Bold text not displaying properly in Rise

Nov 30, 2017

Recently we've noticed an issue where sometimes bold text displays oddly in our Rise courses, and were wondering if anyone could shed some light on this. The problem is persistent across multiple browsers (I've checked with Firefox 57.0 and Chrome 62.0.3202.94) and multiple types of display (but only on some of our machines, not all). We're using the Open Sans font, size 17 (the text is fine in other sizes). The issue is also present in preview mode and Review, but curiously not in the screenshots generated with Review comments.

It's most noticeable with the lowercase i character which just becomes a solid line, but most letters look a bit off. If I change the zoom level it displays properly. I've also come across an instance where within a single word the font changes from being normal to having these display problems.

I have attached screenshots of the text that's playing up, the Review screenshot which shows the text as it should be, and the instance in which the way the text displays changes mid-word.

44 Replies
Tim Harris

Thanks for the response, Ashley. Looking between 50% and 200%, I'm only seeing this at 100% zoom in both browsers. The font's also a bit muddy-looking with some of the smaller gaps in letters appearing to be filled in at lower zoom levels until you get down to 67% (at which point the text matches the roman characters around it noticeably better). From memory it was also only an issue with font size 17, although I only checked other sizes at 100% magnification.

EDIT: Added screenshots

Mark Wilson

Has there been update on this? I am having the exact same problem as Tim. We also use size 17 Open Sans font.

I've noticed this on the first Rise course I've made in the last couple of months. I feel like this problem wasn't there in the past as I've made dozen of courses and this is the first time I've noticed this problem.

Leslie McKerchie

Hey Tim,

It has been awhile, so I appreciate you popping in with your follow up questions.

I wanted to share some information on how we define bugs and how we tackle them when they occur in case it's helpful.

We are tracking the user impact at this time and I do not have an update. The report is specific to Open Sans size 17.

Tim Harris

Thanks Leslie, disappointed by the lack of progress but appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Could you please explain to me what you mean when you say that you are tracking the user impact? The detrimental effect upon legibility seems pretty straightforward to me, and given that the default font size is 17 this will affect any Rise user who wants to use Open Sans, which is a common web font.

Leslie McKerchie

I understand Tim. 

I just took another look and I'm not seeing the same issue that was originally reported here.

When this issue was reported, it was noted for Chrome 62 and Firefox 57.

I actually just took a look and I'm not seeing the issue that was initially reported when using:

  • Chrome Version 65.0.3325.181
  • Firefox 59.0.2 

I'm attaching some of my files with different zoom settings and all using Open Sans font.

What versions of the browsers are you using and if you're still having the issue, what Operating System are you on? I'd be happy to take another look.

Tim Harris

Hi Leslie,

It doesn't show up on all of our screens, but certainly the bulk of them. I'm still seeing it, using Windows 7 with the same version of Chrome as you. Also updated Firefox to 59.0.2 and IE to 11.0.0600.18952 and it showed up there, too. I've emailed around a few people over the last couple of days to see who was and wasn't affected, and I got a bit of a mix of responses.

There were four others using Windows 7 and the same version of Chrome, of those three were seeing it and one was not.

Of four Windows 10 users, we had:

  • one who had the issue, again using the same version of Chrome again (it also showed up for them in Firefox Quantum 58.0.2 and Microsoft Edge 41.16299.248.0)
  • three who had some of the letters a bit off (e.g. the q character still has a chunk missing) but not quite the extent of bleed as I'm seeing on the i and the j. Two of those were also using Chrome, the other was using Edge 41.16299.248.0.

Our designer uses a Mac, it was fine for her using the current version of Chrome.

Thanks for looking into this, it’s really important for readability and directly affects our students. I hope some of this information helps.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks Tim, that's incredibly helpful information. I'm also able to see it in Windows 10 Chrome ver 65. I'll bring this back up to our team - it's a fairly limited issue based on that font, Windows browsers and the zoom setting of the browser so that's a piece of the impact Leslie was mentioning. 

Tim Harris

Thanks Ashley – we want to know that something is being done about it and it’s not just being dismissed. This bug causes readability issues for our students (which is part of the greater accessibility concern). From our perspective, it’s not that limited an issue as the majority of us see it, and I imagine there are also more Rise users out there like Stephen.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Tim,

I've shared your insight with our Rise product team - and I'll keep you posted here as I have any updates. 

Are your users restricted to using Chrome or having it at that zoom percentage? Those may be two pieces to look into if you don't want to change the font throughout the course.

Tim Harris

Hi Ashley, thanks for your continued discussion on this topic. However, I’m afraid these suggestions aren’t very realistic options for us. Our students all use their own devices; we don’t control which browser, OS, platform or settings they choose to use (Rise’s universal compatibility was a large part of its draw for us), and in any case we’ve seen the bug on all other major browsers as well — it just so happens that most of our staff use Chrome. I also suspect the number of students who habitually set their browser’s zoom at anything other than 100% will be negligible.

As far as the font goes, Open Sans was carefully selected as part of our brand guidelines (we use it for absolutely everything) and changing it is not a viable course of action for us.

Katie Riggio

Hi, Tim. Thanks for continuing to share your valuable insight here! We never want you to worry about a course being illegible—that's why our team is here to help.

Just a quick update that we've compiled various examples from testing. It seems limited to Windows browsers and our team is investigating that.

I can appreciate how frustrating waiting for updates can be – but please know you're in the right place. We know how important this issue is and we're working every day to make Rise (and Articulate 360) a tool you love! It's our promise.

Alexander Bennetts

Thanks Leslie!

Open Sans 17px is what we're using, yes. It's the default Open Sans size, so it would be a pain to have to change every font item we've used in our hundreds of courses.

Going forward, it'd still take a lot of time to change every instance of the default font size to something slightly bigger/smaller.


Martika Cox

Hi Andrew and Tim,

I'm sorry you're both experiencing an issue with OpenSans font. Our team determined that this is not a bug in Rise 360 and it appears to be an external issue. Our default font size in Rise 360 is 17px but if you're going to use OpenSans we suggest going up or down a point. 

If you have any more questions please reach out.

Tim Harris

Hi Martika. We’re a bit confused by your response over here as we’re not sure how this could be a purely external issue, would you be able to explain how your team came to that conclusion and what you believe to be causing it? It seems very unlikely to us to be anything but an issue on Rise’s end, given that:

  • Open Sans is a very common web font which displays fine for us elsewhere.
  • The issue is persistent across all Windows browsers for multiple users (from my little internal survey above it looks like it affects somewhere between 50 and 100% of windows users, we’ve had feedback from external customers thinking there’s a misspelling or incorrect word used in our course due to the lowercase i appearing like either a capital I or lowercase l, as you can see from the posts here other Rise users have encountered the issue, and once they knew what to look for your customer support staff were able to see it too).
  • Prior to December 2017 17pt Open Sans text displayed fine in Rise, after which point the way it displays changed for all the users mentioned above.

I’d also like to note that, as has been mentioned above, changing the font size manually in every single block in all of our Rise courses is not a reasonable solution to this problem. Perhaps if there was a single course-level default text size setting we could change it would be viable (although even that would mean making that change and republishing hundreds of SCORM packages). That would still be a lot of effort, but maybe worth it because this is a really big deal for us given that it can make it unclear what a word’s supposed to be, aside from being ugly and difficult to read.