Courier font problem on HP M404dw printer with iMac and Big Sur

I’ve had a HP Laser Jet Pro M404dw printer since 2019 that I use with an iMac now running Big Sur 11.5.2. Last week the printer balked at printing a document containing the standard Mac version of Courier Oblique font (it produces italics). As soon as the document was sent for printing (in both MSW and text edit formats), the printer rather went crazy. All the lights that can blink, blinked. None of the buttons on the printer were responsive. And the only way to restore a working printer was to disconnect it electrically, wait a minute, then reconnect. Fortunately, the printer then came back to normal but balked again when trying to print anything with Courier Oblique. Fortunately, also, the printer will print the Oblique or italic forms of other versions of Courier, such as Courier Prime and Dark Courier. I originally sought help from a consultant through the HP website, who thought I had a hardware problem, but this was before I realized that the problem might be the Courier Oblique font, and he didn’t think of that (nor would I expect him to).

What I should have remembered is that I had this same problem with the Courier Oblique font between 2016 and 2019 using my old HP P2015 printer. However, the problem disappeared after switching to my M404dw in 2019, that is, until last week. The blinking lights on the M404dw, which the P2015 printer didn’t have, fooled me into imagining that I had a different problem, and it took me a bit to think, oh, is this the problem I had between 2016 and 2019. I should have been more on the ball.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a cure, other than not to use standard Mac Courier Oblique font?

Jon Butler

Sometimes good fonts go bad without any reason or anyone’s culpability. If a font sends bad instructions to a printer, it can create a lot of chaos. If you’ve never used the default FontBook app that comes with every Mac since OSX, it might just save the day. Try validating the font, and if it is messed up, FontBook can try to repair it.

But if it is broken and FontBook can’t fix it, you need to delete the entire font and reinstall it from scratch.

Here’s how you can download Courier Oblique directly from Apple, using FontBook:

Thanks so much. I hadn’t known you could validate fonts using Font Book. I’ve just done that, and for better or worse, Font Book says the Courier font is fine. So I think that’s not the problem.

When I had this problem between 2016 and 2019 with my old HP P2015 printer, several people on various web sites said that the HP printer driver was defective, but I could not ever get any response from HP on that suggestion.