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Managing Font Resources

An excellent way to experience the system resource domain hierarchy is by managing fonts. Lion has advanced font-management technology that enables an unlimited number of fonts using nearly any font type, including bitmap, TrueType, OpenType, and all PostScript Type fonts. As mentioned previously, fonts are installed in the various Font folders located in the Library folders throughout the system. A user can manually install fonts simply by dragging them into a Fonts folder.

On the other hand, Lion includes a rather nice font-management tool, /Applications/Font Book, which will automatically install fonts for you. Font Book can also be used to organize fonts into more manageable collections, enable or disable fonts to simplify font lists, and resolve duplicate fonts.

To manage fonts with Font Book:

  1. Open /Applications/Font Book.

    The main Font Book window appears, allowing you to preview any currently installed font by clicking on it in the Font list.

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  2. Choose Font Book > Preferences to adjust where Font Book will install new fonts.

    By default, Font Book will install fonts to the user’s Library folder. If you are an administrative user, you can choose to install fonts to the local Library folder by choosing Computer from the pop-up menu. Close the Font Book Preferences dialog once you have made your selections.

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  3. From the Finder, simply double-click on the font you wish to install. Font Book will automatically open the font and show you a preview.
  4. Click the Install Font button to validate and install the font to your selected default Library folder.

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  5. If you, or the application you’re using, have difficulties choosing fonts from a large list, you can temporarily disable fonts within Font Book by selecting the font and then selecting the small checkbox button at the bottom of the font list. You will also have to verify your choice by clicking the Disable button when a verification dialog appears.

    Disabled fonts will appear dimmed in the font list with the word Off next to their name. To enable the font, simply select it again and select the same checkbox button at the bottom of the font list.

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  6. Fonts that have multiple copies on your system will show a small dot next to their name in the font list. You can automatically disable fonts that are duplicated in your system with Font Book, by choosing Edit > Resolve Duplicates from the menu bar.
  7. To remove a font, select it from the font list and press the Delete key. You will be presented with a summary dialog, reminding you that continuing will move the selected fonts to the Trash folder. If you are sure this is what you want to do, then click the Remove button.

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  8. If you’re having font issues, you can identify problem fonts by forcing the system to revalidate all the fonts on your system. To do this, select All Fonts from the Collection list, then select a single font in the Font list, and finally use the Command-A keyboard shortcut to select all the fonts. Choose File > Validate Fonts to start the validation process.

    The Font Validation window will open and scan all the selected fonts. This window will clearly show any problem font with a status indicator (exclamation mark icon) next to the font’s name. To remove a problem font, simply select the checkbox next to its name and then click the Remove Checked button.

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  9. If you’re still having problems with Fonts, a final option in Font Book is to restore all the system fonts back to the defaults for Lion. To do this, choose File > Restore Standard Fonts. A dialog will appear verifying your choice. Click the Proceed button to remove third-party fonts from the system.
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