Adobe, OSX and fonts with odd brackets

aluminum's picture

I'm helping tech support a coworkers OSX laptop.

As a web developer, I've tended to prune my app's font lists down quite a bit over the years so likely don't run into the performance issues some do.

She's recently installed a LOT of fonts (few hundred from the looks of it) and now her system is beach balling a lot. They were put into Adobe's own font folders (not OSX's system folder).

My initial hunch is that that's just too many fonts to be loading into memory and that's what's slowing OSX down.

But the other odd thing is that inside her apps (such as Illustrator) a lot of the fonts show up with <brackets> around the font name, so it might look like this:

font name
font name
<font name>

Anyone know what those brackets around a font name indicate? I assume maybe it's a damaged or missing font?

Mark Simonson's picture

Pretty sure that means that the font was used in one of the currently open documents, but is missing (not installed).

kentlew's picture

Are these old Postscript fonts? My experience with bracketed names is that it indicates a style referenced in the suitcase, but for which there is no PS font found.

In InDesign, you can get a style name in square brackets when you change font families and the style designation from the previous family does not have an equivalent in the new family. So, for instance, Minion-[RomanOsF].

aluminum's picture

Mark...that could be, though it appears that these show up even in a new blank AI document. No characters appear, so it is likely a missing font (or many damaged)?

Good info kentlew...thanks. These very well could be older PS fonts.

In terms of performance, is the likely issue just too many fonts? Or could it be that there's just some bad fonts?

Mark Simonson's picture

Too many fonts will affect certain things, like font menu performance or how fast certain apps start up, but I don't think it will cause an overall slowdown.

You may want to run Font Book or a third party font manager and see if any issues are found.

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