Error "The font dictionary can't be read" | After Effects


When After Effects starts, it shows the following warning message:

"After Effects warning: The font dictionary can't be read. Please restart your computer. If this problem persists, please go to ( 83 :: 3 )"


Solution 1

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Restart After Effects.

The most common cause of this warning message is a corruption of the font information that is held in memory by the operating system. Restarting the computer clears this memory and causes the computer to rebuild and reload the in-memory font information.

Solution 2

  1. Quit After Effects and other Adobe applications.
  2. Delete all instances of the Adobe font database files (AdobeFnt.lst, AdobeFnt10.lst, AdobeFnt11.lst, AdobeFnt12.lst, AdobeFnt13.lst, and so on).
  3. Restart the computer.
  4. Restart After Effects.

On Mac OS, the AdobeFnt.lst files can be in several locations, including the following folders:

  • /Library/Application Support/Adobe/TypeSupport/CS5/CMAPS
  • /Library/Application Support/Adobe/PDFL/9.9/Fonts

On Windows, the AdobeFnt.lst files can be in several locations, including the following folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\TypeSupport\CS5
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\PDFL\9.9\Fonts
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\PDFL\9.9\CMAPS

To find other occurrences of these files, search your hard disk for 'AdobeFnt'.

This solution is useful if the font cache database on disk has become corrupt. By deleting the font database cache files and restarting the computer, you cause the computer to rebuild the font database on disk.

Solution 3

If rebuilding the font cache database doesn't fix the issue, the source of the problem could be a bad or corrupt font. The most common instances of bad or corrupt fonts are free bitmap fonts downloaded from the Internet (for example, Zebra).

Locating and removing a corrupt font can be done manually, by selectively removing fonts and then performing the solutions above. Third-party utilities (such as Font Doctor) exist to manage fonts, identify corrupt fonts, and so on.

After removing a bad or corrupt font, perform Solution 2 to rebuild the font cache database.


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