Some System Fonts Don't Display in Font Book

Discussion in 'Apple' started by TaliesinSoft, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    My System/Library/Fonts folder contains just those fonts installed as part of
    OS X. Interestingly, four of those fonts do not show in Font Book. They are:




    Last Resort.dfont

    The fonts have been checked by FontAgent Pro 3 and not problems were
    reported. Also this behavior has been noted on three different Macs.

    The absence of these fonts is not really a problem, but a matter of

    So, what is the "special" property of these fonts that eliminates them from
    Font Book's list?

    -- James L. Ryan -- TaliesinSoft
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 19, 2005
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  2. TaliesinSoft

    matt neuburg Guest

    They are not fonts in any normal sense - for example, you'll notice that
    they never appear in a font menu. They are more like backup character
    repositories for ATS. m.
    matt neuburg, Feb 19, 2005
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  3. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest


    Many thanks for the incredibly fast response!

    And what, pray tell, is ATS? (ignorance setting in here)

    Am I incorrect in my understanding that only those fonts in the Font Book
    enabled collections will appear in the font menus of applications?


    -- James L. Ryan -- TaliesinSoft
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 19, 2005
  4. TaliesinSoft

    matt neuburg Guest

    To put it in a nutshell, ATS (Apple Type Services) is how Mac OS X deals
    with the fact that Unicode comprises a million characters, so that any
    character you enter could appear in any font (and in fact might very
    well not be present in the font you are "using" at the moment).
    I don't know, because I don't know what your understanding is.
    Collections and fonts are two very different things; for one thing, just
    about no Carbon apps are collection-savvy. So to make sure that a font
    is well and truly disabled, look at the font. m.
    matt neuburg, Feb 19, 2005
  5. TaliesinSoft

    Jeff Wiseman Guest


    I'm not sure what version of X you are using but I recently had a
    real problem dealing with fonts for Microsoft Office 2004 for
    Mac. I ran my tests on OS 10.3.6.

    I discovered that in addition to something very strange about
    some of the Fonts that Microsoft had, either the Font Book
    utility or ATS (or both) had some significant bugs in it that
    need to be fixed. They don't seem stable when some oddball type
    fonts are installed. My conviction is that Font Book has some

    The problems I've seen included fonts that were in the Font
    folders and viewable in Font Book all of a sudden disappear from
    Font Book but were still in the Font Folder. Deleting the ATS
    preferences file can reset things and cause them to again be seen
    in Font Book (thanks Matt, you led me to that one!) I've also
    seen collections mysteriously dropping fonts and even where the
    collections themselves seize up and become useless (can't put
    anything in or out and can't even delete the collection).

    Anyway, with that said and getting back to your original question...

    When a person logs in, there is a set of fonts made "visible" to
    that account. Part of this information seems to be carried in the
    ATS preference file in the user's library which Font Book
    manipulates. Font Book seems to operate off of that information
    in the same way that all of the other applications do. In other
    words, if you can see it in the Font Book and it is enabled, you
    can see it in the applications and vice-versa.

    Note that the Fonts all only exist physically in the User,
    Computer, Network, or Classic type "collections". I use the term
    collections but these aren't really "collections" the way Font
    Book defines them. They are more akin to the "Library" in iTunes
    where everything is physically stored. Font Book's "collections"
    are more like the Play Lists in iTunes. Font Book collections are
    only lists of fonts that point to the fonts existing physically
    elsewhere (either in User, Computer, or Classic, etc.).

    - Jeff
    Jeff Wiseman, Feb 19, 2005
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