Letters 't' and 'f' going missing in Storyline 360 for small population of users?

Jan 27, 2017

I am getting some really odd feedback for one of our Storyline 360 courses (published for HTML5 with Flash backup). Has anyone encountered this / knows what is going on? Unfortunately I haven't been able to replicate the issue. Here are some of the comments the course is getting:

  • "Why are all the t's and f's missing?"
  • "Most all T's and F's are missing"
  • When opened in Explorer there were missing letter so it was very hard to read.
  • "Some of the slides had letters missing"
  • "All the missing letters were very odd. Was there a point?"
  • "The content was difficult to read mostly because of there were letters missing throughout the slides. It seemed mainly all the "t's" and "f's"
  • Why are all the t's and f's missing? That was very strange and might be very hard for people with visual difficulties.
  • several letters were missing difficult to read.
352 Replies
Sam Carter
Mike Olivieri

Hi all! I’d like to provide some more detail on why the solutions we shared above are the way to go.

You should get out in the industry a little more.  Suggesting a solution that thousands of end-users need to implement... wow, I am at a loss for good words here.

Storyline needs to implement a fall back to some other font if the browser can't download the specified font.  Maybe all fonts could be downloaded up front on slide 1. Alternatives on the workstation selected if any fail to load.

Brian Cameron

Mike, Thanks for summarizing the solutions in the thread, unfortunately here are the reason why these solutions are not viable for my company and many of the other developers here:

Enable the Font Download Setting in Internet Explorer: We cannot guarantee control over the end users environment or security settings. With customer that are large businesses, their corporate IT controls these settings and is often not willing to change them just for a training course / courses. Additionally, expecting the end user to change settings is just asking for a lot of support desk calls on the subject.

Whitelist the Website Where Your Content Is Hosted: Once again this falls under Corporate IT for the customers and is outside our control. Not to mention it looks bad on us to have created content that does not come ready to go, and needs their corporate IT involved to get things working correctly.

View the Flash Output in Internet Explorer: Flash will no longer be supported in the coming years and will soon be getting blocked by all Businesses IT departments for security reasons because of this. Flash is not a solution for the long term. Many of our customers are already aware of this and demand learning to be created that is not flash dependent in any way.

Switch to a Different Web Browser: Once again this is outside of our control and falls in the realm of the customers Corporate IT. Many have IE set as the default browser and will not support the usage of an alternate browser just for training purposes.

I think the key is that all of these requires us to request that our customer change some reasonable security settings on their end in order to support our courses and this reflex badly on us as developers (no matter the reasoning behind it). No customer wants to have the hassle of having to tell everyone in their business to switch settings, or harass their IT department to change their security measures to allow for training courses. They rightfully demand that what we deliver is ready to go and works in their system.

If Storyline is not going to create a fallback mechanism for this issue, it needs to flag any fonts that will have this issue when they are used to warn users of this potential problem at the very least. That way people will see that an issue may be caused by the usage of the font they have selected, and when something does happen, they will know "oh yeah that warning popped up about this exact thing" rather then having to scour the forums for answers.

Frankly I am a bit surprised that creation of a fallback for this is not a higher priority, as it has a big impact on large scale training development and many of us have expressed the fact that this issue has led us to using other tools instead. We need to be extremely flexible as developers to work in whatever environment our customers have, and this is something that restricts Storylines flexibility and in turn usability.

Hopefully this helps to inform the storyline team on why the issue should still be considered a priority problem even with potential work-arounds. I think everyone posting here would prefer to use the tool if possible but this is the kind of think that could remove it as a possibility.


Lynn Wonsick

We are having the same issue.  I just downloaded the newest version of Studio 360 and the Calibri font is changing to a serif font (looks like Times New Roman and missing f's and t's.  But only on certain computers using IE 11.  It is published with HTML 5 first with flash back up.  I cannot seem to figure out what is causing the issue. But apparently I am not alone with this issue.  Do you know what could be causing the issue?  It is loaded into Cornerstone LMS and our users are accessing it from there.

