Troubleshooting auto deactivating fonts

Fonts manually activated using Typeface should stay activated until explicitly deactivated, even after restarting your Mac. If that’s not the case there might be something preventing the activations.

Suitcase Fusion deactivating fonts

If you’re new to Typeface and you still have a different font manager installed on your Mac that manager might be interfering with your activations. For example Suitcase Fusion keeps running in the background even if the app isn’t open. Suitcase likes to stay in charge and reverts activations made by other apps in the background. This results in fonts being deactivated automatically a few moments after activating them in Typeface.

You can uninstall Suitcase to resolve this. After uninstalling restart your Mac and activations made in Typeface should be persistent.

Font Book, Apple’s standard font manager, does not interfere with other apps and you can (and should) keep that installed. Typeface believes you’re free to manage activations with other applications, that’s totally up to you. That’s why activations and deactivations made in Font Book (or other managers) show up automatically in Typeface.

Temporary activations

The default activations made with Typeface are persistent, indicated by blue activation dots. If you’re trying out some fonts for a specific design it may be useful to temporarily activate them. Temporarily activated fonts are automatically deactivated by Typeface when you close the app, so you don’t have to do that manually.

To temporarily activate a font right click on a preview, hold down the Option key and choose Activate Temporarily. You can change the default action in Preferences > Activation. Choose Prefer temporary activations to temporarily activate fonts when you click on the activation dot of a preview. The dot will turn red to indicate that it will be deactivated automatically on close.

Auto activations

Typeface app can automatically activate fonts in the background when you open a design document that uses deactivated fonts. There are two options: Auto Activation for Adobe InDesign and Auto Activation for other apps.

For InDesign Typeface uses temporary activation. That means the auto activated fonts will be deactivated when you close Typeface.

For other apps Typeface activates fonts for that particular app only. The auto activated fonts do not show up in other applications, only in the one requesting the font. Closing Typeface should keep the font available for that particular app. After closing and reopening the requesting app it won’t have access to the auto activated font anymore, unless it requests it again from Typeface.

Fonts located on external locations

You can import fonts into Typeface from any location that is accessible via Finder. That includes external drives or shared locations on servers.

When the connection to those external locations is lost macOS cannot access the font files anymore. That means that activated fonts on those locations will be deactivated by macOS, since applications are not able to use the fonts anyway. After reconnecting the location you can activate the fonts again.

Resetting macOS font cache

If fonts are not activating and the above solutions don’t help (double check you don’t have other font manager installed) there might be an issue with the macOS font registration system. The central font system can get confused when activating faulty fonts or font duplicates. Multiple font managers activating fonts at the same time might also cause issues.

To resolve this you can try to clear the macOS font cache. This will deactivate all fonts activated by Typeface. After resetting the cache only system fonts and fonts located in /Users/<username>/Library/Fonts will stay activated. So make sure to store your currently activated fonts to a tag if you’d like to restore them later.

To clear the macOS font cache follow these steps. Note that you need to restart your Mac afterwards:

  1. Close Typeface
  2. Hold down the Option key and launch Typeface. Keep pressing Option until you see the support tools.
  3. Choose the Clear Font Cache option and confirm
  4. Restart your Mac


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