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I have a cube and created Text objects on all sides of the cube. After converting the text objects in meshes this is the result:

object and text

After joining all text meshes and the cube (selected the cube as the last one) this is the result:

text and mesh joined

Question: What is happening here? Why is my "W" suddenly changed?

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The issue is, as @TARDIS Maker pointed out the sub surf modifier that you applied to the dice object. Its effects are being applied to the text. To rectify this you can add a mean crease to the text to prevent the sub surf from taking effect. Select the vertices that make up the text and use Shift-E then 1. This will make your text appear exactly as before (Unlike holding edges which will cause minor rounding) with the added benefit of not having to apply the modifier (Maintaining a non-destructive workflow).

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It looks like your cube has a subserf modifier on it, so when you joined the two, the text inherited the subserf.

The active object (the object you selected last, even if you deselected it), is the object that the other objects get joined to, so those objects also inherit it's modifiers. If you had selected one of the text objects last (making it active), it would have removed the subserf from the cube.

What can you do to fix it?

  1. You could apply the subserf before joining the cube and the text
  2. You could adjust the text so that it's subserf friendly, by adding holding edges.
  3. You could keep them separate. This might seem obvious, but depending on the object, it can sometimes be better to just keep the objects separate.
  4. As GiantCowFilms mentioned, you can also use the mean crease. Usually I don't recommend using this because it can cause distortions if it's not used properly, but in this case it works perfectly fine.
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    $\begingroup$ yes, I the cube has a subserf modifier. I chose your solution 1 as I want to append the joined mesh in other blend files $\endgroup$ – Old Man Aug 25 '15 at 15:13

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