Font funkiness - 10.3.9 vs. 10.4

So I’ve got my app built so it runs on 10.3.9 and 10.4

The problem is that the fonts look fine in 10.4 but wrong in 10.3.9. The typeface is different and the point size is larger.

I tried the JUCE demo from the web site and it had the same issue - looks fine in 10.4 but off in 10.3.9.

I can post screenshots if that’ll help.

Any thoughts?


Looks like the 10.3.9 partition on the Mac I’m trying doesn’t have the Verdana font. Copying Verdana to that partition fixed the problem.

I tried another 10.3.9 Mac which had Verdana and the app looked fine. So it’s probably just the one Mac we were using.

Sorry for the false alarm.


According to this list, Verdana doesn’t come with 10.3.9; you have to install Internet Explorer:

So I’m wondering if Helvetica Neue would be a better default font.


That’s odd - I’ve had macs for a while and they always seemed to have verdana. Which is the font used for all the osx system menus and stuff?

I think it’s Helvetica or Helvetica Neue, but I don’t know for sure. Here’s what I’ve pieced together:

Verdana is a Microsoft font. When Apple stopped bundling Internet Explorer, they made Verdana part of the OS install instead of the IE install so that web pages would still look nice and so forth. Ditto with Arial.

So you can assume that 10.4 has Verdana, but if you install 10.3 without installing Internet Explorer, you don’t get Verdana.

I tried rebuilding my app using Helvetica Neue as the default sans serif font; it was very close, but some of the text was too large.

For now, we’re putting a note in the readme telling people that you have to have Internet Explorer installed if you’re using 10.3.9.


Ok. Well I kind of like Helvetica Neue anyway, so will probably change the default to that. Best to have a default that’s reliable - people can still set their apps to use Verdana if they prefer that.

Actually, trying it out, it looks like Lucida Grande is the default system font, so I’ll go with that instead…