Ubuntu: Why is the font spacing on some websites broken?


I am using Ubuntu 12.04 on a Dell Studio 15 and so far am really impressed.

I could not find a solution for my problem by googling.

The fonts on some websites do not have proper spacing. they overlap and are very hard to read that way. I am using the Ubuntu standard fonts and have not changed them after installing.

Here is a screen shot that shows my problem.

line spacing browser issue

The problem occurs in Firefox and Chrome the same way, and on the same websites.

Thanks for your help.


it was "Helvetica" for me. Had to install for some Scribus compatibility and since started noticing fonts overlapping everywhere - documents, web pages, web-based editors. Removing the font fixed the issue.

Yet to figure out why the incompatibility but as far as this issue is concerned, look for that font or any other recently installed fonts.


In Firefox, check your zoom setting and character encoding. Reset the former and the usual default for the latter is UTF-8.


Finally! i fixed it.

there where some botched fonts installend in my /home/.fonts/ directory.

I deleted them now everything is fine.


Please make sure that you have updated your system.

You could try (however I think that might not help ...) to install ms core fonts from the software center (just search for that). Many websites use these fonts, so that could be a problem.

I do not experience this issue in firefox


I had the same problem in a 11.10 version of Ubuntu. As far as I remember it occured after accidentally deleting one of the system fonts from /usr/share/fonts . I upgraded to 12.04 in the meantime but the problem persists. I noticed that installing some fonts fixes the problem on some pages but not on all of them (can remember exactly now but I think that after installing mscore-fonts a dreamhost page started displaying correctlly) . I suspect that the default browser serif or sans-serif might be missing or sth...

in my case also sometimes fonts are too big for a text field or underline is crossing them out instead.


I managed to confirm that problem is caused by badly installed or missing fonts. I repaired display on github page deactivating my Helvetica font using 'font manager' (you can download it from software center), and it started rendering Arial instead. It seems like Helvetica installed on my system had wrong spacing or sth.

You can check the fonts used on websites using Mozilla firebug plugin, and 'inspect element' css styles 'font-family'.

hope it helps


sudo apt-get install xfs xfstt  

This fixed it for me, after much troubleshoting with fonts.

Seems like I managed to uninstall it somehow.


do you install ubuntu-restricted-extras ?

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras  

this package have

ttf-mscorefonts-installer      Installer for Microsoft TrueType core fonts   

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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