My whole set of fonts suddenly changed

The whole set of fonts suddenly changed.
None of the fonts used in my complicated spreadsheet exist any more. I kept working despite the messed up display, because I really need to do things with this spreadsheet every day. But it is a growing problem.

I don’t know exactly when or why it changed. I don’t know enough about the various logs in Fedora to diagnose it. I have not done any of the many pending updates since before the problem started. I’m using KDE Fedora 35. The few new packages I did install recently are not things I would expect to affect fonts.

I don’t know where Fedora stores fonts.

I would really appreciate any guidance on how to diagnose and correct this problem.

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Are you using libre office spreadsheets? If so did the fonts change on the entire interface or just on the spreadsheet?

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Other than libre office, I don’t know what (if any) programs I use that offer choices of fonts. There probably are some. But I’m not thinking of them at the moment.

My first guess was that the problem was in the individual spreadsheet. So I opened an old backup of the spreadsheet that I had not touched in months. It had the same problems.

I can’t say for sure that the problem exists outside of Libre Office Calc. But it is NOT limited to recently changed spreadsheets.

Same thing recently happened to me using libre office so I moved to wps… Only Office to me is also a better alternative… The only thing I can think of is switching… Granted you might have to manually change fonts back manually afterwards. But I’m not sure. I would wait for someone else’s input but I do still recommend changing to a different office suite.

I just double-checked my installation here, and the fonts are fine. I’m on F35 with Gnome though:

$ rpm -qa \*libreoffice\*
libreoffice-data-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.noarch
libreoffice-ure-common-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.noarch
libreoffice-opensymbol-fonts-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.noarch
libreoffice-help-en-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-langpack-en-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-ure-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-x11-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-core-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-gtk3-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-pyuno-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-pdfimport-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-graphicfilter-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-writer-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-calc-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-ogltrans-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-impress-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-xsltfilter-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-filters-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-emailmerge-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-draw-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-math-7.2.5.2-4.fc35.x86_64

Is this libreoffice from the repositories, or is it a Flatpak? Can you provide the version of libreoffice you are using please? If you can take a screenshot in an example spreadsheet, that’ll be useful too.

Next, have you customised your user preferences in anyway? For example, did you install any fonts manually or are they from the packages? Can you create a new user to see if the issue persists please? That’ll tell us if it’s a system issue or something limited to your user particular user account.

A good thing to do is to run the updates and reboot and see how that goes. If you installed packages or changed any packages, it could just be a case of some files changing on disc and causing weird issues. The offline update method that is default in Fedora now is intended to prevent such issues that can crop up from time to time.

I gave that same command (later I’ll try to look up what that command means):

[john@linux /]$ rpm -qa *libreoffice*
libreoffice-data-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.noarch
libreoffice-ure-common-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.noarch
libreoffice-opensymbol-fonts-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.noarch
libreoffice-help-en-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-langpack-en-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-kf5-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-ure-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-x11-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-core-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-gtk3-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-pyuno-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-pdfimport-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-graphicfilter-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-writer-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-ogltrans-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-impress-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-emailmerge-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-draw-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-calc-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64
libreoffice-math-7.2.5.2-1.fc35.x86_64

So far as I can understand, the output of that command is not (yet) guiding me to diagnosing this problem.

The current (new and strange to me) list of fonts is shown in this screenshot. The second on the list (Courier) was added by my attempt to get a usable fixed width font to do some work I needed immediately. It did not work (was unusable and in no way similar to the courier I had and used before). The rest are what this list suddenly became as a result of I don’t yet know what. I don’t have a copy of what it was before. But not at all similar. The foreign alphabets here are not anything I use, and so far as I recall were not there in any form before. Most of my spreadsheet is in Arial, which was the default before and doesn’t exist now. Important parts were in “Courier 10 Pitch”, which also no longer exists.

I am very scared to try that.

Shortly after I last updated, there were posts here indicating that the next kernel update broke systems very similar to mine. I have two high res portrait mode displays running on a very obsolete Nvidia card that does not work with nouveau and works (but with risk of breaking on any kernel update) with the most obsolete available nvidia driver.

Before switching to Fedora, I used Centos for many years (just using it, not understanding it). I then installed a package that updated some other package and broke several things. So I tried backing it out, but the old version wasn’t available, then tried updating everything, after which I never got anything to work again in Centos.

I keep hoping to find a solid block of time during which I don’t desperately NEED this computer, in which to try updates. But for quite a while I haven’t been finding that time.

Your packages look fine.

How did you install Arial and the other fonts? It’s a Windows font that isn’t in the repositories?

Does it work OK if you create a new user? Not with an Arial font, just the default Linux fonts?

Your Linux fonts look fine. They are the same that I have:

Thanks. You have certainly reframed the problem. I thought it had been normal before but suddenly broke.
You are saying it was non standard before and suddenly became standard (and for me, broken).

I did not knowingly install Windows fonts on Fedora. But when I installed Fedora, I did copy the ~/.config/libreoffice/4 directory from my broken install of Centos to my new install of Fedora. That got me many macros and settings etc. that I had been using for years on Centos and depend on and no longer easily know how to set up.
If something was odd in Libreoffice before this failure, that is the most likely source, so I will look in more detail there. I’m used to the recurring problem that libreoffice occasionally replaces the file
~/.config/libreoffice/4/user/basic/Module1.xba
with a default version. That destroys all the macros I depend on (so I have a backup I can copy to repair that).
Maybe something else in that directory tree got destroyed.

I make (many) daily changes to my spreadsheets on Fedora, but I need to occasionally load and read them on Windows. So reducing the Windows compatibility would be a bad idea.

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Yeh, it’s possible that some package update redid the font-cache etc. so you lost your changes/customisation. What version of Libreoffice were you using on CentOS? It is also possible that the version on Fedora is newer (most likely that it is), and so some configuration files have changed?

I think there are rpm packages out there that you can use to install Microsoft fonts too. Here’s a post I found:

More information on installing fonts here:

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/fonts/#user-fonts