A few days ago my MacBook Pro lost half of it's Arial "p." I've got no idea how this happened. All I know is that certain web sites which use the Arial font (Google, for one) suddenly were weird to read.
Picture a "p" that's missing it's straight vertical line. What's left is a backward "c." Well, if I looked closely I could discern a faint shadow of the missing "p" line. It was very hard to see, though.
When I phoned Apple support the first guy I talked to was mystified. He checked on his computer to see if any other Macintosh user had complained about a half-disappeared Arial lower case "p."
There was nothing in the Apple computer knowledge base about this. I sensed that the support guy wasn't totally convinced that my problem was real. Couldn't blame him, given what I was saying.
All I want is the other half of my MacBook's Arial 'p' back. Can't you give me a download of the missing straight line? The other Arial numbers and letters are fine. I'm just missing half of the lower case 'p.' This is irritating, though. I never realized how many words have a 'p' in them until I tried to read Google search results where every 'p' looked like a backward 'c.'
If I was him, I would have done just what he did. "I'm going to transfer you to a font specialist," he told me. "Hopefully he can help you, because I have no idea what to do."
I love Apple support.
Every time I call for assistance with a problem (I always buy Apple Care along with a new device; it's well worth the money) I get to talk with highly competent, courteous, friendly support staff. Yesterday was no exception.
The font specialist was on the phone almost instantly after Stumped Support Guy transferred me. After hearing my sad tale of the missing straight line on my Arial 'p,' he also dug into the Apple support history/ knowledge base/ or whatever it's called.
I was on hold for a few minutes while he did this.
When he came back on the line, I was told: "Nobody has ever had this problem before." "Wow! I'm unique," I said. "That's great. I suspected this when I Googled Safari Arial font missing p and got zero relevant hits. How often does that happen with a Google search?"
Not surprisingly, the font specialist wanted to rule out customer insanity, bad eyesight, or a late April Fool's joke before spending any more time with me. He didn't express himself that directly, simply saying "I'd like you to email me a screenshot of what you're talking about."
"No problem," i replied. "I've already got screenshots of how the Arial font looks in Font Book [Apple's font manager]. Also, in Pages, where the lower case 'p' is missing it's straight line too."
Here's what I sent the font specialist:
Somehow one half of one lower case letter in the Arial font library had gotten screwed up. I recalled that a recent Apple Software Update included an item that had something to do with fonts. But I couldn't understand how this could produce a half-disappeared 'p.'
If you ever have this problem -- and there's an extremely little chance that you will -- here's how Apple support solved it. The font specialist had me restart my MacBook in safe mode (by holding down the shift key after clicking "restart").
My computer took a long time to restart in safe mode. The font specialist stayed on the phone with me as I relayed fascinating status information to him. "Nothing yet... little ball is still whirling around... still nothing... ooh ooh, a blue screen!... we're getting somewhere."
When I looked at Font Book in safe mode, there was no Arial font at all. The support guy seemed sort of surprised at this. Then he said, "Restart your computer normally."
I wasn't expecting much, given that we hadn't changed anything on my MacBook other than to start it up in safe mode. But this produced some sort of font magic, because after it started up normally the straight line on Arial's lower case 'p' had returned.
Apple support came through again. Hanging up the phone, my computer's Arial 'p' restored to its usual shape, I felt a warm glow toward all things Apple'ish.
This is how a tech company succeeds: make great products; and when something goes wrong with them, offer great customer support.