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I have been "instructed" to come here and sort out my issue with bolding and italicizing text. Look at these words after the colon: just look. Do you see those terms, that is, "just look" in bold? I used the icon to insert double asterisks and NADA.

But when I go to ELL, and use the bold function, the words I mark in bold do indeed show up in bold.

In fact, on ELU, all my comments and posts appear bold to me. How can this be an issue with my computer when the same computer bolds text fine on ELL?

Somebody edited a recent answer of mine to make it more readable (on ELU). Well, even after s/he did that, I still cannot see it as bold.

What's a body to do?

I would appreciate answers that assume I know very little about the technical aspects of this. Otherwise, I will not understand the answers. Please keep it simple. Thanks.

EDIT: I am using Chrome, Windows 7 Home Premium and I do not have all the Georgia fonts. Only Georgia Bold Italic.

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    Just so you know, I see 'just look' as bold (thicker weight than the rest) in your text and in my comment here. – Mitch Jun 13 at 12:17
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    I see just look in bold too. – Dan Bron Jun 13 at 14:36
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    @Mari-LouA On a quick spot check those all seem in order to me. From your description of the symptoms, I only ever see that when there’s an odd/imbalanced/unclosed set of asterisks somewhere preceding the problematic area in the post. *Like this. – Dan Bron Jun 13 at 15:15
  • It is working fine for me too. This might be something that varies based on operating system or browser though. I am on Windows 10 and using the 64 bit edition of Firefox Version 67.0.1. What are you using Lambie? Also, come to think of it, did you do change any browser or O.S. settings recently? – Tonepoet Jun 13 at 15:19
  • @Lambie "assume I know very little about the technical aspects" Unfortunately we too know little about your problem, so if you can provide some more insight it would be good. What browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) and what OS (Windows 10, MacOS 10.14, etc.) do you use? If you on the same computer try another browser, do you have the same problem there? all my [..] posts appear bold to me This is relevant. As was asked above, is this only for your text? I would be surprised if it didn't affect all text on the site, even if you perhaps didn't think of it as much. – JAG Jun 13 at 15:31
  • @Mari-LouA I'm guessing (as was stated) that Lambie doesn't see the accurate representation. If Lambie accidentally doubles asterisks s/he may not see the difference. Are you aware of any post where there are additional comments we can learn more about the problem, i.e. where the "instruction to go here" appeared? You did say "they" - are there more users reporting this problem? – JAG Jun 13 at 15:40
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    As they say on the İɴᴛᴇʀɴᴀꜱᴛʏ, “pix or it didn't happen” :). – tchrist Jun 13 at 16:13
  • @Mari-LouA Thanks for clarification. Using "they" did introduce an ambiguous plurality, so I wanted to verify. I've seen Lambie use "s/he" so I felt safe with that choice myself. :-) – JAG Jun 13 at 16:42
  • Hm I've seen other people on other sites report this issue before but I thought it was fixed. This post may be useful, and telling us what browser and operating system you are using would also be very helpful. – Laurel Jun 13 at 22:14
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    I know the asterisks thing,one for italics,two for bold. I REPEAT: I can see no BOLD on ELU. I see bold on ELL Obviously, it cannot therefore be me on my side. I have Windows 7 (Home Premium) and a Chrome browser. I repeat: The asterisks or icon for bolding work FINE on ELL. Check out my posts there. I just bolded (two asterisks, I can see them!) something here and it is not visible. – Lambie Jun 13 at 23:19
  • I wonder what you see when you "view source" of the webpage. – aparente001 Jun 14 at 1:40
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    @Lambie Do you have any plugins in your browser? Can you check the sites with IE, Edge, Firefox, or any other browser and confirm or disconfirm you see the same issue? Can you check your fonts folder as Andrew suggests and ensure you have all the proper and expected fonts for ELU? I ask all this because I can tell you, with very high confidence, that it’s an issue on your end, though I know you do not believe me. – Dan Bron Jun 14 at 11:32
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, all the text here on ELU is BOLD to me AND the entire right-hand column seems to be entirely in ITALICS. – Lambie Jun 14 at 13:08
  • @Mari-LouA Believe it or not, I don't know how to do that. I tried searching for how to do it, and could not find it. So, you tell me, please. This site is like a maze. – Lambie Jun 16 at 15:58
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    You can delete the obsolete comments now. Glad you discovered where the checkmark was hiding :) – Mari-Lou A Jun 16 at 18:06
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Update: Added proposed solution and workaround at the bottom of the post.

There is probably too little information as of now, but I'll start an answer to build from.

assume I know very little about the technical aspects

The standard answer to any strange computer problem is to restart computer. It's a great suggestion, because it strangely often works and it requires no technical knowledge. Since history shows that you've had the problem for months, I wont ask you to do that.

