Photoshop: Some Tips If You've Got a Slow, Jerky Fonts Menu in Photoshop on a Mac

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While it is not possible to remove or disable every single System Font on your Mac that you don't like, want or need -- thank you, Apple -- you can still do quite a bit of house cleaning, so that the fonts menu in Photoshop works better. This is exactly what I just completed doing:

1. Launch the "Fonts Book" app that is located in your "Applications" folder.

2. Once the app opens, select "All Fonts" in the left column.

3. Under the "Edit" menu at the top of your screen, select "Look for Enabled Duplicates".

4. Once the duplicates are identified by the OS, click on "Resolve Automatically". You can also choose "Resolve Manually" if you want to be more specific regarding your choices for removal. In my case, I chose the former, because I had close to 900 fonts installed, and I was not about to waste a lot of time wading through all of them.

Yeah, tell me about it. Why does anyone need 900 fonts installed? Ahem . . . it's just that some of those free online fonts packages look so, so nifty. And surely I will use them all someday, right? :)

For this next step, you will want to have Photoshop running, so that you can examine all of the fonts which are listed under the fonts menu.

5. Once all duplicates are removed by Font Book -- it actually just disables them -- I examined my list of fonts in Photoshop's fonts menu. Based on that, using Font Book again, I removed all ornamental fonts, arrow fonts, speech bubble fonts, and any other font which consisted of pictures of some type, which I knew I would never use for anything.

Note: To manually remove a font or font family, right click the name to bring up the contextual menu and select the "Remove xxxxx Family" option. In fact, to save time, you can select multiple fonts in the list. To do it contiguously -- one right after the other -- select the first font for removal, hold down the "Shift" key, and then select the last font for removal. This will select every font in between the two. To select non-contiguous fonts -- fonts which are not listed next to each other -- use the "Command" key instead, and select whatever fonts you want. Any fonts in between your selections will not be selected. Finally, once all of the fonts are selected, right-click once to perform the same action on all of the fonts.

6. Next, again looking at my fonts menu in Photoshop, and using Font Book, I removed any other font which I was sure I would never use, such as the very gothic-looking Germanica fonts, for example. Of course, your personal tastes may be different from mine.

Import Tip: I also discovered that while some language fonts cannot be removed directly, in some cases, if you disable them first -- assuming Apple lets you -- then they can be removed. Please note that I said SOME. No matter what you do, Apple will simply not allow you to remove certain foreign language System Fonts. Period.

By the time I was done, I had removed just over 140 fonts from the "User" collection alone, so that I dropped from 619 fonts in there to 478 fonts. Of course all of those System Fonts -- such as the Noto Sans fonts which look like boxes -- will still appear in Photoshop's fonts menu. After doing all of this, my fonts menu in Photoshop was a lot more manageable.

Note: Please note, however, that if you still have a lot of fonts installed after doing all of the above, the first time you open the fonts menu in Photoshop, it will STILL be slow and jerky, because it is apparently loading all of the fonts into memory. It may take a few minutes for this to happen, so just be patient. Once everything is loaded in the menu, your fonts menu should be snappy and quick scrolling. Even if you close the fonts menu, and come back to it later, it will still be quick and snappy.

However, if you shut down Photoshop, then the next time that you launch it and use the fonts menu, the first time, it will be slow and jerky again, until it has loaded all of the fonts into memory. After that, it will be quick and smooth again.

These are my personal experiences on my iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) with 16 GB of memory, using Photoshop CC 2019 20.0.6. As they say, YMMV -- your mileage may vary.

I hope these tips helps someone.
Photo of WordWeaver


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