Once you install Microsoft Office on a Mac, you get a bunch of new fonts. This is great, except many of them conflict with existing fonts that shipped with OS X.

  1. Open Font Book.
  2. Select all fonts in the middle column.
  3. File > Validate Fonts.

This is an example of what I'm talking about:

enter image description here

For every conflict the same font is located in each of the following folders:

  • /Library/Fonts/
  • /Library/Fonts/Microsoft/

Obviously, one way to resolve this conflict would be to choose one and remove the other. Or I could just leave it alone, since I really didn't notice the issue until just now when I tried validating my fonts -- they are the same fonts after all.

What are the pros/cons/considerations of each solution I've proposed? Is there a third way? How do you prefer to deal with this?

  • I have seen cases where having duplicate active fonts slows MS Office and Excel down considerably. Even worse when there are TWO complete sets of the MS fonts because different versions of Office installed them in different directories. I've always let Font Book "resolve duplicates" without difficulty. (My needs aren't font critical though.)
    – jaberg
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 21:48

4 Answers 4


If you want to get anal about fonts you may find this PDF useful. It is by Extensis, the guys that make things like Suitcase Fusion and Universal Type Server/Client.

It is full of handy advice from a general viewpoint (i.e. not 'buy our product') and probably more information than you really want or need.

I'm not sure if it has been updated for Lion yet so tread carefully if you carry out any system font management on the basis of something in the PDF. I haven't used Lion enough yet to know how differently it handles fonts to 10.6 so will probably struggle to help if something goes wrong!

  • Hah. Clearly, it seems I do wish to get anal about fonts, so thank you for this. :-) Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 16:10
  • Page 10 contains the relevant information about the Microsoft-installed fonts. Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 18:14

If you want to save space and remove the extra fonts, I'd recommend selecting everything, then right-clicking and selecting "Resolve Duplicates." I'm fairly sure Font Book favors fonts without any detectable bugs and with more characters, but in any case it will automatically disable any duplicate fonts.

enter image description here


I've not seen any information showing that the Microsoft fonts are superior in terms of kerning, quality, or cross platform compatibility, so I just delete them and prefer to keep the OS X fonts.


Font Book lets you simply disable duplicate fonts, if you think they're causing a problem. That way you have the option of switching between them if problems arise.

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