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Cleaning up a messy font installation System
Recently I installed several hundred fonts in one fell swoop. This was a mistake, because all my apps slowed down (especially Microsoft Office). While the fonts are useful, and I needed to keep them, I needed them only for DTP. My mistake was to install them to the computer, rather than just the user account I use for DTP.

I tried using various font management apps to move them across to the user account but I wasn't sure which fonts were the new ones, compared to the old or System fonts.

The solution was to dig into /Library/Fonts/ and sort the files by date. Sure enough, the new fonts had the same creation date and I was able to manually drag them across to my own ~/Library/Fonts/ folder.

After a quick flush of the font cache, everything is back to normal and my system speed has been restored. Other user accounts now work perfectly.

[crarko adds: I've had to do similar things for clients of mine, and yes it can be a pain. This hint covers clearing the font cache for Leopard and Snow Leopard, and this one is for Tiger. There are also a number of third party utilities that can do this.]
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Cleaning up a messy font installation
Authored by: simonvx on Aug 18, '10 09:05:57AM

Makes me think "How many active fonts are too many?" Does it depend on CPU speed, RAM, a combination of many factors as it's often the case? I'm a graphic designer and I need tons of them, it's constantly changing... and I know, from the days with my old 8600 to my actual iMac Core i7, that those fonts can slow you down big time! I currently have 803 (!!!) and it doesn't seem so bad. Of course, each bold, thin, italics, expert, etc. counts for 1 font. My font manager of choice is Linotype FontExplorer X (yes, the discontinued free version. Still works fine under Snow Leo).

Mr Vx

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Cleaning up a messy font installation
Authored by: asmeurer on Aug 18, '10 10:42:35AM

This is just a good tip in general. If you screw installing something up, you can possibly rectify it by sorting by creation/modification date to easily get the ones that you added together. Can also work in iTunes, with the "Date Added" tag.

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Cleaning up a messy font installation
Authored by: ozcaveboy on Aug 18, '10 04:54:43PM

In my opinion, anyone using DTP applications should use a third-party font manager. My personal favourite is Linotype FontExplorer X Pro. Not only does it have plug-ins for the more common DTP applications (Adobe Creative Suite) to auto-activate fonts, it also has tools for cleaning the font caches of both the system and a range of applications. It will also give you the option of copying added fonts to its own database leaving your originals untouched.

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Cleaning up a messy font installation
Authored by: poenn on Aug 18, '10 11:51:35PM

Sometimes itís handy to see the default fonts. Apple has support documents for that.


There is none for 10.6. I suppose there were no changes font-wise since 10.5.
And I also suggest using a font manager for DTP! I recommend FontExplorer, too.

Edited on Aug 18, '10 11:52:41PM by poenn

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Cleaning up a messy font installation
Authored by: steve413 on Aug 19, '10 01:20:26PM

Has anyone tried just tidying up fonts using the "Validate Fonts" option in the Font Book application?

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