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Font Management in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

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#1 RPat



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Posted 20 June 2005 - 12:57 PM


I'm not sure about you, but I have noticed a distinct difference in Font management in Tiger than in previous versions.

The biggest issue that I have noticed is that fonts "dont't get installed" by just placing them in Library/fonts. There seems to be a time lag or reboot required.

Prior to Tiger, if I dropped a Font or folder of fonts into Library/Fonts (doesn't matter which one), immediately all apps saw them

Tiger's FontBook doesn't seem to. I have found that I need to double-click on the individual fonts and/or reboot the system for Tiger to "pick them up". This behavior seems to be inconsistent.

In Tiger, Word 2004 always sees the fonts because it reinitializes its Font list if any of the Font directories or sub-directories are updated. Word doesn't use Tiger's Font Services the same way as TextEdit, Pages or Mellel.

I read the Typography PDF for Tiger and it is different from Panter's--it doesn't say "just drop the fonts in a folder" it tries to get you to use FontBook.

They also talk about "activating a foldre of fonts" on the Tiger feature pages

Anyone experience the same thing?



Edited by RPat, 20 June 2005 - 12:58 PM.

#2 Martin Shields

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 05:07 PM

I've had a few font anomalies since going to Tiger:
  • Sometimes Preview displays PDFs with lots of strange characters, particularly in places where a space should appear. Quitting and re-opening generally fixes the problem.
  • Some web pages display odd characters in Safari 2.0. For example, when I view this page, the book title contains a reference to "Exodus 1-15". Where there should be "-" between the numbers I see a diamond shape containing a question mark: Exodus 1�15. (I'd be interested to know whether others have this same problem.)
  • When I upgraded to Accordance 6.6, my first time opening the app resulted in Hebrew displaying very strange characters. Switching off smoothing fixed it, but the display was OK after I logged out and logged back in.
I've been contemplating re-installing Tiger from scratch to see if these would go away (together with other problems I'm having with apps such as iCal).

#3 RPat



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Posted 21 June 2005 - 11:35 AM

Yes, things are different with Tiger...

As Apple was preparing Tiger, Apple started hinting in the Font Management docs about using FontBook for font management. In each subsequent revision, the hinting was stronger.

I did some tests last night with multiple font directory trees and here's my finding...

:) Use FontBook to install and manage fonts in Tiger. :)

I have a folder called "Ancient Language" which contains 10 folders each containing fonts from different vendors, such as, SBL, SP, etc.

In Panther, I could copy the folder over to Library/Fonts (didn't matter ~user or /) and had no problems.

With Tiger, if I copied the folders it took some time, possible a reboot and/or "just looking at the font w/FontBook" before the fonts became available.

If I open FontBook and select all the folders (which inlcudes about 27 fonts) drop them on FontBook's collection pane, a new collection is created and ALL programs (Pages, TextEdit, Word, Mellel, etc.) see all the fonts immediately. No reboot, nudging or waiting.

So, in Tiger, always use FontBook to install and manage fonts.

FontBook is scriptable and that in order for intallers to correctly install fonts in Tiger they should be calling FontBook services to install and activate the font, not just copying the font to the Fonts directory.


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