Since I upgraded my system from 10.6 Snow Leopard to 10.7 Lion, I have errors in the display of system fonts, and in the spacing of characters in documents.

An image of my old system under 10.6 Snow Leopard was restored from a Time Machine backup onto a new system running 10.7. I get unusual results:

Like this in the Spotlight window Like this in the Spotlight window

And this in my battery display And this in my battery display

This in my Safari bookmarks This in my Safari bookmarks

not to mention errors opening documents - this is a .docx doc with Times New Roman, as seen in Pages '09

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which looks like the following in TextEdit

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What should I be doing to remedy this, given that Lion comes on no Physical Media?

Should I re-install something from disc? Online?


1 Answer 1


First, you said you are on 10.7. Have you run the updaters to update your system to 10.7.3, with all of Apple's updates and patches?

Most likely you are dealing with duplicate fonts that are incompatible--old ones from your old system and newer versions of the fonts with the same names that came with 10.7.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Run the Font Book application, selected all the fonts, and run "Look for Enabled Duplicates" and disable the duplicates. Then select all fonts, run "Validate Fonts", and remove any that are reported as corrupt.

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  • Use a utility like Cocktail to delete all your font caches, repair your disk permissions, and reboot. (There are several other programs that provide you with a way to delete your font caches, and there is also a method to do this via Terminal and the command line).

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  • Download the free TinkerTool and see what it reports about your system font settings. See if you can use TinkerTool to reset the font settings to their system defaults.

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If none of the above work, or if you learn from Font Book that the basic fonts that you need are corrupt, then you should re-install 10.7.3 on your existing system (this will not hurt your data) and run Software Update and apply all patches. But first you need to delete any duplicate fonts or corrupt fonts.

I believe you can download the Lion 10.7.3 installer from the Mac App Store onto your existing installation and run the re-installation procedure from there.

  • Sorry, I should have said, I'm running 10.7.3 + all updates.
    – Edd Turner
    Apr 14, 2012 at 18:02
  • @EddTurner: But did you try what Wheat Williams suggested? These suggestions are good regardless of which subversion/patches you have.
    – lupincho
    Apr 14, 2012 at 20:01
  • So, last night I tried his helpful steps, in order. I didn't chose to run the 10.7.3 installer again, but will do if I see future problems. What is missing is Times New Roman, which is probably because my antiquated version of office x (heritage ca. 2003) doesn't run without Rosetta. I'll tea end get that installed and see how I go. I think @wheat was very helpful, though!
    – Edd Turner
    Apr 15, 2012 at 5:29

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