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OpenType font display problems in Flash

29 December, 2012 by Tom Elliott

I recently came across an usual and very issue frustrating issue in Flash, whereby a number of OpenType fonts were not displaying at all – both on the stage and when publishing a .swf file. This included Gotham, Interstate, Helvetica and Zapfino OpenType fonts.

Strangely, these fonts would appear when typing in a newly created text box but as soon as the text box was de-selected, the text vanished and the containing text box could not be re-selected. This was when using standard ‘classic text’, static text type. In addition, the font looked fine in the drop down preview box within Flash and in various other software packages including Photoshop and the issue affected both CS5.5 and CS4 versions I was using.

After various Google searches, head-scratching and trial and error, the following steps fixed the font display issue I was experiencing in Flash:

1. Create a new Flash ActionScript 3.0 document
2. Create a new text box (classic, static text) and type a few characters using a font that vanishes
3. Change text box type from ‘Classic Text’ to ‘TLF Text’
4. In Publish Settings, select Flash Player 9 and OK when the pop-up warning box about TLF support appears
5. The text box should have automatically converted back to classic text and the font should now display fine
6. Restart Flash – all fonts should now display as normal.

Hopefully this will help anyone experiencing the same issue!