First time poster, be gentle!

I am moving all my dissertation work from a Windows 7 to a Windows 10 PC. Having just installed MikTex and TexStudio on the Windows 10 system and getting everything up and running, I have noticed that the fonts in the compiled PDF render/appear somehow different (worse) than they did on the Windows 7 system. It is a bit hard to explain, but I am a pretty sure this is not related to any of the issues I have managed to uncover when searching Google/StackExchange (bitmap fonts, encoding settings etc.). I am using XeLaTeX as the default compiler such that I can use the Lato font (removed link again, but it was: www[dot]latofonts[dot]com)

Here are some side-by-side screenshots of two test files demonstrating the issue, the left ones are compiled on the Window 7 system, and the right ones on the Windows 10 system, Both are viewed using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC on the Windows 10 system:

enter image description here

EDIT: Since I do not yet have any reputation points (and therefore may not upload or add more than two links) I have instead compiled a zip file demonstrating the issue:


This includes:

The two compiled PDFs:

  • TestFile_CompiledOnWin7System.pdf
  • TestFile_CompiledOnWin10System.pdf

Three side-by-side screenshots at different zoom levels:

  • TestFiles_SideBySide_AA.png
  • TestFiles_SideBySide_BB.png
  • TestFiles_SideBySide_CC.png

One side-by-side screen zoomed way in and "differenced" in Photoshop:

  • TestFiles_ZoomedWayIn_AcrobatProDC_00.png

Two system reports exported from TexStudio (Help -> Check Latex Installation):

  • System Report_Win10System.txt
  • System Report_Window7System.txt

I hope to configure my new Windows 10 system to compile PDF's such that they appear the same as the Windows 7 system does. I find that this is more pleasing to the eye and therefore should provide a superior reading experience when viewed on a PC. I hope you can help me identify which parameters might be causing this discrepancy that I am experiencing.

As far as I can tell, the only difference between the two system set-ups, is that the Windows 10 system uses a slightly newer version of MikTex (MiKTeX-pdfTeX 2.9.6362 (1.40.18) (MiKTeX 2.9.6400 64-bit) where the Windows 7 system uses (MiKTeX-pdfTeX 2.9.5900 (1.40.17) (MiKTeX 2.9)). The TexStudio install is the same (TeXstudio 2.12.6 (hg 6632:7777b2b8a906)).

Thanks and best,


  • 2
    The PDFs contain different font versions: Windows 7 with Lato 2.007 and Windows 10 with Lato 2.015. The homepage lists some of the changes. Aug 20, 2017 at 12:49
  • 1
    I can see a small difference, but only a smaller zoom levels. It looks as if the fonts are hinted a bit differently. If you are using different versions of the fonts you could try to copy them, but if the difference is due to some change in the xetex binary regarding the handling of the fonts you will have to live with it. Aug 20, 2017 at 13:02
  • 1
    I just checked the Lato versions on both systems (going to C:\Windows\Fonts\Lato) and they are both Version 2.015; 2015-08-06. And also made sure that there are not stray files elsewhere on the two systems (using the EveryThing search app). So I am rather stumped as to why the Windows 7 Pdf would have Lato 2.007 embedded, any ideas? I am going to see if I can source this version instead, but it does not appear to be downloadable from their website anymore. Cheers. Aug 20, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    You can add \listfiles to your document, compile again (on both systems), and take a look at the log files: You’ll find lists of all files used and their version numbers.
    – doncherry
    Aug 20, 2017 at 14:59
  • 1
    I uncompressed the PDF files with pdftk (pdftk inputfile.pdf cat output outputfile.pdf uncompress). Then I searched for "Lato" with a simple text viewer. Aug 20, 2017 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


After much troubleshooting (and 100% thanks to the findings of Heiko that there indeed was two different versions of Lato at play here!) I think I finally managed to get the Win10 PC to play nice. It turns out that the 2.007 version of Lato was somehow installed "behind" the 2.015 on the Win7 PC. I'm not sure how this happened, but after uninstalling the 2.015 Lato via C:\Windows\Fonts, and it no longer appearing in the Fonts list, there were still Lato TTF files when searching using Everything! And hey presto, these were the 2.007 version. So after re-installing these I could now copy/paste them onto the Win10 PC and they worked. Not entirely sure how this might happen, but I'll take it, hooray!

Thanks so much for all your input. Highly appreciated!



  • 1
    This often happens with me on Windows when I install a new version of an existing font. Somehow the old files get renamed but not uninstalled, so I now always uninstall the old version first. Aug 22, 2017 at 13:14

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