Response To Readers Question About Fonts

Monday, October 25, 2010, 01:13 AM – Tips and Hints

Reader Wendy Evenden asked a question back on the 12th and I just now saw it because I have been so tied up with tasks related to our Mac Users Group. I made a movie using Quick Time screen recording to teach a new app for the Texas School for the Deaf. Their older students all have iPads and they needed a white board type app to use in group studies. I made the movie and then we added closed captioning which we had never done before. It was totally awesome when we finally figured out how to do the whole thing. Actually the app is awesome as well. If anyone wants to see the demo of it you can see the movie at It is only about 9 minutes long.

Anyhow with apologies, back to Wendy’s question. In my last entry I wrote about where to find fonts. The last sentence in the entry was ….you know where to search if you need to find a font if it becomes corrupt and you need to remove it. Wendy asked me to expand on that a bit more.

If a font becomes corrupt it can do all kinds of evil things that will make absolutely no sense to you. That is because fonts are actually part of your operating system. So if one or more go bad you want to remove them. There is actually a fairly easy to deal with corrupt fonts, but it is still important to know where they are all stored, if no other reason, you need to know where to add fonts when you need to add them.

To check to see if your fonts are corrupt first go to your Applications folder and find a file called Font Book. Open it and you will see a list of all the fonts on your computer.

Click somewhere in the list and choose Command A so that you select all of them and then select the File menu and choose Validate Fonts. All of your fonts will be checked. (You can check just one font if that is all you need to do.) You will get a report that looks like this.

This report tells me that all the fonts with green checks are fine. The ones with yellow marks have some kind of minor problem. In my case they are duplicate copies located in two or more of those three font storage spots. If I click on each of the yellow spots Font Validator will offer to clean up the problem for me. Part of what it will do is make sure it does not mess with the fonts in the systems folder since those should not be touched.

If I had any corrupted fonts they would be marked with red x’s and I could delete them by putting a check in the box next to them on the far left and then clicking on “Remove Checked”.

I hope this adds a bit more clarity and answers Wendy’s question, even if belatedly.


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