Welcome to Take Control of Font Problems in Mac OS X: Tiger Edition, version 1.0, the companion volume to Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X: Tiger Edition.
This ebook is all about Mac OS X font problems: what they are, what causes them and, of course, how to fix them. It covers both general and very specific problems that you might encounter in using your Mac, its font-related utilities, and the most popular applications—like Microsoft Office and Adobe’s Creative Suite.
This ebook was written by Sharon Zardetto Aker, edited by Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Electronic Publishing.
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We carefully designed the Take Control ebooks to be read onscreen, and although most of what you need to know is obvious, note the following for the best possible onscreen reading experience:
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Find more tips in the Take Control FAQ on the Web.
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When reading this ebook, you may get stuck if you don’t know certain basic procedures or don’t understand Take Control syntax for things like working with menus or finding items in the Finder. Please note the following:
Path names: The route you take to a file on your hard drive, whether by looking through columns in a window or by double-clicking your way through folders, is the file’s path.
The syntax for paths conforms to Unix standards, because that’s what underlies Mac OS X. The disk’s name is always the first thing in an actual path; since we can assume that the disk is always there, we don’t include its name in the path—but we preserve the slash that would separate it from the next item. So,
A path to something in a user’s home directory starts with the drive’s name, followed by
Usersand then the user’s name. The handy convention, however, is to replace those first three items with ~ (tilde), so
~/Library/Fonts. (You’ve probably noticed by now that path text is formatted in special type.)
For something a little further down, or back up, in a path that was just described, or if the beginning of the path is unknown (because, for instance, it varies from one user to another), we use two periods to indicate the missing part of the path: “With Creative Suite, you get
/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fonts, and its subfolder,
Menus: To describe choosing a command from a menu in the menu bar, this ebook uses an abbreviated description like Edit > Resolve Duplicates. When the actual command name changes based on a special situation or selection, there’s a generic reference: if the command would be File > Remove “NewFlier” based on the name of the selection, the description is File > Remove CollectionName.
System Preferences: Working with certain aspects of fonts means some trips to System Preferences. To get there, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu. Each icon in the Preferences window opens a pane of information. So, if I say “In the International pane of System Preferences” or “in the International preference pane,” you’ll know you have to choose Apple > System Preferences and click on the International icon. Some panes have multiple screens, accessed by clicking their tabs (titles) in the pane, so the directions might say “...in the Input Menu tab of the International pane...”.
The “common ground” between what you should have, and know, and what I’m writing about in this ebook includes:
You’re working in Tiger: Font management in Mac OS X changed drastically from one release to the next; little of this ebook applies to versions before Jaguar, and Font Book changed immensely just for Tiger.
You’re working in at least 10.4.3: I was working in 10.4.6 by the time this ebook went “to press,” but 10.4.3 especially fixed some specific problems in Font Book (enough that I had to delete some complaints). There’s no excuse not to stay current on free system updates, so get with it!
You have administrative access to your Mac: he general assumption is that you’re in charge. (If you’re uncomfortable with, or confused by the very idea of “administrative access,” Appendix D: Users and Accounts can ease your mind.)
You know how to use Font Book: You’re familiar with its concepts and capabilities, including: font validation, resolving duplicates, disabling and enabling fonts, collections, and user-defined libraries. (You don’t have to know all this—but when, for instance, I discuss problems with user-defined libraries, I don’t describe how to create, edit, or remove them.)