I've messed up my fonts!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by big_malk, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    Okay, the other week I installed a load of new fonts, but unfortunately a lot of them were corrupt, so I had loads of crashes and hangs.
    I used Font Book to validate all my fonts, but when I clicked the remove button FB always crashed (due to a corrupt font, no doubt...).
    I tried FontDoctor, which claimed to have sorted out all my problems, but although things had improved FB still reported over 2,000 minor errors.

    I've been working my way through the massive list in FB, checking and removing a few dozen corrupt fonts at a time. 'Serious errors' kept popping up that hadn't been there before, I'm not sure where these new corruptions were coming from. I've also, apparently, removed some of the standard fonts in the process (which weren't corrupt before all this). Everything on this page has become italic as a result, other pages are all bold, presumably the proper fonts have been removed :(.

    I now have 11 'minor problems' that won't go away, I check them and remove them, but when I validate again they're still there! I guess this is probably because they're in use? I've not tried deleting them via Finder, incase the world explodes, or something. (Geneva.dfont, Helvetica.dfont (and bold, italic etc), HelveticaNeue.ttc (and bold, italic etc)).

    I tried dragging the contents of /system/library/fonts/ from my MPB (which I haven't done anything to) into my MP fonts folder, in the hope of replacing any missing standard fonts and replacing any corrupt ones, but Finder won't let me do this at all, "The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to modify some items.", with no option to authorise this with a password. Is that such as bad idea I shouldn't be trying it? Or is there some way I can get this to work?
     
  2. sprale macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    #2
    How many fonts are you trying to install? How many user accounts do you have on the Mac? What version of the OS are you running?

    Did you actually remove any fonts from your system (Macintosh HD/System/Library/Fonts)? Unless you have lots of experience working with OS X, don't touch the system contents.

    By no means should you ever remove all of these fonts! It is a recoverable fail, but you'll need to work through the command line or in Target mode to another Mac to restore the fonts.

    Here are the default fonts that Tiger and Leopard come with pre-installed. Unless you're working in print, design or publishing professionally, it's best to leave these alone.

    Tiger
    Leopard
    If you have a retail disk or the one that came with your Mac, you can pull them off the disk.

    If you're the only user on the Mac, just install the fonts in Macintosh HD/Users/username/Library/Fonts. If you have thousands of fonts active at once, you'll likely run into font conflicts, as well as put additional tax upon the system, leaving it responding slowly to inputs. (I made this mistake a decade or more ago when I got my first big font collection, it's a learning experience.)

    If you bought a huge collection of fonts, it's best to only install a subset of those fonts, rather than installing 10,000 fonts at once. Build smaller sets depending on the type of work you use them for. Create another folder (Macintosh HD/Users/username/Library/Fonts - Disabled) to keep them all in and pull over the fonts/sets as needed.

    I'm sorry if any of this is overwhelming, or comes across as more of a blog post. Let us know what progress you make in restoring your Mac to a functional state and if you need any more advice along the way.

    We could almost turn this into a stick for ongoing font management suggestions.
     
  3. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    I have Snow Leopard 10.6.1 with two user accounts, but one is almost never used.
    Get info for the folder says it has 20,619 items, in 4,962 folders.

    Nope, I just used Font Book's remove feature, and used Font Doctor to move and repair fonts.

    I'm a web developer so I do use a number of fonts in designs, but I'm mostly into the code side so I'm not huge on fonts. This package was fairly excessive!

    How can I pull the fonts off the disk? I tried with my other Mac and I can't modify the folder.
    I also need to get rid of the remaining corrupt ones that Font Book can't seem to remove?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. sprale macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    #4
    Just build a handful of font sub-sets and activate them as needed. 20k font files is a bit excessive to have active at one time.

    So you can't modify the Macintosh HD/System/Library/Fonts folder? You may have to change the folder permissions by selecting the Fonts folder and allowing full access. I haven't used Snow Leopard yet, so I can't tell you where the fonts would be, sorry.
     
  5. sprale macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    #5
    If you're having trouble moving, deleting or copying some of the font files, try repairing permissions through the Disk Utility as well.
     
  6. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    Okay, I did something I should have done from the beginning, and gave up trying to keep the useable fonts from that horrible font package!

    I repaired permissions, but didn't see anything in the list that suggested there were problems with any fonts, but it seems have helped anyway!

    I went through each font folder, delete everything, and restored from a backup from before any of this started. Aside from one worrying hang where everything froze as it restored, everything has become wonderfully responsive again :)

    I validated fonts after this, there was one serious error that I removed, and 41 minor errors. Two are "'kern' table structure and contents", which I'm not sure if I should bother about? I'm sure that wasn’t there before. And the rest all seem to be duplicate fonts.

    The 'Resolve Duplicates' option doesn't seem to do anything, and most of the time seems to be greyed out and unavailable?

    Thanks for your help guys :)
     

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