A very Brady font problem
September 2, 2008 10:20 AM   Subscribe

I downloaded the free font Bradybunch and somehow it has now replaced Arial in my MacBook. I don't mean that Bradybunch shows up instead of Arial; I mean that in some applications my computer now thinks Arial is made up of mixed capital and lowercase letters in a childish hand.

I don't know if I've been virused or what. I kind of don't think so - I downloaded it from a major, reputable free font site, my MacBook is still working at the same speed it was, and nothing weird seems to be happening with my email. And I am very prone to accidentally hitting keys and touchpads with my elbow and whatnot. Regardless, I managed to fix my gmail inbox by downloading Arial and making some dragging motions from the installation window to my inbox, but I'm now seeing it's in PowerPoint too. I'm assuming I can probably fix that the same way, but I will admit that I'm lazy and I'm hoping there's some central spot where I can fix this once and for all instead of for each program individually.
posted by killerinsideme to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
How and where did you download & install a second copy of Arial? Adding another version of an already installed font can just cause more problems.

In any event, I would start by removing the Bradybunch font. Depending on how you installed it, it will be in one of three places:

~/Library/Fonts (~ means go into Users, then into the folder for your particular user name)

My "correct" copy of Arial (consisting of files named Arial, Arial Black, Arial Narrow and Arial Rounded Bold, none with any file extension) lives in:

I would remove any other copies of Arial from all three of those font folders. Then I would restart and empty the trash, if only to make sure that all your applications have completely loosened their grip on incorrect font files.
posted by bcwinters at 10:29 AM on September 2, 2008

I had the exact same thing happen with the exact same font a couple years ago. I can't offer a fix as I was right in the process of a fresh install and OS upgrade anyways.
posted by travis08 at 10:53 AM on September 2, 2008

Best answer: Before you remove anything...

Would you open up Font Book? It's an app on your system - it has the option to validate fonts. Could you validate all your fonts?
posted by filmgeek at 11:01 AM on September 2, 2008

Response by poster: Okay, filmgeek, I went through and validated all my fonts and - surprise! - 1 serious error was found and it was with bradybun.ttf. The error is with Arial "post table usability". It says do not use the font so I'm planning to remove it from my system. Interestingly, I've also got 43 "minor problems" with fonts that came with my system. Not sure what I should do about that and I'd be happy to get the hive mind's opinion there too. And thanks, filmgeek, and bcwinters for telling me how to remove it.
posted by killerinsideme at 11:39 AM on September 2, 2008

Response by poster: Oops - the minor problems were - DUPLICATES!!! I'm a genius.
posted by killerinsideme at 11:43 AM on September 2, 2008

I had the exact same thing happen too. Let this be a warning to the rest of you. Don't download the Brady Bunch font!!
posted by clh at 4:46 PM on September 2, 2008

OS X has continuing problems with font caches. There is a bit of freeware called FontNuke that clears all font caches. Whenever anything wonky is happening with fonts, I run FontNuke. 99.6% of the time this does the trick.

Arial is full of issues - "bugs" would be too strong a word, but it does not follow the agreed-upon standards for fonts. However, since it is near-ubiquitous, all other fonts, font managers, and software must compensate for Arial. So, I'm not surprised the issue manifested itself in Arial.

Also, aesthetically, Arial isn't so great. You'd be doing the world a favor by using Helvetica or Akzidenz Grotesk instead. But that's really not relevant to your problem, I know.
posted by Cranialtorque at 5:51 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

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