This article deals with font usage in OS X Panther 10.3.x through macOS High Sierra 10.13.x. Its main purpose is to show you where fonts are located on your system and which can be safely removed. The idea is to keep your font list as small as possible to avoid font conflicts (font conflicts are explained in Section 13). This article will benefit prepress operators and graphic designers the most, but can clear up font issues for most general users as well. It should be noted that this article is written around the assumption that you are using English as your primary language. The minimum required fonts will be very different for other languages.
If you find this article useful, please consider making a donation via. Contributions to user account Thank you. Click to download a PDF version of this article. I first want to mention the notation of file locations. By 'notation' I am referring to the path name. This should help novice computer users and those unfamiliar with standard notation to learn how to navigate to the folders mentioned throughout this article. I can't tell you exactly what the path to your home account looks like (since I don't know your short user name), so here are some handy notes of reference.
A file specification is the entire path from the root of the volume it resides on to the end of the file name. For example, here is the file specification for the Terminal application: /Applications/Utilities/Terminal This is known as a hierarchical file specification in geek terminology, but it's called a canonical filename for short. / The beginning forward slash (as in the example to the Terminal application) of a file specification is always the root level of your boot volume. / The tilde-forward slash pair is always your home directory (folder), i.e., the home folder of the current user login session. So in most cases, the path to the Fonts folder in your home user account would be /Library/Fonts/.
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Which, if you start by double clicking the icon of the boot drive on the desktop, the path can also be presented as /Users/ youruseraccount /Library/Fonts/. The following words: program, application or app all have the same meaning. I use them interchangeably throughout this article. This section examines each of the various Mac OS releases (Panther 10.3 through High Sierra 10.13) and provides the recommended minimum list of the fonts to be stored in the System folder for that particular release of the operating system in order for it and most third party applications to run properly.
These lists also include the fonts most needed for the web, iLife and iWork. The fonts listed should always be active on your Macintosh for OS X and should not be removed.
Note that this first part of Section 1 covers only fonts required in the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder. There is also a root /Library/Fonts/ folder with its own set of required fonts, which will be addressed in the second half of Section 1. From the font lists below, Keyboard.dfont, LastResort.dfont and LucidaGrande.dfont are used mainly for menus and other system font display purposes; therefore, they are the most important to the OS itself. In Mountain Lion and earlier, you must never remove Lucida Grande. Without that font, the system will not boot. If you remove it while the system is active, you will lose control of all menus (they will be blank), essentially locking you out of your Mac.
Mavericks utilized a different method to protect access to the desktop (see the specific text alongside the minimal font list for Mavericks). In Yosemite, Lucida Grande is no longer the main system font, and HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc is the font you cannot remove for any reason. El Capitan through High Sierra change things again with the introduction of an all new set of system fonts; San Francisco.
This set, HelveticaNeueDeskInterface.ttc and LucidaGrande.ttc must be present for the Finder menus to work. All other fonts in the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder (that are not included in the lists below by release level) can be removed. You will need Administrative access to delete fonts from this folder.
It is advised to save them for future use. Create a new folder on your hard drive and copy them there first.
If there are any removed fonts you want to use for a project at a later date, they can always be activated with, or other font manager. Note that MasterJuggler is PowerPC only, and so is suitable for use only in Snow Leopard 10.6 or older versions of the Mac OS. Beginning with Leopard, 10.5 and up through Mountain Lion 10.8, Apple made it difficult to remove critical fonts. If you attempt to remove protected fonts from the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder, the OS will tell you that you cannot remove the font(s) and immediately replaces them from copies in another location. There are many fonts you can still remove from the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder, but some will resurrect themselves. See section 5 on how to permanently remove Apple's supplied versions of Helvetica and Helvetica Neue in Leopard, 10.5 through El Capitan, 10.11 if this is important for you.
Mavericks 10.9 and later eliminated this type of font protection, but you still need to remove the supplied fonts if they conflict with other types of fonts you are required to use. El Capitan 10.11 through High Sierra 10.13 add System Integrity Protection to the OS, making it yet more difficult to remove unneeded fonts, but it can still be done. Other than those fonts the OS absolutely requires to function, when it comes to the fonts you prefer to have on your system there is no right or wrong list.
My idea of required fonts is based on years in prepress. So like most shops, the number of fonts throughout the system is kept to a minimum in the effort to make sure you will never have a conflict with the fonts a client sends with their project. Actually, the prepress and full service printers I've worked and freelanced for usually have a much shorter list than even those presented here. Sometimes the barest minimum of fonts they can get away with and still have the OS function. Such shops normally have no unnecessary software installed on their work stations; just what's needed to get production work done. This bare minimum setup has some advantage, but you will then be missing many fonts commonly used on the web. What then happens is that your browser ends up substituting the missing fonts with whatever font is available.
