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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Font conflict: Apps open only when FontBook is running

Font conflict: Apps open only when FontBook is running
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford Universe City
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Nov 11, 2004, 10:28 PM

Okay, maybe I need some other more robust font managing app, but in the meantime, on first launching any Apple app (iCal, Mail, Safari, etc) they don't open, just the little triangle under the app is there in the Dock and let's just hang out forever, huh? Then I force Quit, run Font Book and keep it running, restart them and they work fine. My core stand-alone apps (PhotoShop, InDesign, Quark, etc) don't suffer this ill.

I don't seem have any duplicate fonts running (nothing that ol' FB shows anyway), seem to be managing System vs. Library fonts correctly, but who knows.

Running 10.3.6 and nicely up to date.

So, if you have a solution to the current predicament, or can recommend a solid font management utility/app, I'm all ears.

Dr. Smoke
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Nov 12, 2004, 07:23 PM
Most problems related to Font Book come from using it before knowing how its default preferences are set. Common problems include disabling important fonts, moving them from System to somewhere else, resolving duplicate fonts incorrectly, etc.

I recommend everyone read the PDF file Fonts in Mac OS X before using Font Book.

I also recommend you review Using and Managing Fonts in Mac OS X.

You can undo almost everything done by using Font Book -- except restoring fonts you have Removed or putting fonts you moved back where they belong -- using the following procedure.

Please read this entire procedure in full before using it. Perform the following steps in the order specified:

(1) Quit Font Book and all other open applications.

(2) Open your Home > Library > Preferences folder and trash the following files:

- com.apple.fontbook.plist
- com.apple.ATS.plist

The first is the preferences file for Font Book. The second is the list of fonts you disabled in Font Book: when you log in, the fonts listed therein are prevented from loading. After deleting the second file (com.apple.ATS.plist) and logging out/in all previously-disabled fonts will load. If you've installed hundreds or thousands of fonts, this could result in very slow performance when all previously-disabled fonts are loaded.

(3) Open the Macintosh HD ]Library > Caches > ATS folder. If you are the first user defined on your Mac, there should be a folder in there called 501. Trash it. If you are the second user, 502 would be your folder: trash it. etc. If you use Fast User Switching, there may be several 501.xxx, 502.xxx folders with the ATS folder that you need to trash. If requested to authenticate, provide your Admin password.

(4) Restart your Mac.

(5) Empty the Trash.

Note: In lieu of step (3) you could try:

(a) Font Cache Cleaner; or

(b) a full System-level cache cleaning with Cocktail or Panther Cache Cleaner (PCC). That would also require a restart. Do not empty the Trash before restarting.

I do not recommend using Font Book in conjunction with other third-party font-management applications.
Good Luck!

Dr. Smoke
Author: Troubleshooting Mac OS X
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Nov 13, 2004, 12:21 AM
Wow, thanks Doc, that's nicely thorough. I'll try it and report back.
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Nov 26, 2004, 07:17 PM
Yes, Thanks Dr. Smoke! This thread helped me with the same problem.
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