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Forums Adobe Illustrator How do you make fonts in the Character drop down, display how they really look?

  • How do you make fonts in the Character drop down, display how they really look?

  • ryan Wayne

    May 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    This is a little hard to explain, but when I have the Character palette open and click the drop down arrow, all my fonts look like arial or something just as plain. I’ve noticed some screen shots in tutorials that show the fonts as they actually appear.

    In other words, if i’m looking at the Myriad Pro font in the drop down menu, it looks like arial instead of looking like Myriad Pro. Is there something in my settings to change this? it would greatly speed up time spent sorting through my fonts to find the right style.

    BTW, i’m using the trial of Illustrator CS5

  • Vincent Rosati

    May 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I’m in CS2 on PC. My Character palette displays in the system default font. However from the main menu, Type/Font/… displays the font preview.
    You might also want to look into Suitcase or some other font management tool.

    Just some thoughts.


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  • ryan Wayne

    May 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Hey thanks for the response. however, my character palette and menu both display only the system font in both photoshop and illustrator cs5. i’ve seen plenty of screen shots where one or both of those drop downs display the font preview.

    I checked out suitcase, it looks great for external font management, but it’s not free and if you want it to work with adobe, you have to pay extra.

    There must be an option SOMEWHERE that i just have to click to turn the preview on. I shouldn’t need add-ons or plug-ins for this… unless something didn’t install properly or something is conflicting…i’ve got no clue….hense why i’m here. has no one resolved this issue before?

  • Vincent Rosati

    May 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    It does sound like something is wrong with the install. Perhaps reinstalling might help, but I’d do some searches to see if there are easier solutions.
    I’ve had to this myself in the past. Can’t remember the fix right now, but it was a similar problem. Something about deleting the ‘AdobeFnt.lst’ file, and maybe another file.??

    Yes, Suitcase is a paid app. I’m not sure about the extra cost you mentioned. Maybe it’s the auto-activation plugin?? That’s not compatible with my system, so I don’t know about that.
    Maybe try Font Nexus, it’s free.

    If you do resolve your initial issue, maybe you could complete this thread with the steps that you used.


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  • ryan Wayne

    June 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    it would seem that there is no fix… i’ve read dozens of forums where people have tried anything and everything to make it work but apparently it’s just a problem with illustrator…period. the only thing i didn’t see tried, was using a font fixer to clean up bad fonts, so i tried that, but again no luck.

    Others have tried uninstalling/reinstalling, deleting illustrator files, replacing illustrator files, even removing registry files, and more. and in every situation the font preview works fine in photoshop and indesign, but not illustrator. and it doesn’t seem to be OS specific…i’m running XP and others with the same issue have been using vista or windows 7.

    unfortunately it seems like the only solution is to use a different program to browse your fonts until adobe fixes the issue or until someone figures out a work around.

    Vincent, as far as i can tell, if it works for you, you’re lucky ;P maybe someone else will eventually shed new light on the subject.

  • Chris Martin

    December 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I’ve been checking into this myself and what I found in the adobe forums is that the font preview in the panels is a feature of the Mac version of illustrator only. PC users must go to Type>Font for a preview.

    That being said, I find that if I don’t know what font I want to use and I want to see how my text will look with many different fonts quickly, I select the text object i am working on with either selection tool then click on the font name in the character panel (not the pull down arrow, just click the font name so it is highlighted), then use your arrow up or down keys and you will see your actual text scroll through the different fonts quickly.

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