Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1 Apps
I've been frustrated trying to get my fonts to preview in Extensis Suitcase X1 after installing Mac OS X Panther. Apparently this is a common problem and I've been scouring the web trying to get an answer. There have been a lot of hints, none of which worked. The closest to a real solution was the hint found on that suggests repairing permissions and then cleaning all the caches and restarting. I tried this and it didn't work.

So I experimented a bit and found a solution that at least worked for me.
  1. Quit everything in OS X except the Finder.
  2. Launch Suitcase X1.
  3. Delete all imported fonts. The window with the font lists at the bottom left with the Suitcase Fonts drop down menu when selected should be empty. In other words, no outside fonts should be loaded into Suitcase except for (of course) your System fonts.
  4. In Suitcase Preferences, turn off the option to Open Suitcase automatically when you login by unchecking the box under Applications Options.
  5. Quit Suitcase.
  6. Go to your user folder, into the Library folder and then the Preferences folder and delete the Preferences file for Suitcase (it should be called com.extensis.Suitcase.plist)
  7. You must now repair permissions and clean out all the caches. Please note that cleaning the caches may initially bog down the system as it creates new cache files, but this will fix itself quickly. You can repair permissions using the Disk Utility program in your Utilities folder inside your Applications folder. Cleaning caches can be done in Terminal using instructions as posted on I used Cocktail, a shareware utility available at for $10. It's faster and dummy proof. This demo will not launch a fourth time unless you pay and register, but if you can get it to work once, the option to buy will be up to you.
  8. Once permissions and caches are fixed, restart your Mac.
  9. Login to your user account.
  10. Launch Suitcase X1.
  11. This was the step I missed before. I needed to empty out all my imported fonts (step 3) so that I could reload them here. The fonts should now be previewable.
Hope this works for you. I didn't see anyone suggest removing all the fonts that were previously loaded before doing all these UNIX repairs and then reloading the fonts into Suitcase afterwards. That's what threw me off.
  • Currently 1.13 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (8 votes cast)

10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1 | 5 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1
Authored by: mutz on Jan 16, '04 03:57:20AM

Had the same problem with the 11.0 version of suitcase when upgrading to os 10.3, suitcase took some time to startup on my imac g3... i just deleted every font added... and everything worked again...
other question... does anybody knows wich fonts are crucial for the system, cause here we work with quark 6 & it's a real pain in 10.3... (most problems with quark 6 are related to font conflicts en crappy quark programmers i think...)


[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1
Authored by: BillC on Jan 16, '04 10:48:41AM

Yes, I would love a definitive list of what fonts OS X (Panther) requires and where. I've searched at Apple, and at MacFixit, and some other places.

I've figured out some of them through trial and error, but is it too much to ask of Apple that they provide at Tech Note that says, "These fonts need to be here, and the rest of the default installation is optional."?

I'll never use most of them, and they just make the font lists longer. But if some app needs them, well, just tell us. Please.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Required fonts
Authored by: gatorparrots on Jan 18, '04 02:03:11PM

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1
Authored by: joeschram on Jan 16, '04 11:01:00AM

Hi Gary,

I've been having the same problems for months and months with Suitcase. As you know, the bad previewing is because your font caches are corrupted. This is a well-known issue that has many factors which contribute to overall system and application instability with fonts on OS X. I have emailed Extensis repeatedly, and they simply do not respond with any helpful information. Having a near-monopoly on font auto-activation software for Mac OS X never made them very responsive, and now that they bought their only competition Font Reserve, don't expect it to get better. MacFixIt covered these problems last month at the link below. Read through the comments for additional good info on how Adobe apps and 10.3 contribute to the problem.

One word of advice; you don't need to manually remove all your fonts first from Suitcase before beginning these repair procedures. That is a lengthy wait as Suitcase spins the beachball; instead you can cut to the chase while you're in the Home > Library > Preferences folder deleting that com.extensis.plist file. Go ahead and trash the Suitcase folder as well. Deleting those two files will completely remove all info on your preferences for Suitcase AND will remove the database of fonts. Don't worry about frequently nuking these files, we do it daily at my agency. The registration key is stored elsewhere, so you can safely remove these files as often as you like and Suitcase will regenerate them on starting up the program again.

Check out my list of steps in the MacFixIt link above, it works well. The preferences deletion step was left out of the MacFixIt article linked above; that is key as you discovered. Here's some additional info: After step 6 when the machine reboots, open Suitcase and set your preferences up. On the General tab, uncheck all the "Scan for corrupt fonts" checkboxes. On the Activation tab, uncheck "Activate fonts when added to Suitcase", check the "When duplicate fonts are found: Prefer PostScript font" option, and select "When a font conflict occurs: Activate the requested font". Click OK, then go ahead and add your font set back to Suitcase by dropping and dragging it into the bottom window.

Someday perhaps Adobe/Apple/Extensis will once and for all solve the font management, conflict, and cache issues in OS X. Until then we have no other option but to use Suitcase as no other software will auto-activate fonts in Illustrator, InDesign, and Quark.

Good Luck,


[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: A fix to make fonts preview in Suitcase X1
Authored by: MacCoach on Feb 11, '04 10:13:25AM

Actually, a font management program called FontAgent Pro (from Insider software) features auto activation in all Adobe apps and Quark (4,5,6). It is a stronger program than Suitcase or Font Reserve and even features font repair (this is part of the program not a 3rd party addition). Activation recalls the user interface of ATM, fonts can be searched and the type display is far superior to the other apps.

[ Reply to This | # ]