Mysterious problem: Letters do not fully render on MacOS

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Souplos, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Souplos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #1
    Since a couple years back, I've been experiencing a quite irritating yet mystifying issue. It's an OS-wide text rendering problem with my macOS installation. Check the attachment to see what I'm talking about. The letters of random lines of text don't render completely, and it can happen in any place/application where text can be selected and copied (so, menu items are not affected). It actually just happened to the text I am inputting right now! The workaround that I've found is to select the affected text, and it "magically" makes the disappeared parts of the letters appear. Thus, I found that cmd+A is the best way to do it. The frequency of this problem is variable but pretty high, like one line of text per minute (it always affects one line at any given time).

    My 2008 Macbook Pro came with Leopard installed, and the issue started happening a year later, in fall 2009. Two years later, and Snow Leopard 10.6.8 has still not made a difference.

    I know it can't be hardware, because my Windows 7 installation shows no problems at all.

    Seeing that SL didn't fix the issue, I don't hold much hope about Lion. Changing resolution doesn't fix it either. What do you guys think? Is this something that only a full disk format would fix?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. treestar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #2
    It seems like a problem you would get if you had a lot of processing going on and there just wasn't enough power left to render the text. Do you have about 100 tabs and 25 applications open? Don't bother with reinstalling. Does restarting fix the problem?
     
  3. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #3
    I sometimes have that problem in MS Word while typing notes in class. It may be system wide, but if it is, I haven't noticed it.
     
  4. Souplos, Sep 4, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011

    Souplos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #4
    I wish that was the problem, but I usually don't have more than 4 tabs open, and no more than 10 applications open at any given time. It's been a long time since I had to do something more intensive than use a browser, play music and edit word/excel files (I don't play games or leave games open). Nice try though, treestar. Appreciate it.

    EDIT: And no, restarting doesn't fix the problem. I would start seeing the problem again a few seconds after the very first time I load up a browser or open a pdf file on Preview.
     
  5. RafaelT macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    #5
    Have you ever tried a totally clean install or have you done archive and isntall which leaves your files in place?
     
  6. Souplos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #6
    Haven't tried a clean install, just the upgrade. I think that's the only way to get rid of the issue. I was just hoping to find a less painful solution. Oh well, at least Lion gives me an extra incentive.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    I've seen similar glitches with fonts on my own Macs running OS X (several versions).

    I doubt a clean install will make much of a difference, if any at all.

    This seems to have something to do with how the fonts are being "rendered" onscreen by OS X as you type in text -- that's why selecting the text _after_ the "input phase" is completed displays the "missing pixels".

    It also may have something to do with "baseline height" (in pixels or points). On my Macs, I notice that it's generally the "lower parts" of letters such as "y" that get lopped off.

    I also notice that "bitmap style" fonts (such as "Geneva") are less susceptible to this.

    Sorry I can't offer any suggestions, but you're not the only one seeing this anomaly.
     
  8. Souplos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #8
    That's interesting. I'm not sure what to do now. I may or may not do a clean Lion installation. I'll seek help from a genius bar at some point.
     
  9. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    This was the first hit on a google search. Might give it a try. I didn't read it completely, but the synopsis seemed to be a similar problem to yours.
     

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