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Font management woes with Windows7

    Question

  • I just upgraded from Windows XP and am having so many difficulties with font management under Windows7 Ultimate that I'm thinking of reverting to XP.

    My latest problem is that Windows7 will NOT delete my AdobeTextPro-Bold.otf font (one of a family of 6 Open Type fonts). I think the issue has to do with the fact that Control Panel thinks there are 4 fonts in the family, when there are in fact 6 (and the semi-bold weights may have caused the confusion?). I'm not sure at this point exactly what Control Panel installed in the C:/Windows/Fonts directory: it lists "Regular", "Italic", "Bold", and "Bold Italic" fonts as available for SHOW/HIDE and DELETE, but I personally only ever installed the one font (AdobeTextPro-Bold.otf), using Control Panel's INSTALL button and right-click menu command (over-writing the first installation, since I originally had trouble getting the font to install at all), and it is the only font in this family physically located in the C:/Windows/Fonts directory.

    Of course, I only know this because I use TotalCommander as much as possible (instead of IE) to manage files on my HDDs. Neither IE nor the Fonts Control Panel for Windows7 give me a plain directory listing of actual *files* in the C:/Windows/Fonts directory (at least, not that I could figure out how to access) -- which is a huge issue for me. I understand why actual file names wouldn't be the default directory view in Control Panel/IE, but it ought to be an option for those of us who *need* to be able to work with our font files at this level.

    Since I can't access actual font files in the C:/Windows/Fonts directory through the Windows7 Fonts Control Panel, I tried to remove the errant font file using TotalCommander, and had no end of problems doing so (for a long while, I couldn't even access the file's properties screen by right-clicking). After much to-do, and closing down/re-opening programs, I finally managed this simple task, yet Control Panel/IE still lists AdobeTextPro as an installed family of 4 fonts!

    Perhaps this problem will clear up tomorrow morning after I've completely shut down my computer (that worked last night with some other font installation problems I was having), but I've already restarted my computer once today, and that hasn't made any difference to what Control Panel shows as installed (no matter how many times and ways I've tried to delete the AdobeTextPro entry), so who knows?

    And even if an overnight hiatus does finally fix the problem, this sort of thing is untenable. I have over 3,000 fonts on my system to manage, some of which are Multiple Master fonts that Windows7 no longer supports (because I can't install ATM 4.1 Lite with Windows7). This is critical for me because several of the projects I'm working to deadline on -- right now -- use Multiple Master fonts.

    Plus, my font management program (Bitstream Font Navigator), which I use to create & manage font suitcases for various design projects, isn't working with Windows7 either: as always, it sees my fonts just fine, and allows me to create suitcases (font groups), but it won't print specimens, and it won't install font groups (regardless of whether I have the "allow use of shortcuts" setting checked in Control Panel or not). And I need BFN (or ATM, or something) to print decent specimens of PostScript Type1 fonts (for some reason, the Windows7 Fonts Control Panel prints "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." specimens without any font ID information at the top of the page for Type1 fonts). Given Microsoft's commendable commitment to good typography, I'm really surprised that the Fonts Control Panel doesn't include better tools for printing specimens of all fonts.

    Most important, though, those of us who work with lots of different typefaces need to be able to efficiently manage large groups of fonts. For many years now, I have relied on Bitstream Font Navigator (and ATM 4.1) for this -- along with my ability to easily move font files in & out of directories, including the Windows Fonts dir, myself -- and the Windows7 Fonts Control Panel is NO substitute for this approach.

    ... Which brings me to my main complaint: the Windows7 Fonts Control Panel is doing a lousy job of controlling fonts, at the same time it's taking away from users like me all options to do things differently.

    Add to this the fact that some of my older hardware (e.g., desktop scanner) also won't work with Windows7, and reverting to Windows XP is looking *really* good right now.
    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 9:16 PM

All replies

  • I think you need a blog, firstly.