Tim Golden

Forgive me if this has already been answered and I missed it in the thread, but...

Could Support or Staff clarify - there's an implication based on the workarounds provided that the fix is all based on the browser...but I'm not sure if I see a clear answer to the question 'Is Articulate looking at this as something they need to deal with and adjust for - regardless of terminology (Articulate break or poor design of IE).  Is Articulate moving forward with trying to find a way to adjust the authoring tools so our clients don't have this issue?


Small company here but we'll have to completely jettison Articulate content if the issues stays where it is.  I reallllly don't want to go back to Captivate.  Have been an advocate and fan for Articulate for a long time.

Lynn Wonsick

There are a lot more issues than just choosing the font, I have found. New Time Roman will only work if that happens to be the default font for the IE browser's settings for that computer. Plus spacing and other items, such as bullets are convoluted.

Lynn W. Wonsick, MEd | Director of Education and Development
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Mike Olivieri

Hi all,

The way we currently handle Storyline HTML5 fonts with ligatures makes it so the font quality matches in Storyline and in the published output. While this works well for the majority of use cases, we know that it causes problems in Internet Explorer when a security setting is enabled that prohibits web fonts from being downloaded. We hear you that this is painful. And we’ve come up with a solution to address it. It’s not going to be an easy fix, so we can’t give an ETA just yet, but it is definitely at the top of the priority list.

Tracy Carroll

Hi Ephraim, I'm using Calibri in the body text, Roboto for headers. Calibri in the player. It's the Calibri text that is messed up.

If I have to change all the text in all the modules to Verdana, then that will mean a lot of work and resizing, since Verdana is so much larger than Calibri!

Tracy Carroll

So, you're saying there is no such thing as a universally accepted font that IE will display properly? Because obviously it's impossible for me to control the default IE settings of all learners.

In that case, I might as well just tell clients that IE is not compatible with Storyline.

Lynn Wonsick

I am saying that right now the only assurance we have found after exhaustive trials is to use Chrome as the browser. It is something in IE that has to do with trusted sites and permission settings and you need to allow font download setting to trusted sites and name the site of your course as a trusted site. Fortunately my organization could massively make those settings to our 50,000 computers. When people use theirs home computers we advise them to us Chrome as the browser.

Lynn Wonsick

Will Findlay

I'm not sure if it is worth bringing up again, but an interim fix would be provide a setting that makes Flash the priority output for IE, e.g. a publish setting that is HTML5 first/Flash second for Chrome, and Flash first/HTML5 second for IE.

In my experience people who use IE generally still have Flash installed in IE.  IE isn't as fussy as Chrome about playing Flash content, so making Flash the priority for IE, and HTML5 the priority for Chrome would seem to be a good compromise for the time being.

Sam Carter
Will Findlay

In my experience people who use IE generally still have Flash installed in IE. 

In 2017, most of our clients removed Flash from company desktops to better secure company computing equipment against malicious attacks that target Flash vulnerabilities.

Still, there are plenty of companies less concerned about information security.

IT Econometrica

Lynn, I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. The issue involves some users IE settings being locked down, so that they can't reliably download and render fonts that are not already installed on their computers. While we wait on Articulate to work on a better solution, there are three workarounds as I see it:

  1. Advise users to access content via another browser (not always an option, i.e. government)
  2. Advise users that their IT department needs to update their security settings and allow fonts (not an easy ask of clients/learners)
  3. Develop content with a font that we can reasonably expect users to have preinstalled on their computers, and thus bypassing the issue entirely

Fortunately I wasn't too far into our project development when we discovered the issue (it helps to have extensive pilot testing EARLY in the process). We had to completely revamp our first module, and the template, to use only Verdana. There are a few other safe fonts, like Arial, Times New Roman, etc.

What's more, there are probably fonts that deprecate more reliably as well. For instance, Tracy makes it sound like Roboto didn't have any issues.