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3

Fonts seem to install, but don't...

Explorer ,
Jan 18, 2012 Jan 18, 2012

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Hi folks! I'm using inDesign CS5 on a windows 7 machine.

I got a bunch of truetype and opentype fonts from another designer who runs on a Mac.

I install the fonts and they appear to install though they don't actually appear in the fonts folder.-- (when I try it again, the machine says the fonts are already installed, do I want to copy over)

When I open inDesign, I get the missing fonts error. But then I can go through and manually install them succeessfully without problem, until I shut down and restart my computer.

Then the font error comes up, and I have to re-install and manually connect the fonts all over again.

What's going on? Is it some problem between mac/pc?

best regards

H

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Explorer ,
Jan 25, 2012 Jan 25, 2012

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This is great info Peter, I'll talk to the designer and get it straighened out. (The "HP" path is because I'm working on a book for HP)

thanks very much for your help and patience!

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2012 Jan 30, 2012

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I am having the same type problem, only I do not believe the fonts came from as Mac.  As far as I know they are Windows fonts that appear to install in Windows/Fonts.  But, they do now show up in InDesign.  Any fixes?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 30, 2012 Jan 30, 2012

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Which particular fonts? You have another thread going that mentions Arial Narrow, and there is a known issue withthat and one or two other fonts supplied by Microsoft that have an internal error in the font name.

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Participant ,
May 03, 2017 May 03, 2017

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This is an old topic but it comes up on google searches a lot, and I can see the whole issue (and fix) is not completely explained. So I thought I'd sign in and try to do that. Sorry, this reply is really long, but I think it clears up pretty much ALL windows font-related issues like this. Problems like:

• the font is in the folder, but not available in word or adobe Indesign or whatever

• the font says it's already installed, but it's not

• you say "yes, replace the installed font" but still don't see it showing up anywhere

• you have a ton of duplicated files in the windows font folder, ending in _0, or _1, etc.

• windows shows some members of a font family but not all of them

• the installed version of the font is different from some alternate version you're trying to install.

What I figured out is this - when you install a new font, windows copies the font file to the windows font folder, and at the same time updates a list of available fonts in the windows registry.

This list of fonts is important. If a font exists in the font folder, but the registry list didn't get updated... then you won't see the font in your applications.

If the font doesn't exist in the windows font folder, but exists in the registry list, windows thinks it's installed. Even if it's not working anywhere, even if it's been moved or deleted from the windows font folder, windows considers it "installed" because it's on this list.

And if you try to install a font that isn't working, but it's on that list... you get that annoying popup error "this font is already installed, do you wish to replace it?"

If the list has the font, but the list has incorrect info about the font's file name... like the list thinks it's called "font1.ttf" but the actual font file is called "font2.otf"... you can't use the font.

Also, the windows font folder gives you a weird specialized view of your files, which looks different from other folders. The actual filenames are replaced with the font name, so instead of seeing "times_0.ttf" you see "Times New Roman Regular". The listed fonts can act like "folders" that you can double click to see the full font family within. This 'special' font folder view is controlled by this hidden registry list. So let's say gotham-bold.ttf is in the windows font folder, but it's not in the registry list... gotham bold will NOT show in that special view of the font folder either. It's actually there in C:\windows\fonts\ , but you can't see it. And if you right click gotham-bold.ttf (from any folder) and choose install, you'll get that annoying error about it already being installed. Worse, even if you say "yes, replace it"... you still might not see the font appear in the folder.

That's how you end up with a ton of duplicate font files with names like font.ttf, font_0.ttf, font_1.ttf, whatever_0.otf, etc. If you are prompted to reinstall the font, and choose yes... windows won't overwrite the file, just create a renamed copy. So you might end up with 2-5 copies of the same font in your windows font folder, and these separately installed files can get listed twice in the registry too.

Anyway at this point someone's probably thinking "that's great but how do I fix it?"... here's the fix, if you want to install a specific font but keep having trouble getting it to show up and work

1. Open up an explorer window (e.g. by pressing the windows key + E) and at the top, click in the address bar and paste this: \\localhost\c$\Windows\Fonts ...this gives you a true, normal view of the windows font folder, where you see a complete list of the files within your windows font folder, with their actual filenames (e.g. "times.ttf"). Every variation is listed by its filename too, so times italic will be in there as maybe "times_it.ttf" and not combined with (or hidden by) other font names. You don't see the convenient previews and full font names, but you DO see a true, accurate list of your files without the registry list screwing things up by hiding some of them.

2. Click any font inside the folder, ctrl+A, ctrl+C to copy every font to the clipboard. Then make a new folder (let's call it fontbackup) and ctrl+V to paste all those font files into a backup folder. Now close the backup folder. That's important because you don't want to get the two folders confused.

3. Keep the original font folder open. Run regedit. If you're unsure about how to do that, I'll let you google that and see all the scary warnings about how you might break the computer if you're not careful. Within regedit, navigate to this "folder": HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts

**note, that's not microsoft\windows, it's microsoft\windows NT\ ....the folder (actually called a key) should definitely be there.

