Mailbag Shows How Too Many Fonts Causes Fonts to Disappear

December 8, 2014

Do you have too many fonts installed? While some of you may say you don’t, I’m guessing that almost all of you don’t keep them under control. First I’d like to share with you an e-mail I received from a loyal reader and then we’ll discuss the problem of too many fonts.

Just wanted to let you know that I recently broke 1500 fonts in my Win/fonts directory, and they stopped appearing in Corel (Raleway, for instance has a bunch of weights, and only book shows up), and my computer started erratically refusing to boot without resetting to an earlier configuration without the fonts installed (nothing else wrong — had a full diagnostic). So I’m finally doing what I should have done years and YEARS ago and deleting fonts (after saving them somewhere else just in case). (I dislike using font managers — as a designer, I like being able to test every possible font for a potential logo, so I like them all installed and available.)

Just wanted to let you know that when you have too many fonts installed in the Win/fonts directory (Windows 7), you cannot delete them easily — get the dreaded “font in use elsewhere” message, but erratically and not for every font. The only way around this problem is to copy the font elsewhere for safety, and then rename the font. Once it’s renamed, deletion works fine. Once I got below 1390 +/- they’ve been deleting just fine, and I’m looking forward to having a much leaner list of fonts that doesn’t include things I’ve never EVER used in however long it’s been since I got Corel 2….and downloading and installing new fonts I might actually use.

I must first point out one of my pet peeves that reared its ugly head in this e-mail. Read this again if you must, but can you say for sure what software is having the problems? Yes, many of you will guess and that’s all you can do. So keep reading and you’ll see the software was never identified. Just the name of a company that makes many different software packages. Please read Why Is It So Difficult For Users to Name Their Software!

Like many things in life, we don’t address the issue until a problem arises. That is often the case with fonts. You only feel you have too many installed when you start having problems. If you must schedule a font pruning session on your calendar, do it!

The more fonts you have, the slower your computer. Everyone wants more speed so uninstall fonts! Not only did this user undoubtedly suffer from a slow computer, fonts just stopped working. For this user, the magic number was around 1500. Sometimes it can be a bigger number, sometimes smaller. The reality is that this is way too many.

I also cringed when I read they were all in the Windows/Fonts folder. That is the last place I want fonts stored. Last Word in Font Management was originally written more than ten years ago, but it is filled with good practices for font management. Those of you who have CorelDRAW X5 Unleashed Advanced Topics will find a lesson dedicated to font management with updated information. Study this lesson and put the suggestions into practice so you can avoid font problems in the future.

Post Discussion


  1. Anonymous

    I’m using Windows 8 and currently have 364 fonts loaded. I’ve recently been using Arial Rounded MT (the regular, not the bold). I’ve noticed that Windows does not load this automatically and I need to reinstall it before opening documents where I’ve used this font. Can any one tell me why this is so and how can I insure that it is loaded every time I boot the computer?

  2. Foster D. Coburn III

    You didn’t say how it was loaded. If it is simply sitting in the Windows/Fonts folder, my first suggestion would be to get it out of there and into a separate folder. Then load it from that remote folder.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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