I am writing a report using LaTeX and I am quite confused about something. I am working with TeXShop, and the output produced after compiling sometimes changes.

Let me show some screenshots

  • Here you cansee the desired output normal text

  • But sometimes the output looks like this, with the strange font anormal text

  • Same for formulas, the desired output is normal formula

  • But sometimes it looks more like this anormal formula

It is crucial to note that the .tex source file is exactly the same for all the previous examples.

How is it possible that pdfTeX produces different outputs? Have I done something wrong in the source file? Is it my TeX distribution that has issues or my computer?

This is the preamble of my .tex file, just in case something obvious stands in it:



\usepackage{bbold}%necessaire pour le caractere 1 qui represente l'identite matricielle


\usepackage{titlesec}%modification de la gueule des sections,etc




%macros definition
\newcommand\com[2]{\left[#1,#2 \right]}
\newcommand\abs[1]{\left|#1 \right|}
\newcommand\mean[1]{\left\langle #1\right\rangle}
\newcommand\cc{\mathrm c . \mathrm c .}
\newcommand\hc{\mathrm h . \mathrm c .}
\newcommand\mymat[4]{\left(\begin{array}{cc} #1 & #2\\ #3 & #4\end{array} \right)}


And the compiler:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.3-1.40.12 (TeX Live 2011)
  • 1
    And what is the content after \begin{document}? Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}.
    – user31729
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 8:29
  • 1
    Could the pdf reader be in cause ? Does it automatically refresh your document ? Did you try to close and re-open it, for instance with another reader (for some good pdfreaders, http://pdfreaders.org/).
    – Clément
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 8:34
  • 1
    @Clément I am using the reader inside TeXShop (v 2.47). I tried to open a anormal file with another pdf reader and it shows a proper output. In conclusion, it is the viewer of TeXShop that has issues.
    – ChocoPouce
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 8:42
  • 1
    @ChocoPouce, I'd recommend always test in Adobe Reader when in doubt. Many PDF viewers have small rare case kinks. AR is (or ought to be) the definitive benchmark.
    – daleif
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 8:44
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a problem due to font cache corruption (printing characters in Helvetica is a clear sign of this) which does not depend on TeX and friends.
    – egreg
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 10:49


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