Really weird Snow Leopard font problem
August 29, 2009 9:51 PM   Subscribe

I just upgraded to Snow Leopard, and since then, some of my fonts are MAJORLY screwed up in iWork '09 (Pages, Keynote and Numbers).

Specifically, my entire extended family of Hoefler Text.

Here's a screenshot of what my Hoefler Text fonts look like inside Pages:

(The menu should read as follows: Engraved, Engraved 2, Roman, Roman Alt, Roman SC, Regular, Italic, Alt, Italic SC, Italic Swash SC, etc.)

And here's Hoefler Text in action (Hoefler Text Regular appears fine, but Italic looks screwed up):

The fonts worked just fine under Leopard, and also work fine in my other apps I've tested them in (TextEdit, Pagehand, Scrivener), and they also show up just fine in Font Book and Fontcase.

Here's what I've tried so far to repair the issue:

1. I reinstalled the fonts. Didn't work.
2. I used AppZapper to get rid of all traces of iWork, then reinstalled iWork off the disc. Didn't work.
3. I repaired disk permissions. Didn't work.
4. I entirely deleted ALL Hoefler Text font files out of both my user/library and my /library. This is where things got really weird. When I deleted Hoefler Text, it quit appearing in Font Book, TextEdit, etc. but in Pages, et. al it was still there!
5. I purchased FontDoctor and scanned my font folders. No problems there. However, when I copied all my Hoefler Text fonts to a folder on my desktop and then scanned that folder alone, it said the fonts were incompatible with this system (but if that's the case, then why do they work in every other application on my Mac, including Font Book?)

Note: the file type is PostScript Type 1 outline font.

These fonts are very important to me, as they're part of my organization's corporate branding guidelines and are used in all our documents and publications!
posted by ferdinandcc to Technology (17 answers total)
FontDoctor should have an option to clear the font cache. Try that.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:39 PM on August 29, 2009

Just throwing this out there, but after you reinstalled iWork, did you re-run the update- here?

I installed snow leopard on one of my macbook pros and haven't seen issues w/ fonts yet, but have been having some other problems ( python + django ).

If all else fails, try giving apple a call?
posted by cloax at 10:41 PM on August 29, 2009

You should probably just revert to a backup of 10.5.x until Snow Leopard gets its kinks worked out. I updated on my MBA just for the speed boost but I'm reluctant to run it on my other systems.
posted by wongcorgi at 10:48 PM on August 29, 2009

Best answer: Clear your font cache first, yes. These instructions should work with or without FontDoctor.

But: If the fonts you're having problems with are in Type 1 format, it sounds like you licensed them directly from Hoefler & Frere-Jones and are not using the version of Hoefler Text that comes bundled with Mac OS X by default. I'm not completely sure, but it sounds like the problem could be the result of conflicting font installations between your T1 version and the system's version, especially since Snow Leopard now organizes multiple fonts into a single TrueType Collection (.ttc) file.

My suggestion is to go to into /Library/Fonts/ and uninstall the fonts "Hoefler Text.ttc" and "Hoefler Text Ornaments.ttf" — move them into a backup folder so you can put them back later if necessary.

If this is going to fix your problem at all, everything should immediately begin to look right again. If not, try logging out and then logging back in. If that doesn't work, and you did in fact buy from H&FJ, you might want to go through their support route.
posted by tepidmonkey at 10:49 PM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: It does appear to be a cache problem, however, I've discovered that FontDoctor doesn't clean iWork cache, and apparently iWork doesn't use (or at least doesn't solely use) ATS font cache.

So I opened the Caches folder in ~/Library, and moved to my desktop and restarted. Didn't fix it. So I moved the newly recreated AND and to the desktop and restarted again. Still didn't fix it.

Here's what I have currently installed, font-wise: Just the "Hoefler Text.ttc" and "Hoefler Text Ornaments.ttf". And if I create a NEW file in Pages, just those fonts show up in Hoefler Text.

However, if I open my main template document I use for all our company files, suddenly, in the font menu, it shows that I have a ton of Hoefler Text font files installed that I don't actually have installed. It's a little different than the one I showed earlier, so here's a new screenshot:

Seeing as how I've got my Type 1 fonts uninstalled and it's still doing it, that's gotta mean that it's not a problem with my fonts themselves.

So, to recap what I've done:
I've followed nathan_teske's instructions, as well as tepidmonkey's. I've tried it in both Pages 4.0 and also with the Pages 4.0.2 update, I've backed-up and deleted and

This is really starting to drive me batty.
posted by ferdinandcc at 11:42 PM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: (Also, I'd like to thank you all for your help so far—it really does appear to be a cache problem, but I think iWork is performing some sort of cache voodoo stuff that I can't nail down. It says a LOT though that you guys have come up with helpful answers much quicker than anyone at Apple's support site.)
posted by ferdinandcc at 11:44 PM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, just to clear things up—deleting DOES appear to fix it, if I'm starting a new file. However, if I open up my old files, it reverts and my fonts look like that screenshot I posted, despite the fact those fonts aren't even installed.

