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Starred by 65 users

Issue metadata

Status: Duplicate
Merged: issue 236298
OOO until NaN
Closed: Feb 2014
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Windows
Pri: 2
Type: Bug

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Issue 336170: Wrong rendering of Webfonts when loading tabs in background

Reported by, Jan 20 2014

Issue description

UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/32.0.1700.76 Safari/537.36

Example URL:

Steps to reproduce the problem:
1. Load multiple tabs in background (Ctrl+Click on some links)
2. Change focus to one of those tabs
3. Webfonts are apparently not loaded, rendered in default fonts

What is the expected behavior?

What went wrong?
Webfonts are apparently not loaded, rendered in default fonts. When reloading the page with the tab in focus, the webfonts are correctly loaded and rendered.

Does it occur on multiple sites: Yes

Is it a problem with a plugin? No 

Did this work before? N/A 

Does this work in other browsers? Yes 

Chrome version: 32.0.1700.76  Channel: stable
OS Version: 6.1 (Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2)
Flash Version: Shockwave Flash 12.0 r0

It first appeared on the Mac version of Chrome, as of Version 32, it also happens on the Windows version.
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Comment 1 by, Jan 22 2014

We're seeing the same thing

Comment 2 by, Jan 22 2014

Labels: Needs-Feedback
Unable to repro the issue on win8, mac 10.9 chrome version 32.0.1700.76 and latest canary 34.0.1798.0

Do you have any Apps / Extensions installed, if so can you please try on a profile which doesn't have any Apps / extensions and let us know how it goes. You can create a new profile from chrome://settings

Comment 3 by, Jan 22 2014

I was just able to reproduce without any extensions (see screenshots). And it also happened on Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.9 in combination with Chrome 32.

Example URL:

It also happened on other sites which are using web fonts, it is just easy for me to reproduce on

Additional steps to reproduce:
1. Load multiple tabs in background (Ctrl+Click on some links)
2. Use other tabs, visit other sites, browse for a few minutes
3. After 5-15 minutes, activate the background tabs
4. Webfonts are apparently not loaded, rendered in default fonts
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Comment 4 by, Jan 22 2014

 Issue 336075  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 5 by Deleted ...@, Jan 22 2014

Seeing the same thing since updating to Chrome 32.0.1700.77 on OS X 10.9.1. Any website that has webfonts will exhibit this problem. Noticed it first on and Additionally, hovering over link texts that are affected by this problem will seem to trigger a load/render of the webfont.

Comment 6 by, Jan 22 2014

Just reiterating that this is NOT limited to "web fonts" -- 

    body{ font-family:sans-serif } 

... will still revert to a serif font.

Comment 7 by, Jan 22 2014

I've been having this issue for months now. I can currently confirm this bug across various combinations of Windows, OS X and Linux; Google Chrome and Chromium, 32 stable, 33 beta and 34 dev.

I've reported it several times using the bug reporter wizard built into Google Chrome, but I can't find these reports in this issue tracker. I'm feeling loads less insane now that at least one other person on the planet is seeing this. :P

I've attached today's manifestation.

For me, this is a difficult bug to demonstrate, it might be random or otherwise non-deterministic.

When I trigger this bug, I will be have my Feedly tab open and focus, and will be middle-clicking or opening articles in unfocused tabs (usually 10 to 20). Then I start to read this articles in their tabs one by one. It is then that I experience this issue, the background tabs will frequently have incorrect fonts and spacing, and headlines in particular will be illegible until I manually refresh.

As I have to manually refresh each and every single tab, this significantly increases the amount of time required to read these articles, especially since I was loading them in background tabs with the explicit purpose of having them load in advance of my reading them.
Screenshot from 2014-01-23 07:12:30.png
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Comment 8 by, Jan 28 2014

Labels: -Cr-Content Cr-Blink-WebFonts

Comment 9 by, Jan 28 2014

Looks like the  bug 236298 ?

