Missing Arial font error when opening an Adobe Creative Suite 5 document


When you open a file that contains the Arial Bold font, you see a warning that the font is missing or cannot be found. The font is not listed in the Type menu of Adobe Creative Suite applications. When you open a file, one of the following error occurs:

  • (Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat) "Cannot find or create font [Arial Narrow]. Some characters may not display or print correctly."
  • (Adobe InDesign) "The document [filename] uses one or more fonts which are not currently available on your system." in Adobe InDesign
  • (Adobe Illustrator) "Font not found on the system; missing font has been substituted." "[filename] uses fonts or characters which are not available or are in a different format than originally specified." 


Solution 1: Install an updated version from Microsoft.

  1. Close all Creative Suite applications.
  2. Go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/959334 and follow the installation instructions.
  3. Search your system for adobefnt*.lst and delete any of these files; example, adobefnt02.lst.
  4. Restart the application.

Solution 2: Replace Arial Black version (version 2.40) with previous version font files.

  1. Quit all Adobe applications.
  2. Locate the Arial Black font files in the C:\windows\fonts folder.
  3. Double-click the ARIBLK.TTF font file to open the font preview and display the version number.
  4. Copy ARIBLK.TTF from pre-SP3 workstation to \Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Fonts folder.
  5. Search your system for adobefnt*.lst and delete any of these files (for example, adobefnt02.lst).
  6. Restart the application.

Additional information

This error occurs after you upgrade to Windows SP from Windows XP2 to XP3, or install Microsoft Office 2007. Microsoft replaced some Arial fonts in either Office 2007 or XP SP3.