Once you click it, you should see a bunch of fonts listed on the right. Look for the font that's giving you trouble, click that item in the list (the "list" is actually a bunch of separate registry items called "values", one value per line) and tap delete on the keyboard. Be careful doing this, make sure it's the font you want to fix, not some other font with a similar name. It'll ask you to confirm deletion, say yes. Note it might be in the registry multiple times, so delete multiple values if necessary.

4. Go back to your font folder (make sure it's the "true view" of the font folder, as described in step 1). Find the file associated with your problem font. Note that sometimes the filenames are a little cryptic, like "Book Antiqua Bold Italic" might be called "ANTQUABI.TTF". You can always double click a file to see a preview and confirm it's the font you're looking for. You want to remove that font from the windows font folder completely, including any copies. So if you're removing Cooper Black, be sure to get cooperbk.ttf, cooperbk.otf, cooperbk_0.ttf, cooperbk_1.ttf, and so on. By "remove" I mean delete, which should be safe if you made a backup in step 2. If you're the cautious type though, you could also ctrl+X to cut a font from the folder, and then ctrl+V to paste it somewhere else, like your desktop.

5. Now that the font is removed in the registry and from your windows font folder, you can install it "fresh" in a way that won't give errors or problems. Find the font file and install it in the usual way (I like right click --> install). If you see a warning about "do you want to overwrite the existing font" that means you screwed up somewhere in step 3 or 4 and didn't remove the font from either the registry list, or the windows font folder. If you see no warning at all though, everything probably worked fine and you can start using the font immediately in Word, Photoshop, etc.

6. But even so, reboot just to be safe.

Optional but recommended - you can search for and delete a bunch of duplicates. This may slightly help with performance but mostly it's just to keep things tidy. The downside is that if you're careless or unlucky you might delete a windows system font. To be honest though I've actually done that, and it wasn't impossible to recover from. Still, it's a pain, so be careful.

What I did was open an explorer window, go to \\localhost\c$\Windows\Fonts, and typed this into the search box at the top right: *_0.ttf (find all files ending in _0.ttf) ...after finding all those results, I just highlighted all of them and deleted them (actually, I moved them to a backup folder to be safe). Then I repeated the process by doing additional searches... one for *_1.ttf, another for *_2.ttf, and so on.

You should also do the searches for opentype font files, so *_0.otf, *_1.otf, etc. And you may have duplicated postscript fonts too, which have filenames like *_0.pfb.

Stick to just those filetypes, other font filetypes are likely to be system fonts. Like some critical windows fonts are just called whatever.fon. So don't delete any FON files.

Once the duplicate files are gone from the font folder, you also need to nuke them from that registry list. So you just go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts and skim over it for any filenames (the data on the right) that end in _0, _1, _2, etc. ...then you delete those items from the list. Again, don't delete any system fonts like arial, times new roman, MS-anything, or any file named something.FON.

At this point, the only fonts that should exist in the windows font folders are originals (i.e. you should see whatever.ttf, but not whatever_2.ttf) and the registry should only have entries for those originals (so the registry list might have "Whatever Font" on the left, and on the right, it 'points' to the file "whatever.ttf". If it incorrectly points to whatever_2.ttf, you can just double click that item, and retype the name properly in the data box that pops up). If a font is missing from the registry list, you just need to right click and install it, then refresh that list. But don't do so until you're sure it's NOT in the windows font folder.

This has solved all of my font problems so far, and vastly reduced clutter. Hope this helps others.

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017

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Hi,

You described my problem exactly, I've followed your instruction and cleaned up after the failed installs and was quite hopeful.

Sadly when I installed the fonts again, they again got scrambled and out of family of 36 I can use only 6!

But both registry and the \\localhost\c$\Windows\Fonts seem to contain all the right files and names, only when I go to Illustrator or even to the normal view of the Font folder I again find only 6 out of 36!

Do you have any advise what to do to avoid it?

(I know the font itself is fine as I successfully installed and used it at home on Windows7, but at work, much better machine with Windows 10 just keep messing it up).

Many thanks

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 23, 2017 Aug 23, 2017

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You are a saviour, thanks so much. I've been tearing my hair out over this since starting where I'm at now, on a PC previously used by someone else. According to the registry, the troublesome fonts were located in a folder that my account no longer has access to (despite having admin permissions). Removed the entries in \\localhost\c$\Windows\Fonts, and the accompanying registry entries, then installed the fonts and restarted.

Thanks again. Will have to do this on a font by font basis but at least for now all's good again.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2020 Mar 02, 2020

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I virtually made an account here just to thank you for the time and effort you sank into answering a year old question on this board. You saved me a LOT of work 🙂

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New Here ,
May 31, 2021 May 31, 2021

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Thank you so much for posting this solution, this is the only answer so far that has actually even tried to find a way around the problem.  

