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Article ID: 295062 - Last Review: May 9, 2013 - Revision: 9.0

This article was previously published under Q295062

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Symptoms

After you install a font into the Fonts folder in the operating system and start Microsoft Word for Mac, the font unexpectedly is not available in the Font dialog box, in the drop-down list, or in the Formatting Palette.

Cause

Third-party fonts are not directly supported in Microsoft Office for Mac applications. Some third-party fonts may work in one application and not in another. Other third-party fonts are installed in a “family.” A family usually consists of the third-party font itself together with some or all of its variations (bold, italic, etc.). Sometimes, a font may be displayed in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Entourage, but you may be unable to use one of its variations, such as italic. 

Microsoft Office does not support custom fonts. This includes any fonts that were manipulated by a font or typography program.

More information

Note Microsoft Office for Mac technical support does not provide support for installing or configuring third-party fonts.

Basic font troubleshooting

If the following steps do not resolve your font issue, contact the font manufacturer or the website from which you purchased the fonts.
  1. Restart your computer, and then test the font again. Some installations are not complete until the computer is restarted. This also makes sure that all applications are restarted after the installation.
  2. Clear the font caches. To do this, quit all Microsoft Office applications. On the Home menu, click Go. Open the Library\Preferences\Microsoft\Office 2008 (or 2011) folder, and then click the Office Font Cache 12 for Office 2008 file or the Office Font Cache 2011 file.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in MAC OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.

    If you are using Word 2004, drag the Office Font Cache 11 folder to the Trash.
  3. Restart the computer in safe mode. Then, restart the computer normally. For more information about how to restart your computer in safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base 

    2398596 (http://visualkb/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;892428&PortalId=166) Perform a clean startup (Safe boot) to determine whether background programs are interfering with Office for Mac
  4. Create a new user account to see whether the problem is associated with an existing user account. 

Additional information

Fonts exceed the system limitations

The Apple operating system sets limitations on the number of fonts and the size of "font suitcases" that the operating system recognizes. If the number of fonts in the Fonts folder exceeds the limitations that the operating systems sets, excess fonts will not be available.

Apple font limits:

Mac OS 8.x and earlier: The maximum number of fonts that are allowed in the Fonts folder is 128. 

Mac OS 9: In Mac OS 9, Apple increased the number of fonts that can be stored in the Fonts folder to 512, with a maximum suitcase size of 16 megabytes (MB).

Mac OS X: There is no limit to the number of fonts or the suitcase size, other than available memory on the computer.

Note PostScript (or printer) fonts are not included in the file limits.

If the number of fonts that are installed in the Fonts folder exceeds these limitations, you can either combine or remove font suitcases within the Fonts folder. 

The font is damaged, or the system is not reading the font

If the font is not a custom font and your fonts collection does not exceed the system limitations but the font does not appear in your Office program, the font may be damaged.

You can use the KeyCaps program, which is installed by the Apple operating system, to test keyboard and font functionality. The KeyCaps program is instrumental for testing whether the operating system is reading a particular font.

Mac OS 9
To test whether the Mac OS 9 operating system is reading the font, follow these steps:
  1. On the Apple menu, select KeyCaps.
  2. On the Fonts menu, verify that the relevant font is listed.

    Note All active fonts are listed in the KeyCaps Font menu list. If the font is not listed, either the font is not active in the operating system or the operating system cannot read the font.
Mac OS X version 10.2

To test whether the Mac OS X version 10.2 operating system is reading the font, follow these steps:
  1. In the Applications folder, open Text Edit.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Font, and then click Show Fonts.
  3. Verify that the relevant font is on the list of fonts.

    You can also use the KeyCaps program from /Applications/Utilities, as was described previously for Mac OS 9.
Note All active fonts are listed in both the Font table in Text Edit and in the KeyCaps program. If the font is not listed, either the font is not active in the operating system or the operating system cannot read the font.

Mac OS X version 10.3

To test whether the Mac OS X version 10.3 is reading the font, follow these steps:
  1. In the Applications folder, open Font Book.
  2. Verify that the relevant font is listed on the Fonts menu.
Note In Mac OS X version 10.3, all fonts are listed in the Font Book. If the font is not listed, either the font is not active in the operating system, or the operating system cannot read the font.

If you do not find the font in KeyCaps, the font is probably damaged. In this case, you must remove and reinstall the font. For more information, contact the company that manufactured the font.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.


Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word for Mac 2011
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbprb KB295062
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