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Workaround for font issues caused by IE10 update

  • 23 replies
  • 24 have this problem
  • Last reply by WickedGirl

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There is a lot of discussion on about the right workaround or how to apply it. I'm starting this forum thread to move the discussion.

From the bug the current workarounds are:

  • in about:config set gfx.direct2d.disabled to true
  • in about:config set to cairo instead of direct2D
  • Uninstall IE10 and update KB2670838

All Replies (20)

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Hi Kensie, did you find any of those workarounds to be successful for you?

I don't know whether you captured any "before and after" screen shots illustrating the problem/solution but, if so, you can attach them to a reply to the thread.

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Another workaround is disable azure for content and use older direct2d acceleration:

  • in about:config set to false
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Let's say any of these workarounds work for me. Can anyone tell which of these workarounds has the lowest impact on performance? In what order should be these workarounds tried?

more options because doesn't disable hardware acceleration.

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QUOTE: "Let's say any of these workarounds work for me. Can anyone tell which of these workarounds has the lowest impact on performance? In what order should be these workarounds tried?"

Uninstall IE10 and then uninstall update KB2670838. This workaround has zero impact on the performance of Firefox and causes no bugs. All the other solutions affect performance and / or cause other bugs.

I've been running Firefox for months now with KB2670838 uninstalled, the experience is fast, stable and bug-free.

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I kept up with the Bugzilla thread, but I didn't want to create yet another account to post there.

Anyway, after my latest round of Windows updates (W7) and running the ClearType Text Tuner (text was blurry after updating Windows) this issue is not too bad anymore, I still see it on occasions, but it's mostly gone.

So, try that tuner and see if it helps, and please pass it on if it works for you.

ClearType Text Tuner

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Azure caused this annoying glitch that turned a webpage black when i scrolled through it. Most noticeable on YouTube. Disabling seems to have fixed it.

What were the devs THINKING, releasing 23.0.1 broken like that ...or was it an oversight?

Anyway, setting "gfx.font_rendering.opentype_svg.enabled" to "true" seems to enable direct-write without hardware-acceleration ...if that setting could be of use to someone.

Also, on an unrelated note, the text i type seems to go blank for a while when i break a new line or scroll xP

Edit: However! The issue itself does not seem to be Azure. After downgrading th FFv22.0 and going into about:config, i noticed azure's default state is on, so this can't be the issue. Furthermore, on FFv23 when i pressed the insert-link button in this form, the background would fade, but the box would not appear.

Modified by Neferius

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Hi Neferius, a webpage turning black when you scroll sounds like a different issue than the one in this thread. Have you disabled Firefox's use of hardware acceleration for graphics? Updates to graphics card drivers sometimes expose previously unnoticed incompatibilities in Firefox, which may be stable between versions.

You usually need to restart Firefox in order for this to take effect, so save all work first (e.g., mail you are composing, online documents you're editing, etc.).

(WIN) orange Firefox button (or Tools menu) > Options > Advanced
(MAC) Firefox menu > Preferences > Advanced
(LINUX) Edit menu > Preferences > Advanced

On the "General" mini-tab, uncheck the box for "Use hardware acceleration when available"

If you restart Firefox, is the issue resolved (or at least improved)?

If not, do you want to start a new thread with an update on the strange behaviors, and your OS and add-on information? You can do that here:

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Let me add my voice to the chorus:

I was having this issues. Then I set: False

And now everything is working great!

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Hey dusty-2011...I tried to follow a link that someone posted regarding KB2670838. I did not see where it was related to Firefox, but I am not a web browser guru at all. Still totally baby steps learning there. The Microsoft note on KB2670838 was long and dry. Can you say why uninstalling this update would help FF and what else on the system would be affected without having to explain a lot of crap you don't feel like explaining?  ;)

I have built and played with computers since the late 90s, and I used to be a heavy gamer, if that helps you know what to tell me. I have just never been interested enough to learn about how 2D and 3D affect every day PC use.

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Hi WickedGirl, maybe these links will help answer that:

Note: these problems started in the Spring and seem to have been related to incompatibilities with some graphics card drivers. If you haven't checked for updated drivers recently, you may want to try that, since manufacturers and system integrators have had plenty of time by now to issue updates.

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Hey jscher2000! Thanks for those links. I will read them all tonight.

As far as the graphics drivers, guess what I cannot do? Yep! I cannot update my driver. Update is a relative term anyway, since the only ATI/AMD driver now available to me is the Legacy driver (pc using Windows 8.1 is my old HP tx2500 tablet). However, I cannot use the Legacy driver at the moment. If I change my graphics driver from the default Microsoft WDDM 1.1 driver found in the Windows\System folder, I lose the ability to play a game that I have not completed yet called Adera. I had to find out this issue on my own, since the Microsoft Store/Adera people have yet to acknowledge this issue or provide support to the others having the same crashing issue at game load that I was encountering. Luckily, I figured out this problem back at the beginning of the year.

Once I finish the game, I will update to the Legacy driver. That still may not help other issues though. What I really need is to go find the customized drivers the gaming enthusiasts used to write. I have no clue if they will work on my old ATI Mobility graphics chip, but when I get time, I may check into it. It has been so long since I competitively gamed, that I do not even remember the name of the group or the drivers they wrote.

Thanks again for the links. The False adjustment in the about:config seemed to have fixed the problem for me for now. I only used it for about two hours after making the change, but I had no more blurry fonts after that.