     

    Then maybe you should try to use an account that is an administrator on that computer. If that doesn't work there is always the reinstall posibility! good luck.


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    • Edited by Carey FrischMVP, Moderator Monday, September 20, 2010 6:13 PM [Links to third-party paid support not permitted in this forum]
    Friday, September 17, 2010 10:10 PM
  • > I think you need a blog, firstly.

    Sorry. I thought that forums such as this were the appropriate place for this sort of discussion.

    If they're not, I shall just go silent again, since for me, a blog is out of the question.

     

    > Then maybe you should try to use an account that is an administrator on that computer.

    I *was* signed in as administrator, and I was still having to check way too many boxes in order to manage some of my fonts.

    FWIW, even though I think I'm working on a pretty stable platform now, and there are many things about Windows 7 that I really like, I still believe that font management under Windows 7 is lousy, compared to XP.

    I had to upgrade my CorelDRAW software in order to access a newer version of Bitstream Font Manager able to run under Windows 7. That was one of several unanticipated expenses, but at least I'm happy with the upgrade, and font management is finally working OK.

    But my Multiple Master fonts are still useless (even FontLab's TransType font conversion program -- which I bought specifically for this purpose -- won't work properly with Windows 7). And buying OpenType versions of my Multiple Master typefaces isn't an option, either, since key characters I was using for 2 online branding projects are not available in the OpenType version.

    So, I have just spent the past week converting all of the artwork for 2 websites currently in development to an entirely different typeface, because Windows 7 can't handle MM fonts.

    IMO, Windows 7 really needs to support ATM, or something similar. As I reported before, the specimens produced by Windows 7 for all PostScript fonts (whether installed or not) lack ALL header information. (And in the headers that Windows 7 generates for TrueType/OpenType font specimens, I wish they'd go back to the XP format, which included the name of the font file in the header.)

    I recognize that change is inevitable, like it or not ... but I would like to have known ahead of time that Windows 7 was not compatible with ATM or MM fonts, and I would have made very different choices about my OS when I had the chance.

    Friday, November 05, 2010 10:57 PM
  • You are doing something wrong, even if can't say what. I've installed various types of fonts (TTF, Type-1 [ATM], PS and others), and never saw a problem with them. The font management in Win 7 isn't lousy, it's very efficient, drag-and-drop your font into the \fonts directory, and they should work (exceptions for very outdated font models may occur). To get on with this issue, please name some fonts that aren't working for you, so I could check that.
    "192 GB ought to be enough for anybody." (from the miniseries "Next Generation's Jokes")
    Saturday, November 06, 2010 3:23 AM
  • Had same problem, strangely on 1 HP computer and not 2 Gateways, all win 7 64; Solution is, from program list (not taskbar) right click on bitstream, go to properties, set compatibility mode to windows xp. A reboot may be necessary.
    Thursday, November 18, 2010 3:10 PM
  • > To get on with this issue, please name some fonts that aren't working for you, so I could check that.

    Font installation is working fine for me now that I'm using Bitstream Font Navigator 6.0.0 instead of the Windows 7 Fonts Control Panel for this, and have removed all Multiple Master fonts from my system. (I should probably add that I have so many fonts to manage, especially with different client projects, that I only physically install a small core set in my Windows Fonts directory; the rest I keep in separate directories, and use shortcuts pointing to their actual location for installation. This is a habit from the old days of working with Windows, where too many fonts in the fonts directory considerably slowed performance.)

    But when I first started on my Windows 7 journey, the problem fonts that I couldn't entirely uninstall from the Windows Fonts dir using the Windows Font controller were all in the OpenType family: Adobe Text Pro. (There are 6 fonts total: Regular, Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic.) At the time, I thought that Windows was maybe choking on the Semibold weights, but I don't honestly remember now actual details concerning what exactly happened.