The result is that web pages will display so badly at times that it can be difficult (or even impossible) to navigate them. The bare minimum setup also lacks many fonts that Apple supplied applications require to operate. So for most users having only the bare minimum fonts on your system is not recommended. You can find many different web sites telling you what the minimum font installation for each macOS and OS X release should be. Each site has its own reasons for including some fonts that I do not, and others don't include fonts I think should be active. My main decision making was to run every application the OS ships with and many major third party applications, seeing what wouldn't work if a particular font were missing.
The end result is the list of fonts you find here. It's a compromise between the Spartan set most prepress shops use, and what a more fully functional OS needs along with proper display of web pages. Special Notes About Section 1 - Presented in no particular order as each OS release changes the rules a bit. Hopefully each is organized into its own paragraph, but no promises.
Readers who have followed this article for some time will note that Times and Symbol have been added to the required font lists. They were excluded before since this article was originally intended as a guide for prepress, when the article was also much shorter in length. So the lists have been modified to represent what the majority of macOS and OS X users should have in their /System/Library/Fonts/ folder, rather than the leaning towards the needs of prepress. So Courier has been added back into the minimum font lists for the System folder. As with Times and Symbol, remove Courier if it interferes with your need to use a PostScript version.
Users should be aware that not all font managers, and possibly other utilities, will list font names exactly as you see them here. For example, Suitcase Fusion's interface lists Keyboard and Helvetica Neue Desk UI as having a period preceding their names, even though they are not listed as having a period as part of the name by the OS. Not even if you do a file listing in Terminal. Font Book also hides some fonts in its listings from the user in Snow Leopard and later, such as LastResort and Keyboard. But you shouldn't be removing those fonts anyway. Apple has tied their conflicting versions of Helvetica so closely to the OS, and in so many places, it is no longer easy to manage them so you can use a Type 1 PostScript version.
If you haven't already, purchase Adobe's or Linotype's new OpenType PostScript Helvetica fonts if you prefer, or require PostScript fonts for your output. They do not conflict with Apple's Helvetica fonts, so you don't have to fight with the OS supplied fonts as to which ones are active. Use Type 1 PostScript when you have to accurately reproduce a standing older project (see section 5 if this applies to you). One thing to be aware of when you disable Apple's Helvetica.dfont and HelveticaNeue.dfont, is that you are disabling quite a few fonts. This is because a.dfont is a suitcase which can contain any number of individual fonts. The following list is based on Mavericks. Helvetica: Regular, Bold, Bold Oblique, Light, Light Oblique, Oblique Helvetica Neue: Regular, Bold, Bold Italic, Italic, Light, Light Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Thin, Thin Italic, Bold Condensed, UltraLight, UltraLight Italic, Condensed Black, Condensed Bold With El Capitan, Apple has (almost) released Helvetica and Helvetica Neue back to the user.
Adobe, Microsoft and possibly other third party vendors have not. See the minimum font list for El Capitan for more information. In High Sierra, it appears Apple has stopped using Helvetica and Helvetica Neue for the OS entirely.
Apple's Grapher program is not something normally used in prepress, which relies on the fonts Times and Symbol. As clients frequently use other versions of Times and Symbol, the Apple supplied versions can be excluded from the lists below if you need them out of the way. See section 2 for more on Grapher. A note on the MM fonts in the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder.
Since Lion, the Mac OS has continued to install these Multiple Master fonts. Also since Lion, a Terminal command named has existed, which attempts move all third party fonts out of the System, main Library, and the active user account Fonts folders.
Run with the -n option, it pretends to go through the steps without actually doing anything; though it still does create the folder Fonts (Removed) in the main /Library/, the /System/Library/ and the active user account folders. When the Terminal command is run, it produces this 'error' message: These fonts are not part of the default system install. They would have been removed to 'Fonts (Removed)': /System/Library/Fonts/HelveLTMM /System/Library/Fonts/Helvetica LT MM /System/Library/Fonts/Times LT MM /System/Library/Fonts/TimesLTMM The message is wrong since a default install of Lion through High Sierra will install these files (actually, El Capitan through High Sierra will only install two of them). Font Book runs the Unix command fontrestore under the option Restore Standard Fonts. When run, it does indeed remove all of the MM fonts.
Proof enough for me they're dead. For this reason, they are no longer included in the list of required fonts in Lion or later. The initial purpose for these fonts was to duplicate the Adobe Reader's built in MM fonts for use in Preview.
