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HOWTO: Fix square boxes and other incorrectly displayed characters


You see square boxes instead of letters from your language when you type using Keyman for Windows. You may also see: writing that is very small, has a strange styling or is otherwise difficult to read.

Please note: a 'font' is not the same as a 'keyboard layout'. A font is the visual representation of the letters in your language. A keyboard layout allows you to type letters.


You must select an appropriate font to display your language. Although Windows tries to select a font automatically using "font linking" technology, it does not always choose the most appropriate font.

If you don't know which fonts on your system support your language, you can use the Keyman Font Helper tool (for Keyman Desktop version or later). The Font Helper tool lists all the fonts on your system which work best with your keyboard layout.

To use the Font Helper tool, open the Keyman menu and select the On Screen Keyboard. Select a keyboard layout and click the Font Helper tool button. You will see a list of the fonts which offer the most support for your language.

Remember to choose the right font for your language in every program you use. Most programs allow you to choose a font for your language by clicking on a box in the toolbar, or via the Format menu.

If you cannot find a font for your language using the Font Helper tool, reach out to us through SIL Keyman Community to get support.

Applies to:

  • Keyman for Windows 14.0+
  • Keyman Dekstop 8.0 - 13.0
  • Keyman Desktop Corporate 7.0
  • Keyman Desktop Light 7.0
  • Keyman Desktop Professional 7.0