Weeding Your Fonts

Article contributed by John McGhie

OK, this is a bug, but it won't be fixed for a while, so you need to work around it.

Word will be treacle-in-winter slow (or may freeze or hang completely on startup) if you have duplicate font names.

To resolve,

  1. Close Word.
  2. Start Apple's Font Book.
  3. Run the command "Select Duplicated Fonts" from the Edit menu.
  4. Run the command "Resolve Duplicates" from the Edit menu.
  5. It pays to physically remove from the computer all the fonts Font Book just switched off.
    1. After the duplicates have been "Resolved", highlight each turned off font and click "File>Reveal in Finder" then just drag it to the trash.
    2. You may notice that Font Book sometimes turns off the newer copy of the font instead of the older one.  If you prefer the newer copy, drag the older one to the trash, then re-enable the new one.
  6. Now re-start the computer.  Apple OS X will rebuild its font cache, and Word will rebuild its font cache from that.
  7. For best performance in Word, try to run with all of your fonts enabled all of the time.  Each time Word starts, it compares its font cache with the system font cache.  If the two don't match, Word will regenerate its own font cache, which can take a few seconds.  If you have dynamically-enabled fonts, the system font cache will appear different nearly every time Word looks.
  8. You need to do this every time you install an update, because the Microsoft installer will try to put the disabled fonts back in each time.

Most users will save a LOT of time by staying out of the Font menu altogether.  Define styles for all the formatting you need, then you can format text with a single click, and you don't need to wonder if the font is right: you know it is, and it will stay that way.

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