These MM fonts no longer exist in the Adobe Reader, and it appears Apple has followed suit, but hasn't cleaned up the OS installers. It should also be noted that this command does not restore all fonts installed by macOS or OS X you may have removed from the System or root Library folders. What is does restore are System and root Library fonts you may have removed that also exist in the hidden Recovery partition. This is a very incomplete set. So while some will come back, most won't. The command also removes fonts which are not part of the macOS or OS X original installation.
As such, it 'restores' the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder, the /Library/Fonts/ folder to a state which only includes the fonts provided with macOS or OS X. The active user account Fonts folder gets emptied out. Starting with Lion, 10.7.x, Apple made the decision to hide the Library folder in the user accounts. Most tech writers presume this was to make it more difficult to locate and delete files a person shouldn't be digging through (without knowing what they're for). In order to see the Library folder of your account, Apple's method involves (1) being at the desktop, (2) hold down the Option key and (3) choose Go Library from the menu. For advanced users, this gets really old since it's surprising how often you do go into your Library folder for various reasons.
To make it permanently visible, open Terminal and enter the following command: chflags nohidden /Library This will make the Library folder visible for the account you are logged into at the time, so the command will need to be repeated for each user account as you log into each one. This change will also be reset if you reinstall the OS or apply any updates. You will then need to repeat the process. In Mavericks and later, Apple has made showing your home Library folder much easier. Open your user account by double clicking the icon of the house within the Users folder. It must be the active folder in the Finder in order for this to work.
The fastest way to get to this folder is to be on the desktop (so Finder is shown as the active app next to the Apple logo at the upper left) and press Command+Shift+H. Then choose View Show View Options, or press Command+J. There will be a check at the bottom labeled Show Library Folder. If the correct user account folder is not open and selected, you will not see this check box. Required fonts in the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder. The following lists, arranged by the release level of Apple's desktop OS, are the minimum recommended fonts. They represent the minimum number of fonts that allow all macOS or OS X supplied apps, and most third party apps to work.
The latter being limited to what I can test. Always save copies of all installed macOS or OS X fonts before proceeding. If there are apps you use that will not launch after reducing your fonts to these lists, enable the copied fonts one at a time with your font manager (or just temporarily move or copy them into the Fonts folder of your user account) and test the app again. Keep adding until the app launches successfully. Permanently add that font back to the system.
As an example, some of the Adobe CS6 and CC 2015 apps will not launch if Helvetica is missing. Such testing is sometimes more involved than that. For instance, the early release of Microsoft Office 2016 would not reliably launch unless HelveticaNeue.dfont was specifically in the /System/Library/Fonts/ folder. Any time you manually remove fonts, you should clear the font cache files from the system. Remove all fonts first, then see section 17 for instructions.
The method using Terminal at the bottom of that section is the easiest. If you use Font Book, you should reset its database (section 6).
macOS, 10.13 High Sierra I like easy. This version of the macOS turned out to be like that. The minimum fonts are almost the same as Sierra. There are quite a few more San Francisco fonts than previous. In Sierra, there were 33.
In High Sierra, there are now 58. An early update to High Sierra changed something that affected the display of emojis in Messages. Possibly a framework installed for the Safari 11.0.1 update. Whatever the cause, Messages now requires the fonts AppleSDGothicNeo.ttc and ヒラギノ角ゴシック W3.ttc to display emojis. Otherwise, all you get is the question mark in a box from the font LastResort. These two fonts have been added to the minimum font list for the System folder.
The five fonts that will not work properly in El Capitan or Sierra (Athelas.ttc, Charter.ttc, Marion.ttc, Seravek.ttc and SuperClarendon.ttc) continue to be a problem in High Sierra. The issue was momentarily fixed in Sierra, but they went missing again as of 10.12.2.
These five fonts remain in limbo with High Sierra. The fix was the same as in El Capitan (see below).
When I first tested these five fonts upon High Sierra's initial release, renaming the fonts still worked. One of the recent updates to High Sierra caused renaming the fonts to stop working. It made me wonder if removing the buried.ATSD and.fontinfo data still worked. I booted into Recovery mode to turn SIP off, then removed all of the info data for those fonts.
Not after a restart, clearing font caches, or renaming the fonts on top of removing the data info. None of Apple's apps will recognize these five fonts as being on the system. Microsoft Office, Adobe's and everybody else's software does. Just not Apple's. At this time, the only fix is to copy these fonts from Yosemite and totally replace the High Sierra installed versions. That is, if you need to use these particular fonts in Pages, TextEdit, or whatever Apple software you're using. Here's one I didn't think I'd ever see, and is something press and prepress shops in particular will love!
