The Elder Scrolls

[SE] [Guide] Fix for Blank Boxes only in Console

Content of the article: "[SE] [Guide] Fix for Blank Boxes only in Console"

After changing Skyrim's language on Steam from English to Russian (learning it), I've had blank boxes ☐☐☐☐☐ showing up in the console. I ignored it for awhile, but I finally decided to look into it, and fixed it. Note that the console is in English, despite my game being in Russian (I don't think it's possible for the console to be non-English).

I had trouble finding a good source of information about this issue when I was searching for solutions, so I made this guide. Hopefully somebody finds it helpful!


  • Make sure that skyrim.ini has sFontConfigFile=InterfaceFontConfig.txt
  • Make sure that FontConfig.txt exists in DataInterface
  • In FontConfig.txt, change some lines to be like this reference:
    • Change the fontlib lines to be like the reference, but for your game language (e.g. If in French, change fonts_ru.swf to fonts_fr.swf).
    • Change the map "$ConsoleFont" line to be like the reference.

If it doesn't work or if you don't understand, the rest of the guide explains it a bit more.

Some background info:

  • DataInterfacefontconfig.txt: This file (fontconfig) contains the designation for fonts used.

    Within the file, observe two sections – in the first fontlib section it references font libraries, and in the next section map it sets which fonts (from within the libraries) will be used for different types of text.

  • fonts_en.swf: This file, or any other .swf files with a similar name (fonts_ru.swf, fonts_console.swf) contain fonts. These are the font libraries. AFAIK, they don't need to be present in DataInterface, unless it's referencing a custom font not included in Skyrim.

  • My original language was English (_en) and I switched to Russian (_ru). Depending on what language you want, you'd have to use the correct corresponding abbreviations. The console will still be in English.

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  • Step 1: In your skyrim.ini file, make sure the Fonts section looks like this:

    Fonts sFontConfigFile=InterfaceFontConfig.txt 

    For some reason, mine had FontConfig_ru.txt, which caused a problem. I removed the "_ru" so that it pointed to the correct fontconfig file.

    In general, just make sure that it points to the correct name of the file in DataInterfaces.

    Note: If you're using ModOrganizer2, you should modify skyrim.ini within MO2. In MO2, click the puzzle icon near the top-leftish, click INI Editor, and modify skyrim.ini and/or skyrimcustom.ini.

  • Step 2: Within fontconfig.txt, make sure that it's calling your font libraries. I use the three libraries fonts_ru.swf, fonts_en.swf, and fonts_console.swf, so the first section of my fontconfig.txt looks like

    fontlib "Interfacefonts_ru.swf" fontlib "Interfacefonts_ru.swf" fontlib "Interfacefonts_console.swf" fontlib "Interfacefonts_en.swf" 

    For some reason, if I don't repeat fontlib "Interfacefonts_ru.swf" twice, then all the fonts break. No idea why.

  • Step 3: Within fontconfig.txt, check the second section, where it sets which fonts are used for different types of text. In particular, look at the line that controls the font used for the console:

    map "$ConsoleFont" = "ArialFixed" Normal 

    It seems the "ArialFixed" font was broken, or missing, for me. So, I changed the console font to use one of the other fonts that was working.

    I chose to switch the console font to "FuturaTCYLigCon", which is the one used in the "EverythingFont" (which is used for weapons, items, some menus, etc). I changed my line to look like this:

    map "$ConsoleFont" = "FuturaTCYLigCon" Normal 

Now, the console is no longer blank boxes! Here's a pastebin of my final fontconfig.txt for reference.

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Missing .swf Files:

I don't believe you actually need to have the .swf files in the DataInterface folder. At least, when I tried deleting them, everything still worked.

Missing fontconfig.txt:

If you're missing the fontconfig.txt file, here's the pastebin of mine, as demonstrated in the solution. Here's the same thing in comment form, in case the pastebin goes down. Just copy/paste the text into notepad, and save it as fontconfig.txt.

If it doesn't work for anyone or if there's any questions, feel free to comment and I'll try to help. If 6 months have passed and the post is locked, send me a PM instead and I'll still try to help (although I may have forgotten most of this by then).


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