I can't get Mathematica (5.2, running on Windows XP) to recognize some of the settings I make under Preferences. (Settings that I want to be the defaults, every time I start up M.) First, I did get it to change Magnification. Under Preferences I changed Magnification from 1 to 1.25, where it is now set every time I start M. But no such luck with changing the Font, via Preferences,Formatting Options, Font Option. One thing really, really annoying: If I open the drop-down box for Font Options, Font Family, a huge "box" is displayed, with the Fonts on it from which I'm supposedly to choose. But that display is so big -- so many fonts -- only about half of it, or less, is displayed on my screen. And there seems to be no scroll bar or any way to move it to see the font I want to select! Of course that's partly a screen resolution issue -- though it should have scroll-bars, or at least let me get to scroll-bars on Windows, but it just takes up my entire Window, allowing no movement at all! I do use a relatively low resolution (800x600), but if I increase the resolution to the highest possible on my monitor (something like 1280x1024), I STILL can't see all the Fonts! In particular, I STILL can't see, and thus can't select, the Font I want to choose -- Arial. So, I go back to the "Options for Global Preferences" window in Mathematica, which is displaying "Font Family", under "Font Options", and try to simply type in "Arial" as the option for Font Family. Mathematica seems to accept that, so I click "Apply", close that window and exit from Mathematica. Then I start Mathematica again -- but Arial is NOT now the default Font! Courier New is the default font, as checked in Format, Font. (BTW, going to Format,Font again displays that huge box with all the fonts, except this time that box is left-justified, so I can see fonts from the first one thru "feybo 10", whereas when that box is displayed via Preferences, it is right-justified, so I can see only about the last half of all the fonts. And, as stated above, I can't see them all, even at the highest screen resolution.)
I've also tried to set "Tahoma" as my default font, but that doesn't work either. When I restart Mathematica, the default font is still Courier New (or it might have been just Courier, I seem to recall).
I realize that Mathematica can make font substitutions, if, I assume, a font you want is not available. But that shouldn't happen with either Arial or Tahoma -- both very common fonts which I use all the time in other applications, such as Word.
There are lots of other default settings I want to change, but first want to get this one fixed.