Replacing Lucida Grande - good or bad idea?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 124151155, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. 124151155 macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2008
    I've used TinkerTool to change all my system fonts to Helvetica Neue (Ultra Light) but I'm not completely satisfied, as Lucida Grande is still lingering around, most notably in the menubar, dock, Finder, login window, etc.

    As I don't use Lucida Grande for word processing, I'm thinking I might replace the actual file with Helvetica Neue, but using the Lucida Grande filename, so hopefully Mac OS will pick it up and use it.

    Can anybody confirm if this works and/or let me know if this is a good idea? I don't particularly want to break my system... I'm running Snow Leopard 10.6.5.


  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I don't know if your idea will work or not but make sure you have a backup of the original file before you try to replace it. As long as you have a good backup I'd suggest trying it and if something goes wrong the backup can always fix it.
  3. 124151155 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2008
    Thanks. I'll certainly be making backups.
    I've created a new .ttc font collection to replace LucidaGrande.ttc but now I've come to my next hurdle; Mac OS says I don't have the rights to replace or rename the file. I've edited the permissions to give myself read/write access, but this did not help.

    Can this action be done in the terminal with sudo, or can I boot my mac to a command line to do this when the system is not using the font?

  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    If you're comfortable in the Terminal, you can certainly use sudo to grant permission and replace the file without any trouble. One thing to be careful to do is make sure you set the permissions on your new file back to what the original LucidaGrande.ttc was set to. I've had issues with other system modifications because of that.

  5. Sergeant Pepper macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2009
    Try deleting the original LucidaGrande.ttc and then dragging in your replacement, rather than just dragging in the replacement to overwrite the original.
  6. 124151155, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

    124151155 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2008
    Okay, so I tried replacing the file in the terminal, but Mac OS's safety mechanism was triggered and it restored the font; however, afterwards I was able to delete the file in the finder and replace it with my Helvetica version.

    I restarted. Oddly, Lucida Grande was still being displayed, so I went into the system/fonts folder - LucidaGrande.ttc was my Helvetica version, but my backup was sitting in this folder - I assume the system was using my backup. I deleted the backup and suddenly all the fonts changed:
    - Finder's fonts changed to Monaco
    - The menubar and desktop icons changed to LastResort.ttf
    - The dock and app switcher have remained as Lucida Grande.

    Here's a screenshot:

    You'll also notice it broke the menus in every application.


    Anyway, thanks for the help, everybody. I might tinker a little longer and see if anything changes, but it appears it won't work.

  7. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Interesting idea... shame it didn't work out.

    I've turned into a big Gill Sans fan - not a standard installed font with Windows, so when trying a few fonts out in Word 2008 on my Mac (for 'printing' to PDf for my Sony reader), came across Gill Sans.

    Looks great on LCD screens, ereader screens, and printed out on paper..... would be interested to see how it looked as the system font.

  8. drayon, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    drayon macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    124 woteva, you need to read up on 'Font Porting'. You can graft glyphs from a font of your choice and replace the glyphs in the Lucida Grande font, then replace the systems' Lucinda Grande with your port. HelveticaNeue has been ported before. Just read the below thread and PM the guys who have the font you need, or do it yourself with the info provided in the tutorial.

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