I broke my... fonts?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I always manage to find a way to break my computer. Something is wrong with my fonts now.... so bad that i cant talk to people on AIM unless I learn to read gibberish. Word and appleworks both refuse to work as they just constantly attempt to resolve the font menu things... How do I fix this, any ideas? It started after I installed too many fonts, then tried to remove my influence but apparently took something important with the crap. Thanks in advance for any help!


  • Reply 1 of 8
    It would help to know which OS version you're running... fixes may differ.

    Aside from the obligatory advice to repair permissions from Disk Utility off the OS Install CD...

    At best, you might get a font repair utility whose 30 day trial is fully functional. FontReserveX or Suitcase or similar, but you might find some shareware on versiontracker.com

    At worst, if you've borked the /Library or /System/Library as well as ~/yours, reinstall OS.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Oddly enough, I could have sworn there was a Font Checker either in Font Book or from the Apple site, but I can't find it now.

    These two are on versiontracker though: http://www.versiontracker.com/php/se...acosx&x=9&y=13
  • Reply 3 of 8
    asaphasaph Posts: 176member
    fixed it! after four straight hours of frustration and dead ends I took a nap. Woke up and five minutes later fixed the problem. Had to mess around in application support and all those com.whatever files. Thanks for the advice!
  • Reply 4 of 8
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Alright, *I'm* dying to know at least... what did you do to fix it?
  • Reply 5 of 8

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Oddly enough, I could have sworn there was a Font Checker either in Font Book or from the Apple site, but I can't find it now.

    These two are on versiontracker though: http://www.versiontracker.com/php/se...acosx&x=9&y=13

    IIRC, Tiger's pending revision to Fontbook has a 'Font checker' (beyond the current ability to flag duplicate fonts, this will allegedly identify corrupt or problem fonts*).

    Curiously, according to the rumoured features listed so far, or *idiotically (depending on your mindset), still no 'repair' ability. It'll tell you there's a problem, but won't lift a finger to do anything about it.

    Still likely to require 3rd party tools for any Font maintenance other than activation.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    asaphasaph Posts: 176member
    As a bit of a preface, what I did (I understand now) is installed apparently several thousand new fonts. I had downloaded a zipped file of "lots of good fonts" in hopes of getting garamond ec... you know - nice stuff. So I drag the folder into my fontbook, assuming this will place the fonts where they need to go to be useful to the computer. Then I click to open up microsoft word and try some out. Apparently microsoft word doesnt like to handle in excess of 5000 font files in it's menu (I dont blame it) and refused to open... same with appleworks.

    So I went and deleted every font file that had been created in the last day, assuming this would undo my prior action and place my computer in a state that was similar to what it was before I got my stupid little hands on it. I'm guessing though that in the huge font folder there were several duplicate fonts that were overwritten on fonts my computer had come to rely on, so I in essence deleted a bunch of my original fonts along with the new ones and hamstrung my ability to read about 50% of the web pages i frequent, along with IM any of my friends using any but a select few fonts which my computer still retained.

    So to fix it, I archived and installed 10.3 again hoping that would do the trick. When it didnt, I decided to go searching for the remaining offending font files and delete them. What I ended up doing was going into the com.whatever files folder (I think it's called preferences?... not at my computer now so i couldn't say for sure) and deleted the files that referenced microsoft word and appleworks, along with some old programs i had long since deleted (just to clean house while I was at it). I restarted the applications (for what was to them the first time ever since they had to re-create the preferences file) and they worked beautifully.

    This is how I undid (after much frustration) my stupid action. I am now content with the ample and capable supply of fonts that apple has provided me with in 10.3 and do not desire to ever again mess with them.

    Now my only question is what portion of the computer am I going to break next?
  • Reply 7 of 8
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    For future reference:

    To turn off fonts for utterly brain dead apps like Word, use FontBook to disable them. This moves them aside, but doesn't delete them. You can them reactivate them on the fly to see which one was the one you shouldn't have mucked with. It also lets you find and resolve duplicate font files, which can cause problems as well.

    Sure, you can do it via the Finder as well, but FontBook just makes it a bit easier.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member

    List and placement of default 10.3 fonts: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/pantherdefaultfonts.html

    Apple's CLI developer font tool package: http://developer.apple.com/fonts/OSXTools.html Includes the ftxvalidator tool which will analyze your fonts and report back any problems. Hallelujah.

    I think I just found a new tool to keep around.

    Props to MacOS X Hints for a timely post.

    Update: Holy CRAP are these fonts screwed up... just ran ftxvalidator on the various 300 or so fonts on my system, and almost none of them are 100% clean. Wow. A couple have errors listed as fatal, even.
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