How many fonts

Discussion in 'macOS' started by uncleMonty, May 17, 2013.

  1. uncleMonty macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2012
    Is the number of fonts you can comfortably have installed a function of which version of OS X you have, or how much RAM you have, or what? Would a dedicated Font Manager other than Font Book improve capacity? How many fonts have been installed at any one time on your computer?

    I foolishly attempted to install all of a mega-package of fonts from a friend (15,000 of them). Font Book crashed, of course. This laptop runs 10.7 and has 8 MB RAM - do you think I should be able to have 500 fonts installed? 1000? Would upgrading to 10.8 help?
  2. benwiggy, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

    benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    OS X can handle a large number of fonts, but ... there's bound to be a limit, and obviously, the more fonts you have, the greater the effect on RAM and system resources. I doubt there's much difference between versions of OS X in terms of how it handles fonts.

    OS X comes with several hundred typefaces. There's very little reason to activate thousands of faces all at once. If you need decent font management, I would recommend Linotype's FontExplorerX, which is an excellent font management utility. That allows you to have a library, like iTunes, of fonts outside of the font folder, that can be activated and deactivated individually or in sets as required.

    But you don't need thousands of fonts all active at once. Many designers can go a whole career only using a handful of fonts.

    Fonts are of course incredibly hard work to produce, and unless they are all taken from free font websites, best not shout out that you've pirated thousands, eh? It's possible that low-quality, poorly designed fonts can cause system problems. Free fonts can often be worth what you pay for them.
  3. uncleMonty thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2012
    Yes, of the 15,000 in this package I'd say there's at most 700-800 I'd want to keep (that's extrapolating from the first batch I've looked at). Probably many of the good ones are indeed pirated, and I do respect the work that went into them--not only the hard work, but also the talent and the sensibilities of the designers. If ever I did anything more than just gaze at them on my computer screen, I'd be sure to purchase them.

    The pirated collections do not include any of the most beautiful and professional fonts I've seen in collections like this: . And Font Book complains about fonts being corrupted on maybe 15-20% of the fonts in this package. But still there are plenty to consider.

    I've been looking at the fonts using the preview feature and only installing the ones I want, usign Font Book, but I still would like to know how many I can actually expect Font Book to be able to load before it crumbles.

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