If you or anyone could help me though, I'm at step 4 and can't delete any files because "I need admin privileges to make changes in the file" (not the exact wording, I'm translating the original message). I can't find a way around it, if someone could tell me how to solve this I would be very grateful

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Participant ,
Jul 23, 2021 Jul 23, 2021

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Hey, just saw this reply a few months later. It's a common and frustrating problem, not being able to delete a file in windows, you can get the "you're not admin" error, or you can get "file is in use" error. To solve 'you're not admin', right click a file, choose "properties", and look for a tab at the top that says "security". If this tab is missing, it may be disabled by your IT department at work. If the security tab exists, click it.

-

Up top, you should see different users ("Authenticated users"... "system"... "admins"... etc.) and on the bottom you can see the rights each type of user has ("read", "write", "modify" etc)

-

You want to give your user account "full control" which means all rights are checked. But it can be tricky because your account might fall under several categories. Like you're an authenticated user, but you're also an administrator. - So here is the fix that usually works no matter what: click "Edit" under users. Then click "add". On the next screen is a blank area where you can type, type the word Everyone. Click ok.

-

Now you're back to the previous screen (looks similar to security tab), except now there's a user called "everyone". Click that. Then in the section below, click the "Full control" checkbox in the bottom half. This means any user can read, open, or delete the file... make sure you're OK with that, before clicking OK. And click OK again from the security tab.

-

After doing this, you should now be allowed to delete the file. If it doesn't work, you might try taking ownership of the file. To do this, right click the file... properties... security tab again. Click advanced. At the top you should see the name of the file, then "Owner". Click "change"... it may give you a security warning, click OK to the warning. Now you want to change the owner to your specific user name (the name you sign into windows with). If you forgot, you can do this: press the keyboard shortcut [Windows]+R to bring up a 'run program' box. Then type cmd and click OK. When the black and white command prompt comes up, type whoami  ...it should tell your username, it may say something like "domain\DanSmith" or "domain\dsmith" or whatever. The dsmith part would be your user name.

-

So anyway, back to the box where we clicked "change owner"... type your username, then click "check names" and windows will search to make sure what you typed matches a user on this computer. If it does, you should see the name expand and get underlined. Click OK. Then OK to the next screen and the security tab. - Now that you're the owner, and have full control, you should definitely be able to delete it. If you still have trouble, reboot and then try again. Sometimes you can delete a file and windows thinks it still exists, then you try again and it gives some error.

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New Here ,
Aug 02, 2021 Aug 02, 2021

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Thank you so much for this comment! It's the first time somene actually gives a decent explanation and it starts to make sense. However I'm still having issues, I know you posted this years ago, but if you could still help I guess it's worth the shot.
Here's the thing: I can't find the problematic font neither in "true" fonts folder nor registry folders, yet I get the "fonts already installed" when I try to install. Then when I open InDesign I get the "fonts missing" error message. Now here's the tricky part, which I suspect is causing the trouble but failed to solve: the fonts DO appear in InDesign, but not because they are installed, but actually because I had Fontbase installed, a fonts testing program that uses a seperate folder, so you can visualize any font family in a separate window and see them in any software, regardless of them being installed because it uses a seperate fonts file (not the windows/fonts one). So I figured I could uninstall Fontbase and try your solution again... but I couldn't uninstall it (it doesn't show in windows uninstaller in control panel) nor can I for the life of me find its registries... I tried stopping it from running and deleting all folders I could find but it is still showing the fonts in InDesign, even though it seems to have vanished from my computer... I believe I'm missing a registry entry but I have no idea how to find it. Please, help 😞

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Participant ,
Aug 03, 2021 Aug 03, 2021

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Hi Thais... I'll see if I can help. I haven't used FontBase and am reluctant to install it, if it's a pain to uninstall 🙂   
--
I googled around and found this info. I cannot confirm if it works but try it. The Fontbase uninstall program is apparently part of its update program (called "update.exe"), and you can find it here:  
C:\users\yourname\appdata\Local\FontBase\

--

However, you must run update.exe with a special 'uninstall' option. To do this, you must run the unstaller using Windows command prompt. Press windows key+R to bring up a "run program" box. Then type cmd. You should get a black and white text prompt.

--

Copy this command, and then right click in the black and white text prompt to paste it:

cd C:\users\yourname\appdata\Local\FontBase\

(remember to fill in your username where it says yourname)

--

If it succeeds, the new text prompt should look like this: 

C:\users\yourname\appdata\Local\FontBase\>_

--

Now type this command to uninstall fontbase

update.exe --uninstall

--

Once fontbase is uninstalled, try checking for Fontbase-related folders under C:\users\yourname\appdata. Usually you will see 3 folders... Local, LocalLow, Roaming. There might be a FontBase folder under any of these or all of them. If you see it, delete it. Also keep in mind it might be under a folder named after the developer, Dominik Levitsky Studio. So look for any folder that has a name like that. Let me know if it solves your problems!

 

 

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