machine, and the Opera text display on Windows XP there is exactly the same as on the first machine, with the spurious characters.
    However, it's a dual-boot machine, and if I reboot into Windows 8.1, and use exactly the same installation of Opera, which is the only one on the machine, the display is normal!
    So, it looks as if the problem is actually operating system related, and only happens on XP.

    So sorry for all the confusion, It's been a long time since I actually last checked the other XP installation, and I was obviously mis-remembering the scenario, and I didn't bother to check that what I was saying was actually true.

    So, it only happens on Windows XP. It's fine on Windows 8.1 (two installations, 32 bit and 64 bit) and even on Windows 98. Is that any sort of clue?
    Cheers, Dave.

  • Back in 2010 (around the time of Opera 10+), an article was published showing that Opera indeed had compatibility problems with the <wbr> symbol in text. According to that article, the <wbr> symbol redered as a small, empty box in the text location of the symbol. The author proposed a fix that included placing the following in the page code:

    div { word-wrap:break-word;}

    wbr { display: inline-block;}

    This essentially tells the browser to interpret the <wbr> term diffently within its brackets than otherwise, using a new term that won't cough up the odd character. Perhaps 'user CSS' could be made to employ this somehow, though I'm not a CSS guy either. It's only a guess, but I suspect that the reason you're getting the "" instead of a small box has to do with the font being used by Opera in XP. With another OS, the font may render slightly differently (ie: not at all) when that character is called by Opera as it encounters a <wbr>.

  • Thanks @blackbird71, that sounds like exactly it, although why it should apparently only happen on Windows XP and not on Windows 8.1 with an identical Opera setup is still a bit of a mystery, but as you say it's probably to do with the OS fonts!

    I will do some CSS experiments and see if I can incorporate that code into Opera for all websites.

  • While it may be the same program, do they use the same profile? For an "all users" install, XP and 7 would have different paths for user data. Of course if it is a standalone/USB install there's no need to check, but it could explain things otherwise.

  • @davehawley

    Also, there are well know problem with Web Fonts in Opera 12.

    1. You can to disable these fonts globally (for all web-sites). Go to opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableWebfonts and uncheck the flag. Restart Opera.

    2. You enable/disable Web Fonts selectively for a certain web-sites via override.ini


    User Prefs|Enable Webfonts=0

  • @sgunhouse

    It is a standalone installation, everyting is in the Program Files\Opera folder.


    Thanks, a good thought, but I'm afraid that disabling web fonts makes no difference to the problem.

    I'm working on trying to implement those suggested lines

    <style type="text/css">
        div { word-wrap:break-word;}
        wbr { display: inline-block; } /* fix for IE8 and Opera */

    for all sites using CSS, but I'm not having any luck so far.
    I'm afraid I know very little about how to use CSS.

  • Well, try as I might, I don't seem to be able to fix this.
    According to the earlier link, the problem quoted there should affect Internet Explorer 8 as well as Opera 12, but it doesn't. The display is correct in IE8.
    I'm fairly convinced that it's actually something to do with the system fonts, but I copied all the Windows 8.1 fonts to Windows XP, and the problem was still there.
    Looking at the source code for that Sky site here in Notepad, the spurious characters appear as question marks.
    It appears to be using downloaded Sky propriety fonts such as "SkyTextRegular". I downloaded all the variants of that font and installed them on the OS. No difference.
    So now I'm at a dead end. I guess I'll just have to put up with it unless anyone can suggest anything else to try.

  • Well I've fixed it, or at least found a workaround!
    I had that Sky Help Forum site set to mask Opera as Internet Explorer, I assume because of some problem with it in the past.
    I can't remember why it had to be set like that, but just to experiment I set it to mask as Firefox instead, and the font problem went away!
    So, assuming that not masking as IE doesn't cause other problems I've not found yet, that's the answer.
    So simple, and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't try that in the first place!

  • Actually, the whole business is not simple, so stop kicking yourself. The problem actually was and is quite subtle and rather complex; and you didn't actually "fix" the problem as much as you've (apparently) found a practical way around it. So... good for you!!

  • Thanks!
    Certainly the blog post you pointed to earlier on suggests that this is a problem that shows up in older versions of Internet Explorer and Opera, so masking Opera 12 as IE or leaving it as Opera could well make it appear, although as I said earlier the problem doesn't actually appear on IE8, at least not on my system!
    Anyway, as long as it doesn't cause any other problems I'll leave things as they are. I haven't actually tried posting to that Sky forum since I changed the setting, but it now certainly all displays OK.
    Cheers, Dave.