How to reenable symbol font in Firefox 3 on Windows

Prior to release 3, Firefox recognized the use of <font face="symbol"> </font> for documents of type HTML 4.0 Transitional, as it should. (It regards that usage as a "quirk".) In the early releases of Firefox 3 (July 2008), it has stopped doing so. I hope this will be realized as a mistake by the developers and rectified soon. In the meantime, here is a way to enable the symbol font.
ON WINDOWS XP (Professional is what I've tried)
Open Control-Panel -> Fonts
Locate the file labeled symbol.
Drag and drop it somewhere else.
Observe that it disappears from your font directory. You might have to refresh the control panel display to see that.
Start up Firefox.
Go to
You should see that the large brackets are now correctly rendered.
Commentary: The remarkable thing about this is that all you've done is remove a font from your system. I do not know where Firefox is getting the glyphs to render the brackets etc, but it is; and now they are not being interfered with on the way to rendering by Firefox.
Open Control-Panel -> Fonts
Locate the file labeled symbol (or possibly Symbol).
Drag and drop it somewhere else.
This is not sufficient to render symbols. All you've done so far is to save the font file from the usual place c:\windows\fonts to where ever you dragged it to. That's your backup. Next
Download to Desktop.
Drag the file you just downloaded into your Fonts window.
You might be asked if you want to replace the font. You will have to tell windows that yes you really want to replace this font.
Start up Firefox.
Go to You should see that the large brackets are rendered.
Actually you might wish to install this re-encoded font on an XP system too, if there are problems with Firefox or other programs finding the glyphs they need.
In either case, you can restore your system to its prior state by dragging the old symbol font file from where ever you dropped it back into your fonts window. It will then reinstall. On XP you might have to remove the other one first. Then you'll be back to Firefox not working.

Standards Compliance

The reasons why these problems are present are discussed in detail at this TtH manual page.
I have also put up different versions of the test document. uses glyphs from the Adobe Private area, while uses unicode 3.2 glyphs for the purposes of rendering large brackets. Neither of those work properly with Firefox with or without the fix just described. This shows that Firefox has disabled the old way of accessing those glyphs without implementing or enabling the new "official" way. I urge the developers of Firefox to recognize that they have therefore reduced (not increased) the standards-compliance of Firefox by what they have done in version 3. Please restore its ability to recognize symbol font without users having to take the measures described here.

File translated from TEX by TTHgold, version 3.81.
On 28 Sep 2008, 15:43.