It's like my old documents somehow have font caches of their own.
posted by ferdinandcc at 12:12 AM on August 30, 2009

This worked for me:

1) Lanuch Font Book
2) Edit->Select Duplicated Fonts
3) Edit->Resolve Duplicates
4) Restart Mac OS X
posted by popechunk at 9:18 AM on August 30, 2009

Is that a possibility - that is, does iWork embed fonts similar to how a PDF does?

Can you try exporting a messed-up document as a Word file and open it there (or in OpenOffice) to see whether the fonts are correct there?

I assume you've also tried opening a borked file on a different Mac to see if the issue is local or something embedded in the file itself due to a bug?

You can also try clearing all font caches for all users in Terminal (directions here assuming this still works in Snow Leopard).

And lastly, if all else fails you might consider nuking iWork and reinstalling from scratch after making sure all the libraries, etc. have been cleared.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:19 AM on August 30, 2009

I just upgraded to Snow Leopard

Nothing beats a fresh install. Upgrades are fine for small things, but when changing operating systems, a fresh format and install is a panacea that saves a million niggling problems.

(Disclaimer: As usual, I'm waiting a month or two. Let other people enjoy the bugs and wait for the app updates.)
posted by rokusan at 11:35 AM on August 30, 2009

I'm having a similar problem with a PS type 1 font in a clean install of Snow Leopard. The font shows up in Font Book, etc, but not in Apple Motion, where I've opened a previously created project which uses the font. There is no duplicate of the font. FCP Studio 3 is the only software installed on this system. Someone else is having a similar problem in Word & Flash here ...

This is very annoying, and is stopping me from using the OS for now.
posted by coreytree at 12:29 PM on August 30, 2009

Response by poster: coreytree: Yeah, it's very annoying. Especially with deadlines.

Popechunk: Yes, I resolved duplicates. I also completely uninstalled all Hoefler Text files (from both Library and User/Library), yet they still show up in iWork.

caution live frogs: I'm wondering that, too. But the fonts don't look screwed up in Quick Look, oddly enough, so apparently Quick Look accesses a different font cache than iWork? Or uses a different rendering engine? I'm not a programmer. Also, I did nuke iWork using AppZapper and reinstalled, but I notice that AppZapper didn't find, so I'm now trashing that and re-nuking iWork and performing a clean install again. I'll let you all know the results.
posted by ferdinandcc at 12:39 PM on August 30, 2009

Yeah, it's very annoying. Especially with deadlines.

Not to be a jerk, but really man: if you are relying on a machine for work with "deadlines", why on Earth would you rush out and upgrade it to a new operating system in the middle of your work? Wait until you have a few days to experiment, or keep a second machine handy, and always, always have a backup. Even an OS that works perfectly will work differently, and that can always screw up processes or old files. Always.

For now: stop burning work time on this and go back to the known working Leopard. Then finish your work, at least until you can take a couple days away from it, and THEN when you have the time to spare, do a fresh install and try again. With a little luck, by the time you've finished your projects the issues will be solved by others and you can just coast on the benefits.

I made the mistake once of upgrading all my computers the same weekend. Baaaaad idea.
posted by rokusan at 12:44 PM on August 30, 2009

I have an clean install of SL & plain ol' Leopard on two different internal disks. That allows me to startup from whichever I want to, experiment and not worry about disfunction causing serious problems. Any project I open in Motion is a duplicate. Heard that Motion was snappier for some in SL, but the font issue is dragging me back to the Leopard install. Hopefully an OS update will fix the issue. A number of folks seem to be having similar issues.
posted by coreytree at 12:57 PM on August 30, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, don't worry, you're not being a jerk—I completely agree, it was stupid of me. However, I'll always have deadlines, and that can't keep me from ever upgrading. But I should've been more patient with upgrading to Snow Leopard.

Ironically, Snow Leopard fixed some of my other font problems I had been having with Leopard (some duplicate fonts had been causing weird UI glitches).

For now, I've copied the documents and the necessary fonts to my Power Mac, which will always be a Leopard system, and will work on them from there while my laptop is reverting to a backup of Leopard.
posted by ferdinandcc at 1:01 PM on August 30, 2009

I'm having similar weird font issues.

Certain fonts are showing up in apple apps, but not in adobe apps or in office.

Using Font Agent Pro I can get some but not all of the fonts to show up in Adobe apps but not in Office.

Cleared caches. Paired down fonts/ rebooted etc no dice so far.
posted by raulgutierrez at 11:20 AM on September 9, 2009

This worked for me:

1) Lanuch Font Book
2) Edit->Select Duplicated Fonts
3) Edit->Resolve Duplicates
4) Restart Mac OS X

I did this, and in addition at step #4 restarted in Safe Boot (holding down Shift on restart). That fixed my problem. (I was seeing bizarre rendering of Hoefler Text in an iWork '09 Pages document.)

As both of these operations are standard operating procedure in OS X, I would try them before anything more radical.
posted by Creosote at 5:34 PM on February 1, 2010

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