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Font previews only work from the menu, not the panel. Design limitation on Windows.
I don't believe your answer is correct. Windows can show font previews in all menus and panels because Photoshop CS5 does this already. So if Photoshop can do it, why can't Illustrator do it too?
I'll keep looking for a fix...
(Running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit)
Well yes an no,they are two different type engines and though they work similar they are not the same. I believe. And there are two different OS one windows the other Mac that you can comapre and see that all is not equal.
On the Mac and PC you can highlight text and use the arrow keys to navigate through the font list with a live update on the canvas.
However on the Mac you cannot do this in Illustrator though you can on a pc. A limitation that at one time was requested by the users of the Mac,that is not to have the live update in illustrator.
On the ac you can see the preview from the Panel but as you point out that does not work on the PC.
A bug possibly but not necessarily or a limitation without much support to do something about it.
I'm having the same problem.
I go to Type > Font to see my previews and I get nothing. Kind of difficult to know what the heck I'm want to use if I can't preview my list of fonts.