Font Displays Symbols Instead of a Barcode

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Font Displays Symbols Instead of a Barcode

When switching from a Symbol Encoded Font to a standard text font such as “Arial” to view the contents, wing-dings or unrecognizable characters may appear or the area may contain blank spaces. Moving a document cross-platform, for example, from Windows to Mac may also cause this issue.


If strange symbols or the “symbol” font is being displayed instead of the actual intended font, one of the following has most likely occurred:

  • The intended font is no longer installed on the system. Check the active fonts to make sure it is installed and operational. In Windows, this is accomplished by going to Control Panel – Fonts.
  • A document or form that had the intended font on it was opened in edit mode on a computer that did not have the actual intended font installed on it. If this happens, the “symbol” font is selected as the font type and when the form is saved, the symbol font will appear instead of the intended font. For example, a developer creates a form in Visual Basic that has a symbol encoded barcode font selected. It is saved to a network drive and then another developer opens the form, but does not have that particular barcode font installed on his PC. Visual Basic will then select the next closest font, which is the symbol font to display the information. When the form is saved, it is saved with the symbol font instead.

To resolve this issue, the font named “IDAutomation Symbol Text” may be used as the selected font to view the contents. Install the intended font and choose this font as the selected font. The symbols should no longer appear.