Pruning Your Fonts Folder

I have like 500 fonts and I don’t need them all-not to mention it takes forever to find the right one. Is there a way to get rid of the extras?

Seems like every graphics program and printer software gives you free fonts, then the next thing you know you have so many that you can’t keep track of them all! Many of them you’ll never use, or they look just like other fonts, but with a different name.

This procedure can take some time, so plan on being in front of your computer for a while.

To prune the list, you must first go to the Fonts folder. The quickest way there in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, is to hold the Windows key and hit the R key (Win+R) and type fonts into the Run box that opens.

Change the Fonts folder view to List and you’ll get a nice long list.

Here’s the time consuming part: for each font you should double click to view what the font looks like.

As you view the sample ask yourself, “Will I really ever use this font?” If you answer no, then close the window and hit your Delete key, or select Delete from a menu.

You will be asked if you want to remove the font. Click Yes.

Some fonts, like Times and Arial, you know are keepers, so go ahead and skip those. Others, like “Shruti” or “Guatami”, are less familiar and worth looking at.

Another way you could decide what fonts to keep would be to open your word processing program and make a list of the fonts you want, and delete everything BUT those fonts.

CAUTION: If you see any fonts that have program names in them, for example MS Outlook, DO NOT DELETE. These contain symbols used by a specific program and may mess things up.

One other thing to consider: maybe you are worried about removing fonts you may need in the future. Perhaps you are afraid of accidentally removing a font needed by a program. If this is you, then create a folder called “Fonts2″ and move the fonts you don’t want over to it. If you find you do need the font, you can just reinstall it (see tip here).

Once your list is streamlined, font selection will be easier without all those extras in your way.


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