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Font Menu & Font Update Problems

Contributor ,
May 22, 2019

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Hello! Thanks for looking.

I am a type designers & I use illustrator in building & testing fonts as part of my production workflow. I use the same array of font apps along with my cc2019 suite on 2 different machines. One is a mac mini one is an imac, both are on the latest mac os.

On the mac mini, with Illustrator open I can see changes to a font immediately reflected in the document. In other words if I replace a .otf or .ttf font file installed at mac hd/library/fonts any changes in that font immediately update in the open .ai document. If I install a new font the font will immediately pop up in the font menu.

On my imac neither of these things work. I need to quit & restart Illustrator to see new fonts, some fonts refuse to ever show up at all & I can not see any changes made to existing fonts unless I quit & restart Illustrator.

I've been searching & searching & trying everything for hours & hours & I can't fix it. Any clue would be greatly appreciated.

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Font Menu & Font Update Problems

Contributor ,
May 22, 2019

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Hello! Thanks for looking.

I am a type designers & I use illustrator in building & testing fonts as part of my production workflow. I use the same array of font apps along with my cc2019 suite on 2 different machines. One is a mac mini one is an imac, both are on the latest mac os.

On the mac mini, with Illustrator open I can see changes to a font immediately reflected in the document. In other words if I replace a .otf or .ttf font file installed at mac hd/library/fonts any changes in that font immediately update in the open .ai document. If I install a new font the font will immediately pop up in the font menu.

On my imac neither of these things work. I need to quit & restart Illustrator to see new fonts, some fonts refuse to ever show up at all & I can not see any changes made to existing fonts unless I quit & restart Illustrator.

I've been searching & searching & trying everything for hours & hours & I can't fix it. Any clue would be greatly appreciated.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2019

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If your new fonts do not appear in the Character panel, do Rest Panel - no need to restart the AI

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Contributor ,
May 27, 2019

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Thank you for this. Not sure who marked it as correct but it wasn't me. This is the best & most obvious solution & I should have mentioned it but even with the "reset panel" command there are still 2 problems I would like to understand.

#1 "Reset Panel" simply doesn't work sometimes. In the same instances where restart does not work, reset panel does not work either.

#2 I'm still trying to figure out why the menu updates immediately and automatically on one system but not on the other. Is there a setting or preference for this?

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Contributor ,
Jun 28, 2019

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This issue is still not solved & I've not been able to find a solution anywhere. Allow me to clarify.

The issue is not just about the font menus but about font updating in the entire document & actually across unlimited documents after unlimited numbers of app restarts and system restarts. I assume this can be fixed because I have proper behavior on one machine & improper behavior on another.

I build fonts. I use Illustrator as one of many apps in which I test the fonts as part of my workflow. The problem I am having is that fonts DO NOT UPDATE in Illustrator after I have deleted the old, installed copy & installed an updated version. If I change some characters or kerning or font names or any other characteristic of the font & reinstall Illustrator still shows me the old version of the font. The changes are not reflected in the doc or in the menus no matter how many times I start a whole new doc or restart Illustrator or restart the system.

Again I want to make clear that on my other machine which has the exact same OS & the exact same version of Illustrator the behavior is totally different. That machine behaves the same as every other version of Illustrator I've had on every machine since the 90's. If I update an installed font file the changes show up immediately in any open doc with no need to quit, make a new doc or restart. Illustrator picks up the new copy of the font immediately with no action on my part.

I can not get my new machine to behave this way after trying many, many fixes & investing many hours of research into the issue. I would appreciate some help from an Adobe expert please.

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Contributor ,
Oct 23, 2019

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For anyone who may be having a similar problem... I've finally found a solution to this issue that works.

 

Both the problem & the solution are similar to issues I was having with Dreamweaver cc2019 on the same machine. In both cases all menu based & keystroke based methods or purging &/or resetting the app preferences & cached data failed to solve the issue. In both cases I needed to find the offending pref or cache file and MANUALLY delete (or remove) it.

 

While it was a slightly more obscure file in the case of Dreamweaver, in the case of Illustrator the offending file was the main prefs file "Adobe Illustrator Prefs" located at:

harddrivename/users/username/Library/preferences/Adobe Illustrator 23 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs

 

The hard reset of preferences done by option>command>shift while starting Illustrator failed to purge whatever bad data was causing Illustrator to refuse to update fonts on the fly. Only manual removal of this file fixed the problem. The file will be regenerated automatically the next time Illustrator is started up.

 

Purging of any of the specifically font related prefs/caches did not seem to help at all.

 

The app seems to behave as expected now. If I modify a font & install a new .otf or .ttf under identical names, version numbers etc. Illustrator will imediately recognize & display the changes live in the document with no need to close & reopen the doc, restart the app or the machine or reset any panels.

 

The data in the main AI presfs file is much more lengthy & difficult to read/understand than that of the Dreamweaver site prefs file so I was unable to locate the exact location or nature of the offending data in this case. Various factors point to the initial cause of this issue that efected several of my Adobe cc2019 apps on this machine being the mac "migration" from an older machine to this one. Something is corrupted or misconfigured in many of the migrated prefs & cache files that causes them to fail to update or regenerate as they should & to defy all the normal processes for resetting/purging them. Deleting & reinstalling the apps did not fix the problem. Updating the apps did not fix the problem.

 

This issue has been detected, researched & eventually fixed in in a similar way across 3 of my Adobe cc2019 apps now. It might be worth Adobe staff looking into this as I'm sure I'm not the only person on earth who's had this issue. It is crippling when it happens & many many hours of research, help articles & forum visits over the course of many months failed to point to a solution. I had to hack my way through via trial & error with only clues from the official procedures as to what to try. It was not a good user experience & in some cases it got worse & worse over time.

 

I am still left with various innapropriate preference related behaviors in Photoshop for which I have yet to find the correct file to purge. This is very frustrating because not all of these files seem to regenerate automatically if I remove them. This leaves the possibility that I'd break something terrible if I simply pulled them all in hopes for a fresh start like a "factory reset".

 

Some good questions for an Adobe emloyee:

Can anything & everything under the "Preferences" folder for any given Adobe app be purged without fear of permanent damage to the apps?

 

Will any/all of these files & folders be regenerated when/if needed?

 

Is the Apple Mac migration process just incompatible with the Adobe suite? Is this a known issue?

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pcyrus LATEST
New Here ,
May 29, 2020

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Thank you, Matthew, for your detective work.  I've been having the same problem in a similar situation: when I update a font, Illustrator doesn't recognize the changes.

 

I'd just add that the file path to my version of this file was quite different, so I recommend just searching for "Adobe Illustrator Prefs".  I saved a shortcut to the directory so I can return and delete this file whenever I update a font - sometimes multiple times a day.

 

Thanks again for saving me many hours of investigation, although it took me a while to realize AI wasn't updating the fonts.

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