1 2 3 Previous Next 159 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2017 9:31 AM by scottworld

    Weird font substitution problem


      Hi there,


      So this might be one of the strangest problems that I have ever seen in FileMaker.


      We have a FileMaker 15 file with 300 layouts. All of these layouts were created back in FileMaker 10, and all of the layouts are using the Classic theme. On all 300 layouts, the font for all the fields and field labels throughout the entire system was either set to Verdana (12 point) or Lucida Grande (10 point).


      The file is not corrupt... it passes the consistency check and the recovery with no problems found. This file is being hosted with FileMaker Server 15.0.3 on OS X 10.11.6, and the client machines are all running FMP 15.0.2 on OS X 10.11.6.


      Everything has been working fine with the file for ages, and then suddenly, just a few hours ago, all 300 of the layouts have actually CHANGED the fonts on all the layouts! All the fonts throughout the entire system have changed! What was formerly Verdana 12 point is now Arial 12 point. and what was formerly Lucida Grande 10 point is now an "empty" font (no font name shows up in FileMaker) at 10 point.


      The font changes have taken place AT THE LAYOUT LEVEL. If I go into layout mode, and click on any field, the "new" font and the "new" font size is what is shown in the "Format > Font" menu. So it's not some sort of "superficial" font substitution of text that's happening here... these font changes have actually taken place AT THE LAYOUT LEVEL. Crazy, I know!


      Last night’s backup of this file? Everything is fine at the layout level. Today’s file? Everything is wrong at the layout level.


      It seems as if somebody completely changed the theme for the entire file, but:

      (a) Within the last 7 days, nobody has logged in as the [Full Access] user — which is the ONLY user that has access to modifying layouts.

      (b) Every layout is still listed as the Classic theme, which can’t be modified. So nobody has modified the theme at all. The style throughout the system is still set to “Default style” as well.


      Even if we stop hosting the file on FileMaker Server and open the file LOCALLY on any Mac's desktop, the same problem remains. This problem happens on all machines. Every single layout has the "new" font and "new" font size for all of its objects. Whether the file is opened remotely or opened locally, the "new" fonts are showing up on all the layouts in layout mode.


      Font Book has all the right fonts installed, there are no font conflicts, there are no duplicate fonts. And this happens on all machines. The actual layouts have all been changed.


      So now, we have 300 layouts that all have the wrong font for all the fields. I suppose that the quickest fix to this would be to duplicate the Classic theme as a new theme, get the new theme set with all the fonts that we want, and then apply the new theme to all 300 layouts.


      But I'm extremely concerned about how this could have happened in the first place, and what can be done to prevent this in the future. Ideally, if there is some other way to fix this without creating a new theme, that would be incredible.




        • 1. Re: Weird font substitution problem

          Update on this situation:

          I saved both a compressed copy and a cloned copy of this file, and the same problem remains in both the compressed copy and the cloned copy.

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          • 2. Re: Weird font substitution problem

            I ran a File > Recover on this file, and everything turned out fine. See screenshot below.


            I also ran FMDiff on the file, and it found no errors in the file as well.


            So there seems to be absolutely no problems nor corruption within in this file.


            That seems to be good news, although I still have absolutely no idea how FileMaker Pro (or FileMaker Server) could have possibly altered all 300 layouts in this file to have a brand new font.


            So this is quite a disturbing font problem in FileMaker Pro, although I suppose it's somewhat comforting that the file has no damage in it. Still not sure how this problem could have ever happened to a FileMaker file.


            Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 10.14.45 AM.png

            • 3. Re: Weird font substitution problem

              One crazy theory I had is that perhaps FileMaker has some problem with fonts in files that are over a certain size. This file is 22.74 GB before saving it as a compressed file, and it is 19.12 GB after saving it as a compressed file.


              So maybe we reached some weird file size bug that starts messing with fonts in the system. Just an idea.


              There are no container files stored internally in container fields -- all container files are stored EXTERNALLY to this database, so that lets you know how large this system really is -- because its large file size has nothing to do with container files.

              • 4. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                What font information, if any, do these objects have in the DDR/clipboard xml (now and in the backup that's OK)?

                • 5. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                  i would compare the backup and the broken file with FMDiff (there is a trial version if you don't have it) maybe something shows up ..

                  • 6. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                    Great idea! We actually do own a licensed copy of FMDiff, so I just used it for its intended purposes right now -- comparing 2 files to each other!


                    I just received the results of the report as an HTML file. Do you know how to interpret the results of the HTML report that FMDiff created? I've attached FMDiff's HTML report to this post.


                    Most of the changes look normal: higher auto-entered serial # in some tables, higher record count in some tables, etc.


                    However, there are a few things that look strange to me:

                    - The "Global Window Settings" value has changed. Isn't this ONLY possible if the FileMaker file was opened locally on a local hard drive, as opposed to opening remotely on a FileMaker Server?

                    - It shows that several fonts were changed from "Verdana" to "Arial", which is the exact problem we're experiencing.

                    - Oddly, it shows that a new font was added called ".SF NS Text". Not sure what that means.




                    • 7. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                      Thanks, that's a great question and great idea. I used FMDiff to compare the 2 files (see results above), but I'm not sure how to properly interpret the DDR's XML Report between the 2 files. Thoughts on how to successful compare the 2 files? I suppose I can use the "compare" function within BaseElements to spit out a report of the differences. Did you have a different idea in mind?

                      • 8. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                        For comparing the DDR, I'd probably just start by manually comparing a couple of instances by opening the xml files in a text editor and searching for a few objects displaying the issue, assuming that the font issue is the same in all places. In BBEdit etc, you can of course also do a file comparison.

                        If those quick checks don't already give you any clear indications of changes (or the lack thereof), yes, I would run a diff/comparison report in CrossCheck or BaseElements.

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                        • 9. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                          ok Scott - i reviewed the FMDiff report and it actually shows the fonts swapped!

                          it also confirms that no other changes in schema happened.


                          now the font swap how that happened I cannot answer right now.


                          i would file a bug report.

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                          • 10. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                            also i can see a font has been added called Font “.SF NS Text”

                            • 11. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                              Thanks so much. Hopefully, TSGal will be able to file this as a bug report for me.

                              • 12. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                                Thanks... I'm going to work on that now.

                                • 13. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                                  This probably doesn't make much of a difference, but I have discovered that the fonts got swapped between 9am and 10am on Friday morning. We have FileMaker Server making hourly backups. Our Friday 9am backup was perfectly fine (the normal fonts), and our Friday 10am backup was swapped out with the wrong fonts at the layout level.

                                  • 14. Re: Weird font substitution problem

                                    i would check the server log about access between that time frame - just to get more info

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