Though I can't fully guarantee this, it looks like Helvetica and Helvetica Neue are now completely unhooked from the OS. Removed from the System folder, there wasn't a single OS supplied app that wouldn't launch, or behave incorrectly with them gone. I would have to assume the OS and all Apple supplied apps now use San Francisco for all display purposes.
Experiment as you wish with this possibility if you're of the group that has to wrestle with the OS versions of Helvetica and Helvetica Neue conflicting with your older Type 1 PostScript versions. All of the Adobe 2017 CC 2017 apps I have installed launched without either font set active. But, Premiere Pro displayed boxed question marks (from the system font, LastResort) where the timer numbers should be. So it is obviously using either Helvetica or Helvetica Neue. Office 2016 surprised me. Given the fact it wouldn't even launch in its earlier point release versions if Helvetica Neue was missing; Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook all launched and behaved as if nothing were wrong.
This is all moot for most users. Helvetica and Helvetica Neue are used rather extensively on the web. And other than people like me who have to work around these fonts in prepress, there isn't a good reason to remove them. So I've left Helvetica and Helvetica Neue as required fonts. Apple has just about killed off their proprietary.dfonts in favor of OpenType. There are only three.dfonts left in High Sierra.
Courier, Geneva and Monaco. Even the fonts in /Library/Application Support/Apple/Fonts/ are now all.ttf or.ttc. The only three that aren’t are in the Deprecated folder. This section describes other fonts you may need available at all times depending on the software you use. Courier Some applications require the presence of Courier in Panther and Tiger. Geneva I have found no reference that requires Geneva, but it's best to leave it as it has long been a standard font for the Macintosh OS. Helvetica Some of the OS X supplied applications that will not launch if Helvetica is missing are mentioned in Apple Knowledge Base article.
While not listed in that particular article, iChat is another application which requires Helvetica, as does iCal. If you've seen the message, 'Internal Error' when starting iChat, you're missing Helvetica. Some Adobe CS/CC apps will not launch if Helvetica is missing. Helvetica Neue The Office 2016 apps will not launch if Helvetica Neue is missing (earlier point releases only, now fixed).
There's no good reason to remove the macOS or OS X supplied versions Helvetica or Helvetica Neue unless you work in prepress, advertising, design, etc., where you must be able to use a different version of these type faces (see section 5). If you don't, leave them be.
The use of Helvetica has changed starting with Leopard 10.5. While the system normally prevents you from removing either Helvetica or Helvetica Neue, I have removed both from the hard drive and found that iChat and iCal no longer seem to be affected. Both launched and displayed without either Helvetica font available. IPhoto 7 and iLife 08 both require the presence of Helvetica Neue. In older versions of OS X, Mail is one application that seems to require, or at least prefer the Unicode versions of Helvetica supplied with Leopard.
It will work without them as long as you have another version of Helvetica and Helvetica Neue open, but may have some display problems such as text being misaligned or overrunning its intended space. Mail also requires MarkerFelt, or the Notes portion of the application won't open. Notes has been separated as an individual app from Mail starting in Mountain Lion 10.8.
Monaco Terminal is one application that will launch, but not display correctly if Monaco is missing (Menlo in Snow Leopard or later). Times If you are using the Monaco (X-Rite) GamutWorks application, it requires Times to function.
This can be the Times.dfont supplied with OS X, an OpenType or a Type 1 PostScript version. But it must be Times. Times New Roman or any other variation of the Times typeface will not work. Apple's Grapher application also requires Times. Like Monaco's GamutWorks, it must specifically be Times. In addition, Grapher also requires Symbol. Without Times, Grapher will not launch, instead giving you a message that there was a problem with the application.
If you have Times open but not Symbol, Grapher will launch but then erroneously tell you there is a font conflict, when in reality it's just that Symbol is missing. Symbol MailMate requires Symbol. Zapf Dingbats iTerm2 requires Zapf Dingbats. ヒラギノ角ゴ ProN W3 If you are using DxO Optics Pro, even if English is set as your language, it will fail to launch if this font is missing. Apple Gothic If the font AppleGothic.dfont is not installed, the following problems occur: a) You will find that the Adobe CS line of applications will not install in Leopard or Tiger (the CS2 and later applications do not appear to be affected).
