Can I use 2 font management programs at once?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by kkamin, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. kkamin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #1
    Sorry, I have some basic questions, I'm new to font management.

    Font Book came with OS X 10.56 and I initially used that. I heard it's not a good program so I installed Linotype Fontexplorer.

    1. Is there any issue with using two font management programs at once? Do I need Font Book?, is there anyway to disable it and let Linotype Fontexplorer be the sole program.

    2. I have about 500 fonts automatically loaded on to the system, is that too much for a new unibody Macbook with 2 gigs of RAM?

    3. If I disable some fonts, would I need to do it in both font management programs?

    4. I was messing around with trying to replace the system font, "Helvetica Neue" on the computer, but it didn't work. During the process had I deleted HelveticaNeue.dfont from everywhere on the system. But now I have put it back in the 1) protectedfonts folder & the 2) System->Library->Fonts folder. Everything seems fine, it appears as a protected, active font in both programs & I can use it, that's the only places that need it, right? I'm not screwing anything up am I?

    5. In my paranoia, I had also copied it to the User-->Library-->Fonts folder, it then showed up as a double in the font programs, and became a warning. What is the danger of having a font duplicate? Can it screw things up?

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. definitive macrumors 68000

    definitive

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #2
    i prefer using extensis suitcase. i think they're up to fusion 2 or similar version now. one of the best font managers ever. you can enable/disable fonts on the fly, so you don't overload your system with tons of files which will make it slower.
     
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Font Book works as advertised.

    It is a bad idea to remove Apple-supplied utilities. It is also a really bad idea to use more than one font-management utility. Font management is only one of Font Book's functions. Font management is also only one of Font Explorer X's functions. If you want to use the Font Explorer X for font management, then don't use Font Book for font management. However, do not remove Font Book.

    No.

    However you disable a font, it is disabled. That is why you should use only one utility for font management.

    Do not mess with your System fonts!

    Having duplicate active fonts is not a good thing, but it is not inherently dangerous. If you are running Classic, then it is difficult not to have some font duplication. There is no need for font duplication on an Intel Mac or in Leopard. On your Intel Mac, you should cleanup your user-installed fonts.
     
  4. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Font Book w/Font ExplorerX

    To help with your number 1 question, yes you can use both at the same time, but you should set Font Explorer X to be the default program for handling fonts. You can set Font Explorer to be the default font handler in Font Explorer's preferences, under the Advanced tab. Font Explorer is designed to work with Font Book, but only gives you real management if it is the default font handler.

    As to question 2 - you only need as many fonts as you need. You need to keep the system fonts, more on that later, the rest are up to you. There are the so-called "core" fonts you'll need for the web, Arial, Times New Roman, etc, and for PDF files - Times, Helvetica, Courier and Symbol. You may also have application-specific fonts like those installed by MS Office, Adobe, etc.

    Question 3 - if you set Font Explore as the default font manager as in number 1 above, then you only use Font Explorer to manage fonts, and don't use Font Book at all - though as noted - you may keep it installed.

    Question 4 - see this thread on this forum.

    Lastly, question 5, it is best to resolve any conflicts or duplicates, though it is often difficult to understand how best to solve these problems. Conflicts occur when the name of a font appears in more than one place. Duplicates are, well, duplicates! - i.e. the exact same font occurs twice or more in various places in the font directories.

    Though these are similar problems, they are not identical, and conflicts are more difficult to resolve than simple duplicates. In the case of duplicates, simply delete or inactivate the font that is "closest" to the user, i.e., the Users/~/Library/Fonts folder, the Library/Fonts folder and the System/Library/Fonts folder, in that order. Conflicts require a little more digging to determine which is the "right" font to deactivate.

    You may want to read up on the various font types and strategies Apple uses in OS X to help you with understanding the right thing to do for your particular requirements. Extensis has some good resources available to help you with this - try this link, skip all the stuff about Font Doctor and start on page 12 for a general description of Mac OS X's font technologies. Good luck!

    dmz
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    Lest there be any confusion--these fonts may be installed with certain applications. However, they are available to all applications on your computer.
     
  6. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Font-wrangling

    No, they aren't! MS Office does install its fonts in the Library/Fonts directory, and they are available to all apps, but Adobe, for example, has placed them in the Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fonts directory, and they only activate when an Adobe application is running. This is one of the features of OS X that reminds me a little too much of Windows font management. Applications can have "private" fonts, and some may indeed need them - I'm thinking of bar-coding for example, why would you want to use a barcode font anywhere but in your barcode program? On the other hand - design something in Adobe Illustrator, then try to use the same font in Quark - where'd the damn font go? Damn. that font is available to all apps - but only when an Adobe app is running!! Get it?

    I do, and I don't like it. Apple took some crazy chances with designers in OS X, adding yet another font type, using Helvetica as a system font, Font Book (first versions were horrible for designers-still not that good), no Suitcase or Font Reserve for years, Adobe and Quark running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to keep up with Apple's architectural refinements, first with OS X, then the Intel switch, and in the meantime, Windows has virtually stood still with XP, and became grist for designer's mills, surprisingly, because Windows still SUCKS for designers, but... no worse than the Mac does these days! Adobe Acrobat STILL hasn't caught up, the Mac version is a joke/class-action-suit-in-waiting!

