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After switching from another account to my account, the font in Firefox, Thunderbird, Acrobat, and pretty much all programs becomes unreadable. This only happens sometimes when I have left the computer on for the day.

enter image description here

I use 12.04 on an E-machines e-725. I had the same problem with 11.10 .

Has anybody ran into this before? Any help/suggestions appreciated.

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Same happens to me as well. Only one account on the computer is affected. Have you fixed the issue? I am using Ubuntu 14 btw. – Shehi Dec 29 '14 at 12:49

Do you have a graphics card install. Click the unity button, then go to additional hardware, make sure you have a graphics card, or a driver installed.

from your screenshot, can't tell if it is a font issue or a graphics issue. If it is a font issue, try this: all that means is you installed the fonts to ~/.fonts or somewhere in your local user folders and it is not accessible to all users.

you have 3 main ways of installing fonts, the first one is the one that is causing you issues. the second way is to install them using ubuntu software center. and the 3rd way is to do it manually. I recommend you to do the following steps.

You will need to enable the Universe and Multiverse repositories sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

this will install all the windows fonts and they should be accessible to all users.

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Since, the fonts become unreadable in certain scenarios, it is unlikely to be a graphics card or fonts problem. – green Sep 20 '12 at 8:42

This seems to be a problem with your screen (since you mentioned that it happens when you leave the computer ON for a day or so).

It may be due to a effect known as Image Persistence or screen burn-in. According to

...image persistence on LCD monitors is caused by the continuous display of static graphics on the screen for extended periods of time. What this does is cause the LCD crystals to have a memory for their location in order to generate the colors of that graphic. When a different color is then displayed in that location, the color will be off from what it should be and instead have a faint image of what was previously displayed.

This effect is not permanent. You can correct it by following either of the following steps:

  • Turn off the screen for sometime (this time can vary across different monitors).

  • Use a screensaver which is complete white, and let it display for sometime.

Personally, I'd prefer the first one. also provides measures to prevent this issue:

  1. Set the screen to turn off after a few minutes of screen idle time under the Power functions in Windows. Turning the monitor display off will prevent an image from being displayed on the screen for extended periods of time. Of course, this could be annoying to some people as the screen may go off more than they wish.
  2. Use a screen saver that either rotates, has moving graphic images or is blank. This also prevents an image for being displayed in screen for too long.
  3. Rotate any background images on the desktop. Background images are one of the most common causes for image persistence. By switching backgrounds every day or few days, it should reduce the change of persistence.
  4. Turn off the monitor when the system is not in use. This will prevent any problems where the screen saver or power function fails to turn off the screen and result in an image sitting on the screen for long times.
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I still think it might be driver related, unless user uses older hardware, but hey just my best guess. – kmassada Sep 20 '12 at 13:30

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