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(I apologize for length, but I wanted to be specific)....
I've beat my head over this and, not being a font dummy, quickly eliminated all obvious potential issues (install sequence of updaters, permissions, font caches, font managment utilities, etc...) I found a screen grab online that illustrates the problem quite distinctly, let me try to outlne the behaviour and see if anyone knows the answer. I am convinced this is a Microsoft issue in terms of how they are coding fonts for display in Office apps' font menus. The behaviour below occurs ONLY in Office 2008, latest version (12.1.2), Leopard 10.5.4.
I only use/install Mac T1 fonts, and Leopard's own dfonts that you cannot disable/delete. I did not install any of Office 2008's fonts from the installer. I do not have any OTF fonts on my system. I normally use Lino's Font Explorer for font management, but I've even eliminated (completely uninstalled) that and only use Apple's Font Book to activate/deactivate fonts. All my T1 fonts are in my user library. The behaviour below is not font vendor-specific. All fonts are squeaky clean (not corrupt), and use proper Mac Postscript naming conventions (verified by me in FontLab).
The behaviour seems limited to the italic fonts in a font family, at least for T1 fonts. I surmised this issue is related to MS not correctly dealing with style-linked font names, but I verified in FontLab that the behaviour occurs for T1 font families where style-linking is implemented, AND for those where it is not implemented. Oddly though (I have not verified this extensively to say for sure), it seems to occur mostly for font families where there is a base weight called Thin, Light, Regular and/or Medium. Does not seem to occur if the base weight is called Normal, or Roman, instead of Regular.
OK, look at the screen grab for Gotham, which if it were the T1 version, exhibits the behaviour I have encountered. Notice how the Thin Italic, Book Italic, Bold Italic, and Light Italic weights are missing? They would be missing from all three of Word's font menus. Yet, they ARE installed in the system, they are menu accessible in all non-Office apps, and--here's the puzzler--Word WILL access them, albeit inconveniently. If you knew that Gotham-ThinItalic was the postscript file name for the missing Thin Italic weight, you could type that in one of Word's font name linkboxes (e.g., in the Formatting Palette), hit return, and Word WILL implement the font in the document and show the font's name in the linkbox (though it will forget the name as soon as you select some other font).
Finally, this bug also occurs for Apple's dfonts; for Helvetica, for example, there is an indication that this is a family in Word's Font Menu listing via a triangle, but the submenu is blank; none of the weights are shown.
This bug is driving several users here batty, including yours truly. What is going on?