In fact, on ELU, all my comments and posts appear bold to me.

It has been clarified that it is only appearing so for you while others (at least in this case) do see your highlight as intended. You're not doing anything wrong in your posts, we have to look beyond that.

Lambie now more clearly indicated that it also affects other users' posts. This answer has "especially when the author" and some more in bold, if you want to verify if you see that.

The fact that you see all text bold rather than no text bold indicates to me that the problem is perhaps font configuration.

How can this be an issue with my computer when the same computer bolds text fine on ELL?

Let's be clear, it is not a problem with your computer in itself, but in software configuration. It is difficult to analyse and assist with those problems without having access to the actual system, but let's try.

When you say that ELU but not ELL is affected, I agree that it's surprising. It is however explained by the use of different fonts on the sites. One could say the the two sites are designed to look different, although your problem was not the intended behavior.

I don't know any simple site specific font override setting you may have accidentally done, but there are browser plugins that can do it. There are also plugins that sometimes destroy pages accidentally (e.g. ad-blockers and such).

Simple Suggestion

Use another browser for ELU. Try Firefox or Chrome to begin with. If that doesn't work it is likely a problem outside the browser or plugins, but sometimes different browsers display pages differently, because of how they are coded.

More complex

Have a look at font settings, e.g. Chrome font setting to see if they seem ok. Install new font package, see (YouTube link) instructions for Windows.

You probably don't want to try Stylish plugin, but if you for some reason have it already, know that it (and similar plugins) can affect appearance per site.

Investigate

If my suggestions didn't help, or if they did so you can provide more info, the next step is to do deeper investigations on the problem. Ask a techie you have around to help. I'd start with looking at "source view" in the browser debugger of each page to see if there are font differences coming through, and if the markup is there as intended or stripped somehow.

Chrome debugger (on my Windows 10 install) shows that web coding (CSS on each site) instructs text of type ".post.text" to have "font-family: Georgia,Times New Roman,Times,serif;" on ELU, but "font-family: Arial,"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,sans-serif;" on ELL. They both override "body.ask-page.unified-theme" that have "font-family: Arial,"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,sans-serif;". This hidden instruction tells the browser which font to use, on ELU starting with any installed variant of "Georgia", falling back to "Times New Roman" etc. if not available.

Both font instructions work well in my Chrome browser, so you seem to have a conflicting font installed. Do you see 4 good looking variants of Georgia font in C:\Windows\Fonts\Georgia? They should be installed with Windows 7, but may have been corrupted. See if the font Georgia works in WordPad (search for "whether the problem occurs in a new document" in this guide). There are also instructions how to repair a broken install, try that at your own risk. I recommend doing a backup of the Georgia folder before you remove it.

Workaround

If installing Georgia font (see investigation section) didn't help, I've prepared a workaround that should be fairly easily applied, even though this is a bit techie to understand fully. (Also be careful to trust internet downloads in general.)

