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Learn about OS X: Updating OS X and Mac App Store apps

HT1338 Font Problems with Snow Leopard

467 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2013 2:45 PM by Kurt Lang RSS
HeidiLJ Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 6, 2013 9:06 PM

I'm having font problems after updating to Snow Leopard.  It seems to have problems with spacing the fonts properly and reading some fonts properly in Page and Keynote.  Any suggestions of how to fix it?

MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,495 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 5:51 AM (in response to HeidiLJ)

    Your tagline shows you are using 10.6.3. Snow Leopard was essentially an entire rewrite of OS X to 64 bit. Because some of the font engine's code was so old, it couldn't be ported forward anymore and had to be written from scratch. Hence, there were LOTS of bugs early on in SL. Some of worst (because anyone who uses fonts regularly noticed right away) were font related.

     

    It's an easy solution, though. Download and install the 10.6.8 Combo Update. That should take care of it.

  • A3k Calculating status...
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    Mar 8, 2013 1:15 AM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    Dear Kurt,

     

    in bigger companies thinks come slow :-)  Actually we are switching from 10.4.11 with Quark 6.52 and FontReserve to 10.6.8 with Adobe CS5 and FontBook.

    And as you may guess we're running directly into the HelveticaNeue problem.

     

    We cleaned up the system fonts so that only the absolutly needed are in /Sys/Lib/Fonts/ and all other fonts (from MacOS and our own) are in /Lib/Fonts/ where they are in folders for better handling.

    The number of additional fonts were radically stripped down to the REALLY needed (about 70 fonts with their families).

     

    We removed the protected fonts and replaced Helvetica, HelveticaNeue, Times, Symbol and ZapfDingbats with PS Type1 fonts.

    Our goal was to have no font conflicts to keep our users save. In addition we put fonts in predefinded collections to switch them on/off with an AppleScript that picks the collection name.

     

    And from here it went fancy: The Apple apps are working fine but external app like Adobe CS5 and MS Office only see the fonts in /Sys/Lib/Fonts/.

     

    When we put the HelveticaNeue.dfont back (no matter if it's in the system or at ~/Lib/Fonts/) the other apps also get all installed fonts. We found out that this works even if the HelveticaNeue.dfont is deactivated.

     

    Unfortunately this brings up two problems:

    The HelveticaNeue.dfont can't be put to a font collection without taking the corresponding font from the Type1 font with it, so it's more difficult to handle with the AppleScript (we have to pick the exact single name).

    The second is that if something goes wrong and all fonts are switched to active we have a font conflict and the possibility that the dfont is used in documents.

     

     

    I think I have read all (ok, many :-) of your posts about the Helvetica problem in 10.6 as well as your really great document about font handling in OS X.

    But I wasn't able to get it to work.

     

     

    Do you have the one big hint for me???

     

     

    Thanks and best regards...      Udo

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,495 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2013 2:45 PM (in response to A3k)

    Sorry for the very slow response, have been busy.

    Actually we are switching from 10.4.11 with Quark 6.52 and FontReserve to 10.6.8 with Adobe CS5 and FontBook. And as you may guess we're running directly into the HelveticaNeue problem.

    One of the very last font managers I would replace FontReserve (or almost any other font manager) with would be Font Book. Nice that it's "free", but you'd be far better off using Suitcase Fusion or FontExplorerX Pro.

    The number of additional fonts were radically stripped down to the REALLY needed (about 70 fonts with their families).

    Between the required system fonts, and those in the Library folder (mostly for web needs), I have 71. So we probably have almost the same font set loaded.

    We removed the protected fonts and replaced Helvetica, HelveticaNeue, Times, Symbol and ZapfDingbats with PS Type1 fonts.

    That can be done with minimal issues in Snow Leopard, so it's a good idea to use the PostScript versions as the fixed copies if you use them on a regular basis. Then you're not constantly juggling between those and the OS X installed versions.

    And from here it went fancy: The Apple apps are working fine but external app like Adobe CS5 and MS Office only see the fonts in /Sys/Lib/Fonts/.

     

    When we put the HelveticaNeue.dfont back (no matter if it's in the system or at ~/Lib/Fonts/) the other apps also get all installed fonts. We found out that this works even if the HelveticaNeue.dfont is deactivated.

    Very, very common problem with Font Book. Fonts it says are active don't show up in some, or any apps. Same with some it says are disabled, but appear anyway.

    Do you have the one big hint for me???

    In all seriousness, get rid of Font Book and never look at it again. You'd actually be better off manually moving fonts in and out of the /Library/Fonts/ folder than using that app.

     

    After ditching Font Book, start up in Safe Mode, then again normally to clear Font Book's orphaned database from the drive. Even without the Font Book app itself on the drive, a leftover database will continue to cause problems with any other font manager you use, or even if you don't use one at all. The OS will keep trying to manage which fonts are, or aren't active according to that database if it's there.

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