    FWIW, earlier versions of Bitstream Font Navigator running under XP were not without their problems (namely, you could add OpenType fonts to a font group, but you couldn't delete them once added: the only fix was to delete the entire font group, and build it again from scratch, this time without the unwanted OpenType fonts).

    My new version of BFN handles OT fonts just fine, but there are now other problems with it running under Windows7. Namely: it won't print specimens at all -- for any font type -- and I've not yet had time to troubleshoot this properly. (And since I haven't recently purchased any new fonts, and have already printed & filed specimens for all the fonts I do own -- ergo, I don't *need* to be able to do this right now -- I've moved it way down on my list of current priorities.)

    But, clearly something's going on with the way type specimens print under Windows 7.

    I still stand by my earlier complaints that Windows 7 does not print proper type specimens for PostScript type (vs. XP), and can post sample pix to my website if people need to see for themselves.

    As for my Multiple Master font woes, I should state for the record that FontLab refunded my money for their TransType font conversion program, no problem, and their customer service was so good that I told them if/when they ever get the program working properly, to let me know, and I will purchase it again in a heartbeat!

    Meanwhile, I know I need to complain to Adobe about their OT versions of MM typefaces -- which they tout as the better option for today's designers -- but just haven't had time to follow up on this.

    For the fonts in question -- Cronos family -- Adobe has totally changed the swash character set, so that several logos I had typeset in the original swash characters available on my MM fonts couldn't be duplicated with the new Cronos OT fonts.

    I *will* write and complain to Adobe about this one of these days ... just not for a while.

    I still have 2 websites that I'm trying to get launched by the end of this month ... and plenty of other things going wrong with these to deal with first. :(
    Friday, November 19, 2010 8:19 PM
  • You mentioned using Internet Explorer when looking for fonts.  It doesn't see them, you need to use Windows Explorer, then all should be well.  Even if system files are hidden the font folder is still visible.

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 5:13 PM
  • Shephronimos, I have no specific advice to offer, but just a general comment:  You seem to be choosing to use 3rd party tools over system-integrated tools for font manipulation, and I wonder whether your choices here aren't at least partially responsible for your problems.

    I certainly don't manipulate fonts as actively as you do, but the worst I've seen - when dragging fonts into C:\Windows\Fonts in Windows Explorer or deleting them from same - has been a "font is in use" message, which required me to log off and on again before I could delete it.

    I can't say I agree that font manipulation is worse than XP, based on my own experience.  But again, I don't do as much as you do with fonts, so maybe there's something bad that you're running into because you're doing it so dynamically.

    Are there any specific freely downloadable fonts you can point to that cause you specific problems (i.e., got a link)?  I'll be happy to try what's failing for you.

    -Noel


    Sunday, October 30, 2011 7:51 PM
  • By the way, Windows Explorer seems to think there are 6 fonts in Adobe Text Pro for me...

    -Noel

     

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 7:57 PM
  • Heh, good catch.  I didn't notice the dates before the post by Orpherous, since he/she seemed to jump right in as though the topic was current. 

    I wonder if what Shephronimos saw is something that's simply been fixed by updates in the past year.

    Regarding your issues...  I wonder if perhaps you ran afoul of a secondary problem where Windows Explorer didn't refresh a "Library" view...  I don't know whether the Font management view is literally a "Library" view, specifically, but we do know that on some systems Explorer's not good at keeping its window up to date when it's displaying stuff other than files in a hard drive folder.  Is it possible a failure to update the window after your prior operations might explain what you saw?

    Several reasons I don't see update problems are that 1) I don't use Libraries as a rule, and 2) I start fresh copies of Explorer when I want to access files, and close them when I'm done.  I have set the [ ] Launch folder windows in a separate process option as well.

    I have no particular desire to see "goofed-up dialogs", but if you want to post them, be my guest.

    -Noel



    Sunday, October 30, 2011 8:38 PM
  • Were these 64 fonts all in one set, and is that set available online?  I'd like to try installing / uninstalling them to see what happens.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011 5:34 PM