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@ WickedGirl. Uninstalling Internet Explorer 10 and KB2670838 is one solution for the blurry font problem in Firefox. It is the solution I recommend for those that use Firefox as their primary browser because it has no performance impact on Firefox. It is also a safe solution because Internet Explorer 9 is still supported with security updates, so from a security standpoint there is no need to upgrade to IE10. For those that want to use Internet Explorer 10 as their primary browser (or have to install IE10 because they are a web developer) a different workaround is needed. Setting to false seems to be the recommended choice because it doesn't disable hardware acceleration. But I have to add that disabling azure does have a negative impact on browser performance.

I wish I could explain to you in detail why uninstalling KB2670838 fixes the Firefox fonts for you. But frankly, no one really understands the causes of this bug. Some people have made informed guesses as to the causes of the bug, but nothing is written in stone. All we know for sure is that installing KB2670838 on a computer with an Ati graphics card from a certain range (R600-R700 cards) causes blurry fonts in Firefox. Uninstalling KB2670838 fixes the problem, as you revert back to the old situation before the update KB2670838 was issued.

Updating your graphics drivers will not help resolve this issue. There is still a chance that a future driver update will resolve the issue but right now no such drivers exist.

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Seems like nobody has tried my band-aid workaround.

I'll repeat it here, it only takes a few moments and certainly far less work than trying on different drivers and disabling switches on about:config, and at least on W7, it's built-in into Windows. If it doesn't work, then so be it. You have nothing to lose.

Run the ClearType Text Tuner, and most of the issues will be gone, you can have IE10 installed, and you don't have to compromise Firefox by disabling anything.

I kept up with the BugZilla thread and simply put up with this for months on my laptop which I leave at work (W7, 4670). After running the Tuner, I only have this issue when the Library is open (only on the Library window), and sometimes on I don't see any text corruption otherwise.

I always have the latest ATI driver installed, and Windows is always patched at the latest a few days after Patch Tuesday. I don't know if it makes a difference, but on the Tuner, I always pick the fonts that look the heaviest.

Try it, here it is again,

ClearType Text Tuner

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@Heiji1412. Your workaround does not work. The buggy fonts in Firefox caused by KB2670838 occur at all settings of the ClearType Text Tuner. You immediately give two examples yourself for which your so-called workaround does not work. And the ClearType Text Tuner affects all programs, not just Firefox. So I would recommend to pick the font that look best to you on your screen, and not simply pick the heaviest looking font.

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That's why I said it was a band-aid workaround, not a solution. I said in both my posts that it got rid of MOST of the problems, NOT ALL. I put up with this issue for months on my laptop (the only system I have with an ATI card), I went from having this issue 90% of the time, to just a few instances. While I prefer a proper solution, it's better than nothing and having read the entirety of that Bugzilla page, I doubt this will get promply solved, if at all, which is a shame.

Fortunately for me, this isn't my main system, I often can specifically remember the one or two things I've done to it on a daily basis. I can remember specifically after running the Tuner, I have zero corruption on this page compared to previously, and I thought it might help some people, if it doesn't work for you, then there's definitely more to this.

I never said the Tuner only works on Firefox. I linked to page from Microsoft, for Windows, not a Mozilla and/or Firefox support page. If I did imply that, perhaps I should have been more clear. And I always pick the heaviest looking font in the Tuner, because that's what looks best to me, I was simply giving more information. Again, maybe I should have been more clear on that.

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  • Running Clear Type Text Tuner is the very first thing I did. It did not help at all.
  • I cannot uninstall Internet Explorer 10 or the KB2670838 that jscher2000 recommended I uninstall. Neither one is listed in my updates history list. All my updates in history were wiped out upon upgrading to Windows 8.1.
  • The change in about:config, setting to false, worked beautifully. Unfortunately, I am now having constant Firefox freezing issues.

I will be backing up my PC and reverting to Windows 8 this week. I had no problems with Windows 8 and I am having nightmare problems with Windows 8.1. This could simply be because my laptop is five years old, or it could be because the chain of progression for OS updates on my system has been Vista, upgraded to Windows 8, upgraded to Windows 8.1. It may simply be time for a clean install of an OS...any OS...just cleanly performed. I will keep monitoring and posting here as I come across anything of interest.

Modified by WickedGirl

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Hi WickedGirl, I'm sorry to hear about the freezing. That's probably related to something else entirely. If your experience is like mine, you might have the issue with Flash described in this thread: Flash hangs Firefox (eventually get script continue/stop dialog).

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Thanks jscher....I have read the link. Again some very good info for me. I appreciate it all. I fear that my little HP laptop that I love so much is just simply getting too old. Boohoo! That doesn't mean that I will not be trying out the cfg change mentioned in your link. I am just a little security freaky, having completed two years of a Computer Security/Forensics degree. However, I have other systems in place to protect or help protect my own system. I am starting to wonder if all the added "protection" crap in various programs is not just overloading systems unnecessarily. Just let us all run our web browsers in one sandbox and be done with it. For that matter, DeepFreeze or even Sandboxie or a simple virtual machine set up for things like web browsing should avoid the need for overly elaborate code that does nothing more than bog down older, but still perfectly serviceable PCs. Not to mention, I HATE Adobe products. OK, I am done ranting for the moment.  :)

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