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    Never assume. ELL uses Arial; ELU uses Georgia. @Lambie Are Mi Yodeya and Physics the same? They also use Georgia. – Andrew Leach Jun 13 at 16:54
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    @Andrew Leach Yes, those are the same for me. How can this only be on ELU and not ELL?? I have restarted this computer many times. I am using Chrome. I do not see how the issue can be on my side since I only have it on ELU, ELU META. – Lambie Jun 13 at 23:25
  • ELL does not use the same font. I'll write an answer, but not this late in the morning. – Andrew Leach Jun 13 at 23:31
  • @AndrewLeach shouldn't the post be tagged ~bug~?? – Mari-Lou A Jun 14 at 5:26
  • @Lambie Do you see 4 good looking variants of Georgia font in C:\Windows\Fonts\Georgia? See if the font Georgia works in WordPad (search for "whether the problem occurs in a new document" in this guide): support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/918791/… – JAG Jun 14 at 7:26
  • @Lambie see workaround added. – JAG Jun 14 at 8:41
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    @Mari-LouA Since no one else has been able to reproduce Lambie’s issue to date, it is unlikely to be a [tag:bug{ and more likely to be some issue specific to Lambie’s personal environment. If I had to bet, I’d bet browser plugins (as JAG says) or installed fonts (as Andrew Leach is pursuing). But I very much doubt the issue is on SE’s side. – Dan Bron Jun 14 at 10:44
  • @DanBron very fair point, I hadn't considered the eventuality that Lambie's problem is exclusively on their side. – Mari-Lou A Jun 14 at 10:57
  • @JAG Aha, no, I only have Georgia Italic Bold in my fonts folder. That is the only icon there. And given the paragraph in the answer here beginning "Chrome debuggger[...]", ELL and ELU do have different font instructions, right? – Lambie Jun 14 at 13:25
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    I am happy to report that I re-installed the regular and italic Georgia font (I only had italic bold before) and now I can see this bolding: bold. "on ELU starting with any installed variant of "Georgia", falling back to "Times New Roman" etc. if not available." So, it read Georgia as available, when in fact only Georgia Bold Italic was available.So thank you very much, JAG :) – Lambie Jun 14 at 15:22
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    Bravo Jag! +1 for finally resolving Lambie's problem. I hoped someone would have sussed it out. – Mari-Lou A Jun 14 at 15:38
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    @lambie I re-installed the regular and italic Georgia font Did you miss the "Georigia Bold"? Can you see bold and bold italic differently? ELL and ELU do have different font instructions Yes, I had that in the original post, but @AndrewLeach was the one to confirm it. it read Georgia as available Exactly. The "font family" is a group of fonts and the browser picks the best fit. In your case "the best" wasn't good enough. :-) Let me know if any step should be made clearer. When the problem is fully solved, feel free to close the question for future reference. – JAG Jun 14 at 22:17
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    The family was not there. I only had: bold italic. I installed the normal font, the italic and the bold. Thanks very much for solving this mystery, – Lambie Jun 15 at 1:16
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    @JAG If you want to take EL&U’s serifs, you’ll have to pry them from @tchrist’s cold, dead hands. – Dan Bron Jun 15 at 12:34
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    @DanBron I didn't mean to say no to serifs, but thank you for sharing an interesting exposé. I now know why ELU is different from the bulk and where to look if I ever need an opinion of font choice. :-) In the mean time, anyone disagreeing are free to try the Stylish plugin I prepared. I can leave it up, even if the intended work-around wasn't needed. – JAG Jun 24 at 23:52
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In comments, Lambie answered:

I am happy to report that I re-installed the regular and italic Georgia font (I only had italic bold before) and now I can see this bolding: bold. "on ELU starting with any installed variant of "Georgia", falling back to "Times New Roman" etc. if not available." So, it read Georgia as available, when in fact only Georgia Bold Italic was available.So thank you very much, JAG :)

The family was not there. I only had: bold italic. I installed the normal font, the italic and the bold. Thanks very much for solving this mystery,

  • No, Lambie most definitely did not answer the question asked. I don't get what the point is here. It looks as if I answered my own question. What game are you playing? – Lambie Jun 16 at 14:46
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    @Lambie You requested support for a problem you were having with the site. Via the comments cited above, you reported that this problem had been resolved to your satisfaction. Is this inaccurate? – tchrist Jun 16 at 15:44
  • No, it is accurate except you make it look like I answered the question. I would be delighted to close the question,thereby providing points to JAG, if I only knew how. It's not the close button right? That means something else, doesn't it? How does one accept an answer? – Lambie Jun 16 at 16:01
  • @Lambie Repitation points don't actually get awarded on Meta. But you can choose the check mark to indicate the answer that solved your problem – tchrist Jun 16 at 16:14
  • Ok, I've done that. Is the check mark used for what people mean by "accepting the answer"? – Lambie Jun 16 at 16:23
  • @Lambie Yes, that is indeed what people mean by "accepting the answer". It means selecting that outlined check mark, which turns it green and floats that answer to the top. – tchrist Jun 16 at 16:26
  • You might have must asked me to do that and then explained it to me. I still resent this "answer" and especially your wording of it. – Lambie Jun 16 at 16:44
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    @Lambie As its wording is your very own, I cannot imagine why you would resent your own words. – tchrist Jun 16 at 18:15
  • You know exactly what I mean. I resent your fake intro: "In comments, Lambie answered:" No, that is misleading. In comments Lambie stated: [citation of my words] ||I was not answering the question I asked. I was thanking JAG for helping me to solve my problem and about which I had asked a question. Stop jerking me around. – Lambie Jun 16 at 19:19
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    @Lambie that's just semantics. I'm sure the reason Tom put your comments as an answer is so that users who may encounter the same problem in the future and end up on this page don't have to scroll through all the comments but easily see the solution to the problem. Indeed, this answer very concisely (in the first sentence of the quote) leads one to the idea of reinstalling the font. – JJJ Jun 16 at 20:12
  • @JJJ Have you ever heard of an I-statement by any chance? What is semantics to you, might not be that for me. But what the hell, who cares what anybody thinks, right? – Lambie Jun 17 at 0:45
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    @Lambie Why do you continue to complain instead of edit? – tchrist Jun 17 at 1:41

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