MacMost Now 158: Using Font Book to Organize Your Fonts

Whether you are having trouble with some of your fonts, or you just want to see which fonts you have installed and organize them in a better way, Font Book is a handy application that comes with Mac OS X Leopard.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 158: Using Font Book to Organize Your Fonts.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now, today let's take a look at managing your fonts with font book so some of use our macs for applications that require a lot of fonts for instance if you do desk top publishing or if you do video in this case you got a ton of fonts in your machine now you've probably seen font book when you install a font you double click on it and it launches font book and gives you a preview of the font and asks if you want to install it you say yes and than you're done with it, but you can use font book for more, you can use font book to organize your font collections and you can use font book to validate your fonts and look for the duplicate fonts so here's font book you can find it in your applications folder font book will give you a list of all the fonts that's on your machine but also just allow you to narrow it by the ones in your current language that you have your mac set for the ones installed only in your user folder and the ones installed in your entire computer. The ones installed only in your user folder can only be used by that user of the machine while as the rest of the fonts can be used by any user. you also have collections here. you can use some of the preset collections say fixed width just to show you which fonts are fixed width you can also make your own collections by pressing the plus sign here giving it a name and than dragging and dropping any fonts you want to that collection. For instance, let's go ahead and create my fonts, now we can go ahead and select some fonts that we want and drag them to my fonts now we got a collection of fonts here, now this really comes in useful when we go to another program like text edit. I'm going to type some text and say i want to change the font of that text command t brings out the fonts panel. Now the fonts panel has the collections on the left so you can look through all your fonts here by family or you can actually select one of the collections that you made like my fonts, makes a lot easier to find the fonts that you want. In this font panel you can also do a lot of things you can do in font book, for instance you can go ahead and ass new fonts to a collection without having to go to font book. font book's also very handy for finding a good font since you can quickly move through the fonts and see previews of them you can find that perfect font for the document you want to produce. Now in Font Book you can also do some other things for instance you can look for duplicate fonts it's very common to have duplicate fonts either when the same font is stored under a different file name or when you have a copy in the system font folder as well as your user font folder. So for instance here we look and see a dot next to arial, telling us there's a duplicate of arial we click on it and it gives us all the different versions of arial that its got like bold, bold italic, etcetera. If we look at the regular we see that there's a one copy here and one copy there. We can view on the right the information, the way i brought this up was i hit command i and which shows the information. without command i you get a preview of the font. So here we got this version of arial and this version of arial. Now if we look through it we can see different things about it for instance this is version 2.6 and it's library slash fonts slash arial click on this one and we can see that it's version five point o point one point two x. and it's library fonts arial dot ttf. which explains how its a duplicate, there's the file called arial and there's a file called arial.ttf. now when deciding which one you want to keep you look at the version number but you don't always want to keep the one with the latest version number it's very likely for instance that this one which is just library slash fonts slash arial is the one that came with your mac whereas this one with the dot ttf after it was probably installed by an application that you used on your machine now you don't necessarily have to get rid of these duplicates when in doubt it's probably best to keep the both there but if you do get rid of them i suggest strongly that you go ahead and archive the ones your getting rid of you can do this easily by first emptying the trash so there's nothing else in the trash on your mac and than you should delete fonts from your mac from font book they will appear in the trash than instead of emptying the trash move those to another folder like old fonts and maybe save those somewhere or back them up to cd, this way if you end up having a problem later you have an easy way to get these fonts back now you can also validate fonts the way you do that is you simply select a collection or a series of fonts so I'm going to go ahead and command a and then in the file menu there's a validate validate font function, this is going to bring up this window and it will go through all the fonts in your machine and check to make sure they're all okay, so you don't have to go and check all the fonts in your machine but perhaps your having problems with a font from an application you can go ahead and validate that single file to see if there's any issues sometimes there's minor problems that are found which means the font will work fine it just doesn't fit the current standard. So the problem is what happens if a font doesn't validate and it's causing you trouble, there's probably not to much you can do about it, you can go find the original font on the installation cd from the application the font came with or from the installation packages you downloaded but chances are it was that font in the first place that doesn't validate you can try to find another copy of that font but if the font is specialized for an application you probably won't be able to so hopefully you don't find any fonts that are not valid. Another cool thing you can do with Font book is you can disable an entire collection of fonts so for instance say if the set my fonts were some fonts that i rarely use maybe once a year when i do a special newsletter or something, i can go ahead and control click on it and click disable my fonts that will disable all those fonts so applications that don't use the text panel like say the ones from adobe won't see those fonts at all, but you can easily go back to Font Book and re-enable those fonts as well you can also disable or enable fonts one by one so i can select a font here control click on it and disable that particular font this doesn't get rid of it in any way it just makes it unavailable to all the applications. Sometimes you have a font that's installed in your machine and works okay in all application except one this is because some applications only support certain types of fonts and there are many different types of fonts in this case if you really want to use that font you're going to have to find a version of that font as a different type you're either going to have to purchase it or purchase a cd collection of fonts that you can than use to replace the one that's not showing up. That's a quick summary of Font Book, Font Panel, and how to manage fonts on your mac. Tomorrow i'll be sending out the second edition of the MacMost email newsletter, looks like I'm going to be sending out every Thursday to sign up go to Until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 158: Using Font Book to Organize Your Fonts”

    7 years ago

    I wanted to be able install font groups directly into a font collection (rather than adding them to the main all fonts then having to go back one by one and move them all to this new collection). I’m having trouble doing this, do you know how??


      7 years ago

      Might be possible by dragging and dropping them right to the collection on the left. Give it a try.

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