Comment 10 by, Jan 28 2014

I've been seeing this behaviour since previous update 32.0.1700.76m. I can reproduce this bug on both Windows 8 and Windows XP. Can also confirm that if it's a link or also any css transitions are applied to element(or even parent element) on hover than hovering event triggers font reload. In other case only page reload or opening developer tools console fixes webfonts rendering.

Comment 11 by, Jan 28 2014

In reply to #9:

I read through that entire bug. I concur that this seems either like the same bug or at least similar enough to have the same root problem. 

Either way, it's a huge problem for us and it's killing our web app that uses icon fonts throughout (and we're getting ready to release our beta). Hoping this is going to be fixed VERY soon.

Comment 12 by, Jan 29 2014

I can see it on Linux 32.0.1700.77, especially on (though it does not reproduce always).
Screenshot from 2014-01-29 19:18:09.png
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Comment 13 by, Jan 29 2014

Status: Available
I observe it very often on M32/Linux, cannot repro now

Adam, Eric, is that a known issue?

Comment 14 by, Jan 29 2014


Comment 15 by, Jan 29 2014

Fonts are not loaded until their used (this is because commonly a page will reference an entire webfont foundary via CSS, loading information about 100s of fonts, but only maybe using 1 of them).

However, as soon as the font is used, the load should start.

When the load is completed, text referencing that font should re-style/repaint.  Hovering text also causes it to re-style/repaint in some cases.

Why this is broken for background pages, I don't know?  It could be related to recent refactorings of the font system, or recent refactorings of the loader.  Unclear.

I've not yet repro'd myself.

Comment 16 by, Jan 29 2014 was marked as a dup of this issue

This appears with mac as well, issue needs to be updated.

Comment 17 by, Jan 29 2014

 Issue 336837  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 18 by, Jan 29 2014

I see this a lot on GitHub (especially when switching tabs), where they make heavy use of icon fonts. Here's an example from today, where the same font has rendered fine in some parts of the page but not others. The empty squares are the mis-renderings, where elsewhere you can see what they should have looked like (the filled squares and the expand-view icon).

This screenshot is from Chrome 32.0.1700.77 running on OS X Mavericks 10.9.1.
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 3.52.46 PM.png
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Comment 19 by, Jan 29 2014

Any issue not related to the tab being in the background is likely  issue 236298  which is fixed in M33.

Comment 20 by, Jan 29 2014

This morning I restarted Chrome (first time in about a week) so it likely upgraded (I'm on version 32.0.1700.102). Because the font thing for me is now worse/odder.

This is on a page in a tab that's always open and I'm in and out of it all day. It makes large use of icon fonts. Notice the circled fonts. They're not squares as sometimes happens—they're icons that are completely different icons than they should be (they should match the three above and below). I can't inspect to see whats going on because it repaints & then they're normal.

I've had this happen twice today. Seems something in the font area of Chrome is getting weirder?

Comment 21 by Deleted ...@, Jan 31 2014

This is definitely affecting us as well. Web fonts don't seem to get rendered when page is inactive (out of focus)!!

Comment 22 by, Feb 1 2014

Add me to the list of people experiencing this problem. I've reproduced on OSx in Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Comment 23 by Deleted ...@, Feb 3 2014

I've experienced this extensively in Chrome Version 32.0.1700.102, Mac OS X 10.8.5, with or without extensions active. As described above in #3, with additional details:
1. Load multiple tabs in background (Command+Click on some links)
2. Use other tabs, visit other sites, browse for a few minutes, use other programs
3. After 5-15 minutes, activate the background tabs
4. Web fonts are apparently not loaded, rendered in default fonts or displaying empty box glyphs

I've seen this on numerous sites using @font-face, whether to render text fonts, or to generate web icons, including the Wordpress admin interface.

It appears there are multiple bug tickets for a similar issue, including this one:!topic/chrome/I5YsR_1MCmk

Comment 24 by Deleted ...@, Feb 3 2014

To add to #23 above - hovering over the empty box glyphs or default font will magically produce the correct font or character.
We're also seeing this - if a page is left open, portions of the page will unload the fonts rendering squares in place of our icons.    Icons are only rendering when a reflow is triggered...

