Hotfix Corrects Arial Narrow Problem on Windows
First let me save you some trouble…If you’re running Windows XP with Office 2003 and earlier, stop reading. You’re not affected. If you’re a Mac user and you’ve read this far, why? Curiousity got the best of you? :)
For those of you on Vista or using Office 2007 you are among those affected by Microsoft’s retooled Arial Narrow. Looking for the various weights of Arial Narrow in Adobe applications will leave you wanting since the only one available is the regular weight and it’s found under the style choices for Arial.
The only workaround up til now was to find an older Windows XP machine that only had Office 2003 or earlier and copy the fonts from there. That’s no longer necessary and you can simply download the hotfix and apply it. In reality the only thing that happens is that the fonts are replaced. You can download the hotfix here or simply wait until it makes it into Windows Updates.
After downloading and running the hotfix, you may still have a problem. If that’s the case search your computer for adobefnt*.lst. Delete any files (and there may be quite a few) where the * is a number such as adobefnt02.lst. These are font cache files that will be rebuilt the next time you launch an Adobe application. Do not delete any other files.
The result is a full array of Arial Narrow choices.
I realize that not everyone is a big fan of these typefaces but there’s nothing really wrong with them with the exception of overuse. The fact that they are overused tells me that there’s a lot of folks that are going to be pleased to see that this has been fixed.
You can read more about this on Thomas Phinney’s blog here.