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Is the Arial Narrow font missing on your system?

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If the Arial Narrow font is missing on your system, it may very well have a visible impact on some of the user interface (panels) of Project Dogwaffle.

On some Windows systems, such as Windows 7 / 64-bit, recent releases, and perhaps even on earlier similar releases (we don't know exactly), the Monotype Arial Narrow font (a TrueType font) is not included by default with the operating system. It is licensed and included with MS Office, and other apps, but not as part just of the OS in itself, so if you didn't purchase MS Office, or if you have a very stripped down basic configuration of Windows, then there's a chance that the font is not present on your system.

                      by side comparison - without (left) and with
                      (right) the arial narrow font present
How do you notice in Dogwaffle?

As a result of missing this font, some panels shown in Dogwaffle may display somewhat incorrectly, or incompletely.  For example, the Brush Settings panel (keyboard shortcut 'o' for options) will have missing words, or parts of the words missing towards the end of some long labels, typically. For example, instead of 'Random Pos' (for random position), you may see only 'Rand' appear. This is because the used alternate font will be too large to fit the whole words. This again is because Dogwaffle assumes that the Arial Narrow font is available. VB runtime  however switches to an alternate font when that font is not found on the system. That alternate font doesn't have the same metrics, the same dimensions, and parts of the words may thus be clipped off. (it could have gone the other way: the chosen alternate font could have been more narrow or smaller, but oh well, it didn't).

How else to determine if you have the Arial Narrow font?

You can run most
monotype's arial narrow font
                        missing? word publishing or text editor such as Notepad, Wordpad, or other tools that let you select a set of font-related parameters (such as text style, text color, boldface, italic, underscore, font size, justification and more, and most importantly, the font name itself). You should usually see a long list of fonts that are available, based on what's installed on your system and available to the program. If the Arial Narrow font is showing in the list as here, you're all set. If the font is not showing, chances are that the font is missing. (we're no expert at fonts stuff.... perhaps there are some apps that don't use the Arial Narrow font even if it's installed? You may want to try this trick with several apps to double-check if it's really missing. Or you can go to the font management tools in Control Panel to see them all. Here's an example under Windows XP:

This has been fixed in PD Pro 7, where a different font is used. One that is present in base Windows OS systems even without MS Office installed.

What to do if it's missing on your PC

However, if you're not using PD Pro 7 or higher, and if you are indeed on a system that lacks the Arial Narrow font and shows missing words in the various parts of the user interface in Dogwaffle, then you may be able to fix it in a few ways:  (some are merely experimental suggestions, we don't know for sure if they apply in your case).

  • Microsoft describes the Arial Narrow font here:  -  they also feature a long list of products from Microsoft that do include this font. You could consider getting one of these products in order to get the font along with it. Pay attention to the fact that you may need very specific versions of these software titles. Here are a few examples:  various versions of Access, Baseball (game), Encarta Virtual Globe, Excel, Expedia Streets and Trips, Frontpage, Greetings, Home Publishing, MapPoint, Office(several versions), Office 2010, Office 4.3 Professional, Outlook 2000, Picture It!, Powerpoint, Publisher, TrueType Font Pack, Small Business Server 2003, Word, and Works. If you can justify and afford it, this would be our preferred method.
  • There may be other products from other developers, such as popular web authoring tools, editors, graphics tools, print editing tools, photo editing tools, that also include a licensed copy of Monotype's Arial Narrow font. If you have the ability to get such a product installed, it should fix your font issue in Dogwaffle along the way. If indeed you find one such other application, please do let us know. (contact Philip)
  • There may be other online sites that offer this font, but we must caution you to be very careful with downloading just anything - some of these are illegitimate hosting sites that may include malware when you download 'their' font. Be very careful and aware as to the legality of what you're downloading, and always scan your downloads with updated antivirus/antispyware tools. Read the fine print. If you can't find the fine print, it's probably suspicious. If it's free and sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are however some alternate fonts, such as some open source ones for example, that may do the job. You could search the web for 'Arial Narrow alternate font' or similar words. If you can find one that is legitimate and has the same or at least compatible metrics, you might be able to have it renamed and installed as a replacement for the missing font. We don't have much experience with this procedure however and can't really recommend one way or another. We just know that such font alternatives do in fact exist. If you know what you're doing, you may get a free ride with their font in that way. Kudos to open source!
  • Instead of focusing on the font or buying the font, there's a workaround for Dogwaffle: if you have PD Pro 6, then for just a few more dollars you could buy the upgrade to PD Pro 7, which fixes the problem by using a different font that you most certainly should have on your system. The upgrade will be available for around $50.
  • What about those free Liberation fonts? Indeed, as you can read in Wikipedia, Liberation fonts are available for free (legitimately so!). They use the same metrics as Arial Narrow fonts. If you use a program for text editing or publishing and wish to use a font that mimics and looks exactly like Arial Narrow, that could be a suitable alternative. The different though is that the font name is still going to appear as Liberation fonts, not Arial. You'll have to scroll through the font selection menu to find and pick the liberation font. When it comes to the program, however, it doesn't know about that. It will still be looking for arial narrow. So unless you know of a way to duplicate the font's internal name to make it look like Arial narrow, this ain't going to work.
  • Last, but not least, another (possibly free?) option: as mentioned briefly above, you might find the Arial Narrow font from a trustworthy legitimate website, in some cases for free download. There may be sites that have struck a deal with the font's copyright owner to offer those fonts for free download. Or for other consideration. For example, Arial Narrow and many other fonts can be found at However, we haven't been able to determine if this or other similar websites are offering this particular font in full legitimacy. It *is* possible, but we don't know yet. That font appears not to be owned by the same as We caution you to verify the fine print, trustworthiness of the site before you download a font. We also strongly recommend to scan the downloaded material for viruses and spyware. Proceed at your own risk. 

If you find other solutions to this issue, then we'd love to hear from you. Please Contact us

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