Comment 26 by, Feb 3 2014

Dimitri: Do you believe this is a dupe of the font-fallback bug fixed in M33?

Comment 27 by, Feb 3 2014

Mergedinto: 236298
Status: Duplicate

Comment 28 by, Feb 3 2014

I am having this issue only on fonts that are wrapped in a link (<a> tag). Icon fonts load their character minus the correct font, so what I get is a hollow square character. Hovering will cause it to correct itself and display the icon font. Issue is very intermittent however.

Comment 29 by, Feb 13 2014

It seems to be fixed in the beta version 33.

Comment 30 by, Mar 7 2014


I am facing similar issue: My Chrome: Version 33.0.1750.146 m
and reported this bug over here as well:

Actually when i refresh the page by pressing ctrl+f5 or f5 only in windows 7 on chrome browser font disappears written in (h1 tag)

when i do inspect element or change any style from inspect element in chrome that font appears again.

the bug still not fixed. any help would be appreciated.
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Comment 32 by, Jul 23 2014

Still having problems here. Chrome 36.0.1985.125 on Mac OSX 10.9.4

Comment 33 by Deleted ...@, Nov 20 2014

FFS Fix it, it's still an issue on 39.0.2171.65, every couple uupdates you break the same thing OVER AND OVER. Back to firefox it is.

Comment 34 by, Nov 20 2014

I am also experiencing this issue on mac OS X 10.9.4 running Chrome 38.0.2125.122.

This has been an issue for an extremely long time.  There has to be a fix for this, otherwise I'll be forced to do all of my web development in Firefox again.

Comment 35 by, Feb 5 2015

I also confirmed the bug here.
Chrome 40.0.2214.91 (64 bit)
OS: Arch Linux

Comment 36 by Deleted ...@, Feb 8 2015

Also seeing squares instead of these icons as reported by

This is not in my own web development. Primarily seems to affect sites like Github.

Seeing this bug in
Version 40.0.2214.111 m (64 bit)
Windows 8.1

Appreciate a fix or at least temporary workaround.

Comment 37 by, Feb 8 2015

Guys, this is still an issue.  It still occurs on Github.  Nothing has changed between the time you've said it was "Fixed" and now.

This is getting to the point of insanity.

Comment 38 by Deleted ...@, Apr 28 2015

Still an issue, waiting for a fix. 

Seeing this bug in Chrome 42.0.2311.90 (64-bit) on OSX 10.10


Comment 39 by Deleted ...@, May 13 2015

Definitely still a problem and driving me crazy.

Comment 40 by, Jul 29 2015

July 2015 annnnd STILL an issue.  Seriously annoying, and so sporadic.

Comment 41 by, Jul 29 2015

If you feel like you're still having a problem related to fonts, please file a new bug with a way to repro or at least a screenshot of the problem you're having. Commenting on a dupe of a fixed issue with a non-specific confirmation of a problem is unlikely to be helpful.

Comment 42 by, Jul 29 2015

Specifically -- phil.mos, florian, mauro.sbu, et al -- next time you see the problem, get a screenshot, the URL of the site, and (as detailed as possible) list of steps that could have led to the problem.

Comment 43 by, Jul 29 2015

My apologies for the wholly unhelpful "still a bug" comment. I will try to get a screen shot and more details next time I see this happen, although it is very similar to the initial described issue. 

Occasionally, for no particular reason that I can determine, web fonts are not loaded and black boxes are presented instead.  It does usually seem to occur when first loading a site when several other tabs are open.  It is so sporadic that it's hard to pinpoint an exact situation / series of conditions that "cause" it, but I see this behavior probably once or twice a week.

Comment 44 by, Jul 29 2015

phil.mos: this seems like a different (though similar-looking) bug. Please file a new issue when you have a screenshot.

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