Osx font managment problem

titus n.'s picture

since i upgraded to osx 10.3.3 i experience a very strange problem:
some system apps, like text edit and ical can't start. but when i run font book they suddenly work perfectly. i guess it has something to do with the system fonts, but i believe that they are all active.
any hints?

Rene Verkaart's picture

I had a similar problem, but I turned off some fonts. Seems that if you turn off some fonts (with me it was Helvetica) the standard programs fail to work. I had a problem with AdressBook and Mail.

Read these documents for more info:



application/pdfFonts in OSX
OSX_FontManagement.pdf (27.4 k)

Good luck,

Thomas Phinney's picture

It used to be that the system fonts per se were required. As of 10.3.x you can now use the Type 1 versions of those fonts instead without problems, but you do need *some* version of Helvetica (and perhaps others) installed.


titus n.'s picture

thx a lot, i dont't know for sure what the reason was exactly, but i guess it was helvetica. when using the "fix duplicates" command it removed obviously the required version.

martay's picture

Phew! this has been a long-haul pain in the butt to upgrade to Panther, and I'm wierdly relieved to hear that others are having problems, no offense. My Address Book gets corrupted; I don't know if there are conflicts between Font Reserve and Font Book; and certain fonts turn themselves off and on without my wanting it. I installed Adobe CS soon after Panther, and don't know it Adobe has some fonts load automatically.

Over the years, I've used Font Reserve, Suitcase, and ATM Deluxe and am sad that ATM Deluxe no longer exists, as it was my fave. With nearly 10,000 fonts, this is all a big headache. Should I disable FontBook? Any insights, tips?

danchatt's picture

Has anyone seen this issue. Type 3 fonts from various sources. Seen in OSX.2 & X.3. Seen in all font Mgmt utils and in design applications. Garbled mapping of characters. A previously working font can go bad due to a temporary addition of a client font with the same name. It does not have to be turned on. I have seen this on multiple machines. Below Bold faces fine, Light have lost their map. Replacing the outline may or may not resolve the issue depending on OS X's mood at the time :-)

OS X Font problem illustrated

Face appears to lose font map due to conflict. Does anyone have a solution? It is impossible to eliminate fonts from various sources due to being a pre-press provider. I have work arounds but would rather have a solution.


Rene Verkaart's picture

Hi Daniel,

I had something similar on my machine. I don't know if it really was the same thing, but what helped me was a little freeware called 'Font Cache Cleaner'. It removes the font cache files and after a reset it should work perfectly again.
You'll find it here:

Good luck,

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