Fixing Snow Leopard Font Problems

December 9, 2020 uncategorized

For the most part, I don’t have many negative things to say about Apple’s Snow Leopard. However, if you work with a large number of fonts on a regular basis, you may soon run into some strange issues you’ve never seen before. I’ve catalogued some of the issues I’ve found with Snow Leopard below.

Adding a font to Font Book fails to activate the typeface

This issue is particularly troublesome because the system doesn’t alert you that something in fact went wrong. In this situation, importing a font to Font Book looks like it succeeds, but the new font is not found in the font stores. If this has happened to you, there may be an incompatibility with your typeface and Snow Leopard OS. The font you are trying to add may be a Postscript Type 1 font, which is not fully compatible with Snow Leopard – even at the time of authoring this post nearly a year after release.

To confirm whether the font is PostScript Type 1, navigate to the font and read the file description listed in Finder. As an example:

From my experience, some PS Type 1 fonts work just fine. But I’ve run into several PS Type 1 fonts that simply will not work at all on Snow Leopard.

Resolution steps:

Firefox displays some fonts in italic or bold

I don’t know who’s fault this is – Firefox or Apple’s, but it’s a real pain. If you use a font management program like Font Xplorer or Extensis Suitcase, you may find that your Firefox is all messed up after starting up one of these programs. Tell-tale signs of this bug includes text showing up in either bold or italic font style when text should be showing up in a standard type setting. I’ve had this problem effect the following typefaces: Helvetica, Lucida, Times New Roman, and Arial.

The best way to solve this problem, as oddly as it sounds, is to destroy the fonts in your system folder (don’t worry, they will be automatically recreated by the system).

Steps to resolve:

  1. Identify the type face which is being rendered improperly (Arial, Times, etc)
  2. Close Firefox
  3. Find the font’s location in Finder: /System/Library/Fonts
  4. Delete the font

I found out about this trick here and it’s been the only one to work for me so far.

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