Recently, I saw a question on-line that caught my eye. A fellow was complaining that the first time he tried to access anything to do with text in Microsoft Word, his system would drag to a crawl. He upgraded his memory, which helped, but didn’t completely solve the problem. Without seeing the system, it’s hard to put your finger on that kind of thing, but here’s my theory on his problem. I think he probably had way too many True Type fonts loaded on his computer. And possibly that one or more of the font files were corrupted. The giveaway is because the problem only occurred when he was dealing with text. Word has to access fonts to display them.
It’s easy for your fonts to get out of hand. Almost every software program loads many fonts onto your system. And unless you have a font management utility such as Adobe Type Manager, they are all available to you all the time. Even if you only use Times New Roman and Arial, the other 250 fonts are sitting out there taking up a lot of resources.
If you remove some of the fonts you never use, you’ll be rewarded with a computer that boots up a lot faster. You’ll also free up the hard disk space the files were occupying. To delete a font from your computer, click Start|Settings|Control Panel. Then double-click Fonts and you’ll see a list of the fonts on your system. Do not get overzealous and delete everything. Windows requires a number of fonts to display things properly. Make sure you don’t mess with Marlette, MS Sans Serif, MS Serif, System, FixedSys, Terminal, Courier, Courier New, Arial, Symbol, Small Fonts or Times New Roman. Other software also requires Tahoma and Verdana, so if you see those listed, don’t delete them either.
However, you’ll probably see a lot of other fonts that you may never use. When I looked, I was surprised to see fonts such as KlingBold and Lissen. I’ve never used either of them and I don’t like them, so I nuked them. (I just installed a bunch of software, so apparently some installer program slipped in a few while I wasn’t paying attention.)
Alternatively you can move your font files to a different location, so they don’t bog down the system. This technique prevents Windows from loading the font, but doesn’t remove it from the hard disk, so it’s easier to put back if you decide you want it after all. Use Windows Explorer and navigate to your Fonts folder (usually C:windowsfonts). Then just move the font to a different folder. If you later want to use a font, you can just move it back into the Fonts folder.