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Jeremy Bohn

Hide foreign language fonts

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There are tons of foreign language fonts installed by macOS. Starting with Catalina, there is no way the manually remove them anymore. However, Apple made it so they don't show up in the font menus of typical Mac apps. One exception is Affinity apps. For example, see how many of this one font is clogging up my font menu:

202574438_ScreenShot2020-01-12at8_05_06PM.png.c11f3ee35f7ee6a9fa715dcc17b76335.png

I found this 2017 thread here and it ends with "We have now resolved the problem and will make the fix available in the next iPad & Mac release." Maybe this is a regression?

I originally posted in this thread, but the problem is also in the betas so I hope it's okay that I reposted here to hopefully get more attention.

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5 hours ago, Jon W said:

the previous fix was for iOS only

So why did the note about it say “[We] will make the fix available in the next iPad & Mac release”? ears.gif


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.2.174 • Designer for iPad 1.8.2.4 • iPadOS 13.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Hi Jeremy, 

I'm afraid we have decided to keep the current behaviour for 1.8. We currently show all installed fonts regardless of language, in common with other non-Apple software. If we start hiding fonts of certain languages, there will be problems for any documents that already use such fonts. We would like to fix this properly by adding language filtering to the font list, but there is currently no timeline for this. 

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I understand, but why do other apps hide them? Why does your iPad app hide them?

Was it incorrect when it was said in the other thread "We have now resolved the problem and will make the fix available in the next iPad & Mac release."? 

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Another couple of thoughts...

- instead of disabling the fonts, just give the option to hide them from the list? That way when a document is opened that uses the font, it'll still work.

- also note that Apple's FontBook only displays the Noto font as 7 families. I think Affinity apps should at least do the same thing:

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 2.43.27 PM.png

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15 hours ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

- instead of disabling the fonts, just give the option to hide them from the list?

I have long thought this is a macOS deficiency, and the very suggestion you have made for Affinity is what I have wished could be possible at the system level. I don't want to disable fonts that the system—or, for example, music programs—might use, but I don't want them cluttering the font menus.

That some apps have started hiding some of these foreign fonts was unknown to me until this very thread. I would appreciate if Serif gave the option to hide those fonts, and I would activate the option, but I think this would be a case where they would be stepping in to do what Apple should have done in the first place.

[I would leave feedback for Apple—indeed I used to in the past—but I never feel like Apple actually listens. Too bad they're not like Serif in that regard.]

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I wasn't 100% sure on this either garrett until I noticed 1 million "Noto" fonts clogging my font menu in Publisher. I had to Google that font to figure out what it was only to find out I can't remove them. The fact that Noto doesn't show up in many Apple-built apps suggests there's a way to hide those kinds of fonts.

I also put in a request with Apple regarding this subject. Either let us disable those fonts in FontBook, or provide a way for developers to hide them so each developer doesn't have to work on their own solution.

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4 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

I have long thought this is a macOS deficiency, and the very suggestion you have made for Affinity is what I have wished could be possible at the system level. I don't want to disable fonts that the system—or, for example, music programs—might use, but I don't want them cluttering the font menus.

My opinion is it's only a recent deficiency because you used to be able to remove the foreign language fonts. Recent versions of macOS were more restricting. In Mojave I could remove most of the extra fonts manually with the admin password. Just some asian ones remained. Now with Catalina, the fonts have all been moved into the System Fonts folder, and that folder is now on a locked system partition. I also don't recall ever seeing Noto prior to Catalina, so I wonder if it's new for Catalina.

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I have one Noto font on 10.14.6 (Mojave) it is an Urdu font. For what it is worth it is designed by Monotype and owned by Google. It is in the System > Library > Fonts > ...


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

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It seems reasonable that the font menu could be filtered without harming the display of these foreign fonts that potentially might be in the document—or rather, probably never in the document, since we are talking about fonts we would never use.

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