I'd like to delete some fonts, but I'm afraid I'll remove some that Word needs. What fonts do I have to keep?
Article contributed by Suzanne S. Barnhill
There is no practical limit to the
number of fonts you can have on your system if you are running Windows 2000 or
later (see below...).
But the more fonts you have, the
longer it takes the system to load (though processor speed and amount of
installed RAM are also issues here). So it is not a bad idea to rid yourself of
fonts you know you will never use. There are a number of fonts, however, that
you absolutely must or should not uninstall.
At the top of the list are any fonts
used by Windows to display applications. In
Control Panel | Display | Appearance |
Advanced, find out what fonts are used in Windows title bars, menus, message
boxes, and so on. Depending on the version of Windows and your own personalized
settings, these may include MS Sans Serif, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, and others.
Windows and Word also need Marlett, which provides some of the graphic elements
used in menus and toolbars, but you needn’t worry about this, as it is a Hidden
font and so doesn't show up in the Fonts folder, anyway.
The “Windows core fonts” include Times
New Roman, Arial, Courier New, Symbol, and Wingdings (plus their bold, italic,
and bold italic variants where applicable). Most Windows programs (especially
Word) expect to find these fonts installed. Times New Roman, Arial, and Courier
New are used extensively in the built-in styles in Word 2003 and earlier, and
some of the AutoCorrect entries depend on Wingdings or Symbol characters.
Microsoft later introduced “Windows core fonts for the Web” that are used in
many Web pages; in addition to Times New Roman and Arial, these are Andale Mono,
Comic Sans MS, Georgia, Impact, Trebuchet MS, Verdana, and Webdings. The “C
fonts” installed with Office 2007 (Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas,
Constantia, and Corbel) are also used extensively in that version of Word.
You will probably want to leave
installed any fonts you have used in documents that you may need to access and
print again. But if you move these fonts to another folder for safekeeping, they
are easily reinstalled when needed. There are also third-party font managers
that will install and uninstall fonts on the fly; most such applications store
the fonts in sets that can be installed for particular projects.
Even in earlier versions of Windows, the number
is very large. According to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article “TrueType
Font Limits in Windows 95/98/Me,” you can install a maximum of
approximately 1000 TrueType fonts in Windows 95/98/Me.
The exact number of TrueType fonts you can install
varies depending on the length of the TrueType font names and file names.
The article goes on to say that font files are registered under a single key
in the Registry, and a Registry key cannot exceed 64 KB in Windows 95. If
font names average 20 characters in length and font file names average 10
characters in length, the maximum number of TrueType fonts you can install
falls between 1000 and 1500.
If the font file is located in a folder other than
the Fonts or System folder, the full path to the font is included in the
Registry, using up more space in the key and reducing the number of fonts
you can install. If you exceed the maximum number of fonts (that is, the
maximum number of characters allotted for font names and file names), you
will start losing fonts, and I’m not sure in what order they are deleted.