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A contributor to the Apple Discussion forums has discovered a problem with five of the fonts included with the OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) distribution. They are:




The problem is each of them is in the Library/Fonts folder, but none of them appear in Font Book or in font lists like in Affinity. This apparently is caused by an error Apple made in how the "SIP" (System Integrity Protection) feature, new in El Capitan, determines if these fonts are safe to use.


Each font installed with EL Capitan has two name matched files in an obscure System/Library folder (at path /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Versions/A/Resources/FontInfo). In some undetermined way SIP uses these files for this, & for these five fonts the files apparently were not updated correctly for El Capitan. The result is the OS will not allow any app to access them.


The Apple forum contributor has suggested two ways to fix this, both of which require disabling SIP, at least temporarily. They are:


1. Rename these five fonts in the Library/Fonts folder. It does not matter how they are renamed; for example just changing Athelas.ttc to Athelas1.ttc will work. This somehow causes SIP to see these files as different from the ones in the FontsInfo folder, & to consider them the same as files users can install in the Library/Fonts folder.


2. Delete the two name matched files in the FontsInfo folder for each of the five fonts. For example, for the Athelas font, you would delete the .ATSD and .fontinfo files whose names begin with "Athelas.ttc"


I am not keen on the idea of disabling SIP, so I came up with another slightly more complicated way to do this that does not require that:


1. Use Finder's duplicate command to duplicate each of the five files in place in the Library/Fonts folder. For example, this will produce an "Athelas copy.ttc" file.


2. In Finder, move each of the original files to the Trash.


3a. Using Get Info or a Terminal command, change permissions on each of these files in the Trash to give your admin user account read/write privileges.


3b. Use "delete immediately" to delete these files from the Trash.


3c. Restart your Mac.


I am not sure steps 3a & 3b are necessary, or even if step 2 is. It may be enough to duplicate the files in place in Library/Fonts, but I have only tested the above procedure.


Disclaimer: This is presented as is, with no guarantees that it will not cause some undiscovered problems with your system. It has not with mine, but if you want to try it, I strongly suggest you back up everything beforehand, ideally to a bootable clone, so that if anything goes wrong you can restore the system to its former state quickly & easily.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.2 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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  • 6 years later...

So that this message doesn't go unresponded to, I will chime in tot say that I also have this issue. I resolved it differently, but I don't have any technical knowledge to claim that my way is better or worse. I thought the issue was due to .ttc format because all 5 of the TTC fonts in HD/Library/Fonts were broken for me and everything else in that folder was fine. So, I used a website (https://transfonter.org/ttc-unpack) to convert them to TTF and then I installed them. That fixed the issue for me. I didn't delete the broken TTC files. No idea the right answer, just wanted to let you know you're not alone!

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