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Getting rid of fonts

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Getting rid of fonts

Postby Jayell » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:51 pm

Is there any way to know what fonts I can safely delete from my computer .. other than perhaps moving them to another folder to see if anything will go wrong .. go wrong .. go wrong.

.. and what is "hide"? (in the Windows-Font right-click dialog box). The icon fades, but is still available in Word. So what am I hiding it from?

Using win7 64-bit
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Bob » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:17 pm

.. and what is "hide"? (in the Windows-Font right-click dialog box). The icon fades, but is still available in Word. So what am I hiding it from?


Windows 7 added the "hide" feature. The purpose is to hide an installed font so that it doesn't show up in application menus but will still be installed so that applications that are using them internally will not be impacted. You can imagine the problems you would have if you uninstalled the font your application (or Windows itself) was using for its menus and error messages.

The problem is that the fonts are hidden only if the application is using the new "choose font" routine or the new Scenic Ribbon controls that Windows 7 provides for the application's use. If the application is using its own custom routine to get the list of fonts to display and choose, it has no idea whether the font is hidden or not. So, it shows them. Applications using custom font menus will need to be rewritten to check the hidden status of the font.

Is there any way to know what fonts I can safely delete from my computer .. other than perhaps moving them to another folder to see if anything will go wrong .. go wrong .. go wrong


It's difficult. I haven't seen a list of required fonts for Windows 7. But, even if you don't delete a system font, your installed applications may be using a font for some purpose and you might not find out until long after you delete the font. The only fonts you know for certain won't cause problems when deleted are the ones you added yourself. I'd recommend always copying the font to a backup folder before deleting it.
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Jayell » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:31 pm

Thanks for the detailed response, Bob. Guess I'll just move them to another folder .. so if something goes wrong, I can put them back into place.
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Dave McElderry » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:32 pm

An excellent answer Bob. A question that I've had myself. There have been times that I've tried removing some fonts that I thought I didn't need. Sometimes it does result in unexpected problems, as you mention.

Jayell wrote:Thanks for the detailed response, Bob. Guess I'll just move them to another folder .. so if something goes wrong, I can put them back into place.


Unless it happens to be a system font that's needed to see what you're doing to move them back! :( Then it might be helpful to be comfortable with some old fashioned DOS commands.
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Peru » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:58 pm

They don't really take up much room, do they?
Why bother to remove them?
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Dave McElderry » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:03 pm

Peru wrote:They don't really take up much room, do they?
Why bother to remove them?


It used to be that every font had to load on boot, and if you had a lot of fonts it could really slow things down. I'm not sure if MS has changed the way that's done or if systems have just advanced to the point where they can tolerate loading hundreds of fonts because of the speed and huge amounts of memory they now have.

For me, the biggest reason would be to cut back on the sheer number that are in the list, especially since (to me) many are extremely similar.
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Jayell » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:51 pm

Peru wrote:They don't really take up much room, do they?
Why bother to remove them?

As Dave mentioned, I was assuming it added to load time for each program. But my main purpose (as Dave also mentioned), is that when I'm looking for a font (something I do quite often), it makes me c-r-a-z-y having to look through zillions of fonts I know I will never use! It would be nice to have a pared down list.
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Re: Getting rid of fonts

Postby Dave McElderry » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:03 pm

I've heard of font managers, but never used one. Now you've got me wondering if a font manager could control which ones load? :-k
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