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Windows 7: Windows Default system/dialog font changed - very tiny

08 May 2016   #1

Windows 7 Pro SP1 32-bit
Windows Default system/dialog font changed - very tiny

Hello, all. I'm hoping someone can help with this. I've seen it posted elsewhere, and have been through all the steps to resolve, but nothing has worked so far, or has worked piecemeal.

Yesterday I cleaned some house and uninstalled some programs that I haven't used in years. That's the only thing I can think of that triggered this - only thing "odd" I've done to my system in a long while.

After rebooting, the font Windows is using in system dialogs has changed to some type of tiny serif font - very difficult to make out. First saw this in a Print dialog (from Firefox), then in another dialog in another app (don't remember which one). I managed to resolve that with a Font Substitution fix in the registry ("MS Shell Dlg"="MS Sans Serif" - was originally pointing to "Microsoft Sans Serif"). After this, the Print and the other dialog resolved and looked normal.

Today, working in Excel - the VBE (programming) - a "tool tip"/dropdown window is showing this same tiny font.

(This is what all the dialogs were looking like.) Again, there was another dialog I had opened just prior to this that had the same issue, and again, I can't remember what I was doing - where that dialog was.
I would have thought fixing this in the registry would fix it across the board, but it looks like different dialogs are drawing/mapping from different sources(?)

I have been through the Fonts and FontSubstitution registry keys. I have been in the Display - Personalize - Windows Colors - Advanced... - Window Color and Appearance dialog box (all fonts/sizes look good here).

Not sure where to go from here to fix this all over Windows. Am hoping someone knows where I can find additional system font settings to check, or how to find if I have a damaged font file(?)

Thanks much for any help!!!

Craig T

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2016   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #3

Windows 7 Pro SP1 32-bit

Hi, Layback Bear. Thanks very much for the response. I've actually stepped through most of those already, and read through and tried the couple that I hadn't. I'm still having the issue here, and seeing weird font issues all over different apps when I use them.

Since yesterday, I'm seeing:
- In Excel 2016, layout view, the "Page #" watermarks in that view, I do believe, used to be in a sans serif font, but are now in a serif font(?)
- All the street, city/town, country, etc. names/labels in my MapPoint application are all a small, narrow font (still sans serif, as original). This is the most significant change - as this affects all labels in all maps displayed. The application fonts themselves (menu bars, etc.) are all normal, however.
- The weirdest one by far is the "auto-complete" text in Excel VBA. Unlike the one previously shown (drop-list is the tiny font), this shows the expected arguments of a function/method as you type - and it is a MIX of normal/OK fonts and the tiny, serif font (???)
I'm not sure where this magic setting is, or... is it possible to have a damaged font file and the system is bouncing to a secondary/backup font because the target one is faulty?

Thanks again for any ideas or responses. Greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 May 2016   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Because the proper settings might be caused by something I don' use (Excel) I will go to the ranch and see if I can find someone that can help you.

Hang in there, are members are all over the world. Some might be napping.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #5

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
While you were in the Personalize section
Did you notice if you were using a Unsaved theme ?
if so switch to another that was saved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #6

Windows 7 Pro SP1 32-bit

Hi, ThrashZone. Thanks for your response. As a matter of fact, the Theme I have been using has been unsaved (for the years I've been using it). I clicked on a standard Aero theme (Windows) and then changed the desktop image to what I use, then I saved it.

I haven't noticed any changes since then. Do I need to reboot to see font change updates?

Thanks again for the input.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

If in doubt, reboot. It can't hurt anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Go to: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Fonts, click on Font Settings in the left pane, in the next window that opens click on the "Restore default font settings" button. I do have the Hide Fonts based on... box checked and the Allow Fonts to be installed.. box unchecked, this seems to be the default as I have never adjusted these settings.

You may see the monitor display flicker then settle, Windows may or may not ask for a reboot when changing this significant of system setting, I would reboot in any case, then check all areas in question to see if fonts are okay.

One other suggestion:
Boot into the: Advanced Boot Options screen, please, do not have any disks of any type in your optical disk drive or any USB flash drives attached to your machine then,
  • Turn off the computer.
  • Turn on the computer and press the F8 key. You may have to start tapping the F8 function key as soon as you restart your machine.
If you can get to the advanced boot options screen, use the down arrow to move the highlighted choice down to "Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)" then press the Enter Key and let the operating system boot.

Check your problem areas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #9

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1

If Anak's suggestion doesn't work go into programs and features (from control panel), right click on office and select change, and in the office setup window select repair. Hit next and follow the menu prompts. All office applications must be closed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2016   #10
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Thank you all for coming to the aid of our new member.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows Default system/dialog font changed - very tiny

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