How to tune up your Mac by fixing your fonts

Tiger's Font Book

Yesterday I took a leap of faith (early adopter syndrome) by installing my Tiger Mac OS 10.4 seed. Everything went well except that I was eager to try out the new Font Book which seemed to have more features. I wanted to see if I could really better manage my fonts. Corrupted fonts in Mac OS X cause all kinds of havoc with the system, especially evident if you use Microsoft Office 2004 apps like Word. You go through that long strenuous Font Optimization process which never seems to end, and at times, encounter a font Word claims is corrupt. I’ve been trying to manage my hundreds of fonts and while Apple’s Font Book seemed to validating fonts ok, upon hitting “Remove Checked Fonts” to remove the bad ones, it somehow removed everything in my font collection. Apparently the “Check All” didn’t just check all in the damaged fonts window, but checked all in my entire font collection. As a result, my system went bonkers and everything looked screwy. I had to type blindly and navigate the system from memory.

I of course put everything back, but what about my corrupted fonts? Fortunately, I found a great article which helped me resolve this. It’s called “How to troubleshoot font problems in Office for Mac programs” (DUH!). My problem was fixed simply by trashing the Microsoft Office font cache file (which was easy).

Anyway, the article helps you identity and resolve three kinds of problems:
• Duplicate font files.
• Corrupted Font Cache file.
• Corrupted font files.

While the tips for fixing font issues apply to Microsoft Office for Mac, the same solutions work to improve the performance of your Mac operating system. You’ll find boot up as well as application launch times improved. Don’t forget, the Mac system also has its own set of font caches which you might need to erase and let the OS recreate. I really need more tips on managing fonts and would love to here what you do to maintain them.

3 thoughts on “How to tune up your Mac by fixing your fonts

  1. you might also look at this kbase article about what fonts are needed by the system and what are not, so that you can actually remove or put them somewhere else to save on loading time/problems. Although that is for 10.3, have to wait till 29 apr or later to see whether the list changed.

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