Font ‘Management’ in Windows 7

Posted on November 3rd, 2011

Just having a rant now – I was copying over some fonts from my old to new pc (both running Windows 7), and was presented with this error:

Cannot install font.ttf

The file ‘C:\Users\…\font.ttf’ does not appear to be a valid font.

Huh?! it was working fine before. After a brief Google it became apparent that this is the standard response Windows gives when trying to install a font without Admin rights for the system – nice useful message there then!

This incident highlights the lack of general font Management in Windows, the interface has hardly changed over the years since Windows 95. One thing they did change however was the way it hides the full names of fonts and collapses any sub-fonts into one grouped file. As always the fonts cannot reside anywhere other than the Windows/Fonts directory – so if you have a lot (mine come to more than 600MB) you would have that clogging up your main system drive.

This Microsoft neglect of a pretty fundamental aspect of computing – usually forces people to third-party apps such as Adobe Font Manager (now depreciated and unsupported) or Suitcase Fusion 3 from Extensis – but should you really have to pay out for such basic functionality. I won’t even start on the growing number of ‘Mongolian’ system fonts that MS bundles in with each new version of windows.

As a designer you can see why the majority flock to Mac OS.

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