Newly installed fonts don't appear in Pages' font menu on macOS

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Roel Nieskens
Roel Nieskens Posts: 187
edited March 2023 in Font Technology
What makes a font show up in Page's or TextEdit's font menu? If I take a font that is on the list, decompile, rename it, recompile it, and install it, it won't show up. The only thing that I changed is the name of the font in the name table. TextEdit will find the font when you go through extra steps to reach "All fonts".

I figured macOS would prefer families with a few styles over a single font, so I tried this with a whole family and still the same result. I used the existing modified date on recompile, in case macOS doesn't like brand spanking new fonts, also same result.

Are there any heuristics for when macOS deems a font good enough the be shown in the main menu of Pages or TextEdit?

EDIT: searching online gets results for users who can't find their freshly installed fonts either, to which people recommend workarounds without really addressing the problem. I can't find a thread here, though I'm sure I've read about something similar once.

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  • Florian Pircher
    Florian Pircher Posts: 176
    edited March 2023
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    Pages only shows fonts that are deemed good enouth to support your current language. If your font does not (often the case with quick experiments), it’s only accessible from the ⌘T Font Panel.
  • Roel Nieskens
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    The language support remained unchanged. Like I said, only a single letter in the font's name changed, for the rest it's identical. The original font is listed, the derived copy isn't.
  • c.g.
    c.g. Posts: 53
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     The only thing that I changed is the name of the font in the name table.

    Maybe the font is CFF and you didn't change the names in the CFF table too?
  • Daniel Calders
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    Which fields in the name table did you change? 
  • Jens Kutilek
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    IIRC this behaviour of fonts not showing up immediately started with macOS 13. A reboot should make the fonts appear in the menus.
  • konrad ritter
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    I had that problem a few times in the past, on macOS 10.2 and 10.3. One thing that worked for me was this approach:

    Close Pages. Open FontBook. Select newly install font. Right-click, then select 'Validate font.' If it validates without warning messages or problems, the next time you open Pages the new font should appear listed, ready for use. Good luck!
  • Mark Simonson
    Mark Simonson Posts: 1,672
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    I find that quitting the app and relaunching it usually works.
  • Roel Nieskens
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    Thanks everybody for your suggestions. Turns out @Jens Kutilek's trick was the one that worked: reboot the machine, and the font is finally there. Indeed it seems like this started with 13 (Ventura). How very inconvenient! Also it seems it is out of our control then. Makes me nostalgic that "turn your computer off and on again" is still a fix in 2023!

    @c.g. @Daniel Calders I did a find and replace across a .ttx of the font, so it also changed the name in the CFF table. I changed only only letter: my original font was Vulf Mono Code, which I changed to Fulf Mono Code.

    @konrad ritter Thans for the suggestion. But the font was actually 100% validated!
  • Roel Nieskens
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    Some further investigation shows that quitting the fontd daemon (the "Mac OS X system font registration manager") makes the font show up. Right after killing the process from the Activity Monitor, fontd will restart and presumably take stock of which fonts are currently installed.

    A little less annoying than having to reboot!

  • Florian Pircher
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    “font daemon” perfectly encapsulates its tormenting nature.
  • Roel Nieskens
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    @Floor van Steeg Thanks, that's very helpful!

    Is there a link to your issue so we can +1 it, instead of making a new one?
  • Floor van Steeg
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    The Feedback Assistant ID for the report I submitted is: FB11453612
    Unfortunately I don't think these reports are public, so giving a +1 is not possible as far as I'm aware.

    Perhaps best to create a simple report about how fonts you activate using Font Book are not visible in TextEdit / Pages. Only after rebooting the Mac the fonts become visible in the font pickers.

    You can mention FB11453612 in your report.


  • Floor van Steeg
    Floor van Steeg Posts: 11
    edited July 2023
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    Another workaround: it seems like you can add any non-Latin secondary language to your macOS System Languages, which will force Pages/Keynote/Numbers to show all fonts in their font dropdown (instead of just English fonts). Assuming your primary system language is English, or uses Latin script:
    1. Go to System Settings › General › Language & Region
    2. Add a single secondary non-Latin language, e.g. Greek (or Japanese/Hebrew/Russian etc.)
    3. Open Pages
    The Pages font dropdown will now show all fonts, including foreign language fonts. And when you activate a font it will immediately show up in the font dropdown.
    TextEdit unfortunately doesn't work with this trick — the font dropdown keeps displaying the English (primary language) font collection, which isn't updated when you activate fonts.
    If you don't want to add a secondary system language you can also temporarily adjust the languages by launching Pages using Terminal:
    /Applications/Pages.app/Contents/MacOS/Pages -AppleLanguages "( en, el )"
    That will open Pages in English and the font dropdown updates correctly when new fonts are activated.

    Unfortunately it looks like this bug is still present in the macOS Sonoma betas.
  • mazal
    mazal Posts: 1
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    EDIT: searching online gets results for users who can't find their freshly installed fonts either, to which people recommend workarounds without addressing the problem. I can't find a thread here, though I'm sure I've read about something similar once.
    Here just to 👏  your query. I'm a lay user of the latter category (freshly installed, widely used font family such as Consolas) who can't find it in TextEdit.

    Compounding this layperson's headache is twofold: firstly, a font's "home" has many options, System, HD, or User, leading down a rabbit hole, "is the font housed in wrong directory?" —among other rabbit hole solutions; secondly, font-related searches become ridiculous due to broad nature of the topic—really, no matter how specifically I try narrow or shape my search.

    So, thank you for hitting bang-on my issue, coupled with a solution that is so sweet, so elegant (ty Floor van Steeg!), which is to quit fontd daemon. Frankly, I have 100s of tabs open in my browser right now—dreaded having to reboot. So thank you, thank you. I'm glad to have found it, as well as this board! 🙏