When trying to install them, you only get as far as entering your administrative password, and choosing your language. The installer then quits. The CS applications run fine once installed. It is only the installers themselves that are affected by the absence of AppleGothic.dfont. B) The retail version of OS X Tiger itself has an issue if AppleGothic.dfont is not available. When the DVD is inserted, the disk begins to automatically open, but the Finder then closes the DVD file window and resets before even seeing the contents. C) In Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac OS X, previous to version 11.2, PowerPoint will complain that four of the Asian fonts are missing if you are using the short list of fonts mentioned in section one.
One error message for each of the four fonts that you need to dismiss. It doesn't effect the operations of PowerPoint, just an annoyance that it insists on telling you that fonts you don't need (as an English speaking user) are missing. You can eliminate this problem by updating to 11.2.x (11.2.1 being current at the time of writing).
If you have already attempted to run PowerPoint after updating to 11.2.x without AppleGothic.dfont active, then you have already discovered that PowerPoint crashes after clicking the Open button at the Project Gallery. To fix this problem, activate AppleGothic.dfont. Run PowerPoint again. This time, after clicking Open in the Project Gallery, you will get a message that certain Asian fonts are missing. Turn on the check box at the lower left to tell PowerPoint to never check for those fonts.
PowerPoint will thereafter start without errors, or display any messages about missing fonts. Such issues have been eliminated in Office 2008 and 2011. All of its applications will open without any error messages. D) In later versions of the Mac OS, the Messages app will not launch if Apple Gothic is missing. Apple Gothic isn't needed often, but given its importance to viewing and using installation disks and its various effects on both third party and macOS and OS X supplied apps, it is advised to have it enabled at all times.
This section is headlined for Microsoft Office, but also revisits web fonts to note the difference between older legacy Mac TrueType fonts and OpenType versions installed by the various versions of Office. There are a few fonts installed by OS X and Microsoft programs (namely, Office products) that should be left active since the Microsoft applications (Office X, 2004 and 2008 versions) use these fonts. Mainly for templates. Also, many web sites use these fonts and will display better if they are available on your system. None of these fonts should interfere with any prepress operation in the form of conflicting with a PostScript font of the same name, so can be safely left as is.
These are the names as they will appear prior to Leopard, 10.5: Arial Arial Black Arial Narrow Comic Sans MS Georgia Impact Tahoma Times New Roman Trebuchet MS Verdana Webdings (from OS 9 or X) Wingdings Wingdings 2 Wingdings 3 Note about Wingdings: OS 9 included Wingdings, Wingdings 2 and Wingdings 3, but OS X did not. It wasn't until Leopard, 10.5 that Wingdings appears as part of OS X.
Before Leopard, it was assumed that you could use Wingdings if you installed Classic (OS 9) on your system. Expanded font list for Leopard through High Sierra: Because the fonts in the /Library/Fonts/ folder supplied with Leopard through High Sierra are OpenType (some are.dfonts) rather than legacy TrueType suitcase fonts, the list appears longer. OpenType fonts are saved as one font per file (those with a.ttf or.otf extension). For example, while the Arial legacy suitcase font from Office 2004 looks like one item, it actually contains four fonts; Arial, Arial Bold, Arial Italic and Arial Bold Italic. The OpenType fonts appear as four individual items.
Great - pretty sure this is my problem too, though mine is a mid 2012 unibody. The issue started randomly but could very well be a knock as it spends a bit of time in my daughter's schoolbag:/ Is it likely to show up later if that is the case? Or more likely to be needing a new LCD cable? Closest tech is 100km or so away - I don't know if I'm confident to remove the whole screen (most I've ever done is replace a hard drive) - is it worth just trying a reconnect at logic board side?
Thanks in advance door. I did try reconnecting cable at the logic board. Discovered a plastic screw cover sitting on the board right next to the lcd cable connection. Also looked like there was a bit of corrosion on some of the logic board screws.
It did actually make a difference - the screen now comes on at start up (when cold) for about 5 secs, flickers, before going black again:-/ Backlight, keyboard light all good. It is functioning perfectly via external mac screen though? Would this be the case if it were the logic board?
Webdings Dropped From 13 For Mac Activation Key
You'll need to open the system up and inspect things. As your spoke about using Rice was this system wet at some point? If it was then you likely have liquid damage. While Jessa talks about using Isopropyl alcohol to displace the water. I do things a bit differently as I often see the computer after it has dried out. Again the issue is not the water (H2O), the problem it's whats dissolved within it! Minerals, Salts and other biological stuff.
Pure water (Distilled Water) will allow you to wash away the junk. The idea here is to bathe the parts discreetly to rinse off the materials we don't want. You may need to use a soft brush to scrub the areas to get off any thing thats stuck down. Then we need to displace the water using Isopropyl alcohol.