Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Blurred fonts in 10.5

When I updated my 10.4.11 iMac to 10.5 I noticed some AppleWorks apps were rendering with quite nasty looking fonts.

I thought that was an AppleWorks problem, but today I started up iTunes 8.01 and this is what the EULA looked like (click to see full res).

Yeck. Unfortunately I'm not a font guy, so I can't tell which font is causing the trouble. In fact, I know very little about OS X fonts.

Two knowledge base articles (yay for my custom search) helped:
Font Locations are pretty much what one would expect. There's a location for the user, for all users and for the system. I had nothing in the user folder.

In my System Fonts folder the dates of the fonts were Oct 2, 2007, Sep 28, 2007 and Sep 23, 2007.

In the Apps Fonts folder I saw the same 3 dates. So I figured anything with those dates was good.

I also found 23 fonts with dates from 2004 to 2007. I suspect some of those came with AppleWorks. Palatino was on that list, it also comes with iWork that was once installed on this machine.

I've removed those fonts for now. I'll use Onyx to clean up the font caches (safe boot only clears caches for the account used to login) then see how things go. I can then add back the fonts I removed and inspect them with Font Book.

I guess I'll learn a bit about fonts. I suspect there's a 10.5 bug somewhere in all this ...

Update: I can't find information on how to make iTunes redisplay the EULA so I switched users and opened 8.01 for the first time in a different account. It displayed properly. Then I went into the iTunes App Package and hunted down "License.rtf", then pasted the text into Nisus. The text is clear now, in Nisus it shows as Lucida Grande. So I don't know if I fixed anything, but I won't bother with Onyx for the moment.

I did check AppleWorks and many fonts still render badly in the spreadsheet. I'm thinking that one's an AppleWorks problem, maybe a really old problem.

Wikipedia has an excellent article on OS X fonts.

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