PDA

View Full Version : Do loads of fonts slow down a mac?


londonweb
Oct 26, 2005, 08:46 AM
I'm sure this has probably been discussed before, but I couldn't really find anything.

My question is: On a windows system, having loads of fonts slows down the system quite a bit because they all sit in the memory even when you aren't using them. Is it the same case on a mac?

I have upwards of 300 fonts on my system, which is an 14" Ibook G3 800. It's been pretty sluggish of late and I'm wondering if this could be why...

ohcrap
Oct 26, 2005, 08:56 AM
On a windows system, having loads of fonts slows down the system quite a bit because they all sit in the memory even when you aren't using them.
I don't know about on a Mac, but I think your view on fonts in Windows is a little skewed. Having many fonts installed on a Windows machine will slow the machine only during startup and the loading of programs that use these fonts, not necessarily the system as a whole during general everday use.

If I had to guess, I would say that this is not the case with Mac because of the way the OS integrates everything, but this is only a guess. :)

louis_sx
Oct 26, 2005, 09:01 AM
If I'm doing word processing in, for example, MSWord it only slows me down when I want to change fonts because it loads previews of all the fonts. Otherwise having hundreds of fonts never slows me down on my Mac.

decksnap
Oct 26, 2005, 09:37 AM
If you have that many fonts, you should use a font manager like Suitcase to turn on and off different sets of fonts that you are using. It will slow down a lot of things in a lot of programs having that many open.

japasneezemonk
Oct 26, 2005, 09:37 AM
I have a huge number of fonts and they dont seem to slow anything down. Illustartor is pretty snappy, and works well with fonts. MSword is a different story, but it's only a 1 or 2 second lag, and if i remember the name of the font, i can usually type in the first few letters of the font. Makes it quicker.


edit: you can also disable your fonts in font book. no need for 3rd party applications.

londonweb
Oct 26, 2005, 09:47 AM
I don't know about on a Mac, but I think your view on fonts in Windows is a little skewed. Having many fonts installed on a Windows machine will slow the machine only during startup and the loading of programs that use these fonts, not necessarily the system as a whole during general everday use.

If I had to guess, I would say that this is not the case with Mac because of the way the OS integrates everything, but this is only a guess. :)


I was under the impression that Windows kept fonts memory-resident for speed of access and whatnot. Under Win 98 I definitely noticed an increase in performance after purging fonts, but perhaps they fixed in in 2000.

Sounds like it's not the case on the mac though, although a font management program sounds like a good idea. Is there anything included in the OS that I can use?

fayans
Oct 26, 2005, 09:54 AM
....Sounds like it's not the case on the mac though, although a font management program sounds like a good idea. Is there anything included in the OS that I can use?
Applications > Font Book

dogbone
Oct 26, 2005, 09:55 AM
I've got about 900 fonts and FontBook on Panther was a bear, it would take soooo long to start up. But the new Fontbook in Tiger is really zippy.

While it doesn't slow anything down it does, as was mentioned earlier make selecting fonts a very slow.

but I bit the bullet and spent two day organising them inot sets with fontbook and I just keep what I need loaded with some special sets.

Fontbook is such an improvement now that it is a pleasure to run through them when selecting a special font to use. The old font book would freeze if you zipped through too quick.

TypeCast (http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/reference/typecast.html) is a handy widget to get

Lau
Oct 26, 2005, 10:34 AM
A lot of badly managed or corrupt fonts or ones with bits missing can slow down your system. Linotype FontExplorerX (http://www.linotype.com/fontexplorerX) is an excellent free program. FontBook (that comes with your Mac) gets worse the more fonts it has to handle. I've been using FontExplorer for a while, and have found it to be very good indeed. It's easy to use - if you understand FontBook and you can use iTunes, you'll get on fine with FontExplorer.

londonweb
Oct 26, 2005, 11:59 AM
A lot of badly managed or corrupt fonts or ones with bits missing can slow down your system.

I do seem to have an awful lot of fonts on there that I don't recall installing- like logo fonts and oriental language fonts etc. (some of which I suppose get put on upon OS installation). I guess ultimately I just need to have a good purge and organise the whole thing.

fayans
Oct 26, 2005, 12:06 PM
I suggest you also do periodic OSX maintenance too :)

londonweb
Oct 26, 2005, 12:17 PM
I suggest you also do periodic OSX maintenance too :)

That's a good point! I'm relatively new to macs, hence my persistent comparisons with windows (sorry). Skewing the thread a bit here slightly, but how do you do things like de-fragging, taking out start-up items etc. On the pc I use norton utilities to keep everything smooth and take out irritating unecessary start-uputilities and the like.

fayans
Oct 26, 2005, 12:26 PM
That's a good point! I'm relatively new to macs, hence my persistent comparisons with windows (sorry). Skewing the thread a bit here slightly, but how do you do things like de-fragging, taking out start-up items etc. On the pc I use norton utilities to keep everything smooth and take out irritating unecessary start-uputilities and the like.
OSX does defrag on-the-fly and for regular maintenance & optimization, I personally use Onyx (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20070). Go to System Preferences > Accounts to add/remove startup items.