    Enough of this rant, I could go on, and I do, but I'll do it elsewhere...

    dmz
     
  7. kkamin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #7
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer my questions. I learned a lot and have been thoroughly helped!
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    So it never occurred to you to move the fonts from the Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fonts folder to the Library/Fonts folder?

    BTW, this arrangement is actually more user-friendly than the mechanism for application-specific fonts prior to MacOS X.
     
  9. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    I believe the OP is "new to font management", and the comments are directed to her or him. Of course you know where to put those fonts, but you've missed the point - your post said:

    and I was pointing out to the OP that was not always the case. I'm sure once he gets the basics down, more advanced techniques will be easier to understand.

    And, I agree, the current arrangement is much more flexible, once you get a grip on the underlying framework...

    dmz
     
  10. kkamin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #10
    I don't have any fonts there or that folder (Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fonts). I had originally setup FE to "move" fonts, do you think that the program moved there to Library/Fonts? Since then I set it to "copy"--is that a better management strategy than "move"?
     
  11. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
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    Canada
    #11
    No, you wouldn't have that folder unless you had Adobe Creative Suite installed, or another Adobe app that keeps its private fonts there.

    "Move" fonts is tidier than "Copy" fonts in FE, uses less disk space and is less likely to cause you confusion.

    :apple:dmz
     
  12. kkamin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #12
    Thank you for the info!
     
  13. Europe calling macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #13
    There's no need to use Fontbook. I'ts too limited in it's possilbilities.
    I use Font Xplorer and i am very happy with it. You don't have to remove Fontbook to be able to use a different font tool.
    I also have a nice document on how to go about when using fonts. It is from extensis but you can learn some basics from it and use it with any font tool. Have a look, you can download it for free here:
    http://www.extensis.com/en/downloads/document_download.jsp?docId=5600039 ;)
     
  14. kkamin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #14
    Thanks alot, I'll check out the document! Thanks for your help!
     
  15. Devil6 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 18, 2009
  16. drgrafix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    New England
    #16
    What about a "Font Server?"

    Not that I want to hijack the OP's thread, but it does seem to be a good place to ask; In the Windows world, sometimes it made sense to have something called a "font server" when you accumulated and/or used lots of fonts. I actually never did that... but I'd heard of many people actually using an old PC with a drive dedicated to fonts and networking that PC so that you can swap out the needed fonts with ones that weren't needed. Another approach was to use a USB drive or even a flash drive.

    So are there any thoughts on using a separate drive to store all your fonts on a OS X Mac? My iMac is a 2.8GHz Intel with 4GB SDRAM, a 500GB internal drive and a 1TB Lacie FW800 external. At the suggestion of several folks, I DL'd and am using Linotype Font Explorer.
     
  17. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    You don't need a "font server" if you are working in a small group or by yourself. What you described sounds more like a "font library". A font server would allow you to situate a library of fonts that can be accessed over the network from several computers without copying or moving files. Are you working in a group situation? If not, there's absolutely no utility in even setting up a font library, other than the one that you have set up with FontExplorer. To read more about font servers, just visit www.fontexplorerx.com/server/. There are also font servers from Extensis - Font Reserve Server, Suitcase Server and Universal Type Server, but I think you'll find these are vastly overpowered for even a small office, not to mention you would need a separate machine to act as server...

    dmz
     
  18. drgrafix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    Actually, I have a PC and my Mac networked and because I had/have a ton of fonts I have bought/use(d) I have been copying some of the fonts directly from the CDs that they are on as I need them. And what I meant in my question was that is there a magic number of fonts that should not be exceeded on the root system because in the PC world, we always thought that keeping the active fonts on your machine's root drive at no more than 100 different fonts... well that was efficient. PCs start slowing down when you have 100 active and 300 just sitting there on the same drive but inactive.

    It sounds like you're saying that if I use FontExplorer and had say 100 fonts active and 200+ inactive (all installed on my root drive) it would not inhibit the performance of the mac. If that's the case...WOW!

    I don't want to bog my Mac down in anyway, so I'm trying the obvious (to me) ways :) to keep it clean. I still haven't discovered how to selectively empty my trash! It seems like its either you completely delete ALL trash items or keep them until you are sure. I also heard that too many items on the desktop will bog it down... is that true?
     
  19. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    That's right - you can have thousands of fonts ON your Mac, and so long as you only activate a hundred or two, your performance will not suffer. Designers who use Macs have enjoyed this benefit since OS 7, and although no one wants to scroll through hundreds of fonts to get to, say, Zapfino, nothing is stopping you from activating a thousand fonts. Mac OS X can handle as many fonts as you throw at it. Those fonts can live in many places too, not just the "boot" drive, that's the purpose of font management programmes - to allow you to locate fonts where you want them. Macs and PCs can share many font formats, OpenType and TrueType (not TrueType Collections though) are quite transferrable from one platform to another.

    As to your desktop - IMHO, a clean desktop is a fast desktop, but I think the next version of the Finder will improve that behaviour, and is really just a reflection of my need to keep things organized. Since I don't keep a lot of files on my desktop, I can't honestly say if it slows anything down - the files you see on your desktop are in your ~/Desktop directory, and I don't see how drawing icons on your desktop would slow down a video card that can draw 90fps playing video games! Matter of personal style I would have to say, but I defer to the speed freaks on this one...

    dmz
     

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