Missing Fonts in Mac OS X Lion (10.7)

After upgrading to Lion I found it disabled a few of the system fonts. This made lots of websites not display as intended and warnings about Missing Fonts in Pages (which had the benefit of artificially inflating my book’s page count bringing it nearer completion).

Turns out Lion can disable certain fonts in certain circumstances; I did a clean install of Lion on a different drive when running the Install Mac OS X Lion app.

You can re-enable the fonts like this:

  1. Open Font Book, it’s stored in your Applications folder. You’ve got Lion now so you could be fancy and use Launchpad.
  2. Find a font that has been disabled – in my case Verdana was the key one. Right click the font and select Enable ‘font name’ Family:
    Enabling the Verdana font in the Font Book on Mac Lion
  3. Repeat this for any other fonts that have been disabled.


You can automatically activate fonts added in the future by ticking Automatic font activation from the Font Book Preferences menu:

 Font Book preference window

28 thoughts on “Missing Fonts in Mac OS X Lion (10.7)

  1. I Validated the fonts in Lion FontBook. 223 were passed but one font, Palatino, was marked as having 4 minor problems 0 Errors. Does anyone know anything about this and or how to fix it?

  2. I’m having a not-entirely-related issue: some fonts aren’t showing up at all in Carbon apps such as Microsoft Word, despite having been enabled in Font Book. They worked fine in Snow Leopard.

    Any idea what might be causing this one? I’ve even tried rebuilding the font cache, to no avail.

    • Sorry codeman38 – I don’t seem to run many carbon apps and haven’t had that problem. I think i’ve seen someone else mention it though.. hopefully a fix is out there!

  3. I have fonts getting wacky spooking now… roger is unreadable.

  4. Thank you! Verdana italic was rendering as some sort of horrible script (Papyrus or something?), but this cleared it right up.

  5. Many of the fonts I used a lot disappeared with the new system. I can’t enable them, because they just aren’t there. What’s up with this? Do I have to re-purchase old standbys like Avante Garde?

  6. I’ve had all of my typefaces on a cd for years allowing me to update libraries on different, newer computers. Our company just recently updated or systems and are running lion. None of the typefaces on the disc are loadable. I’ve tried copying them to the drive but their icons show as unix files. Does anyone know what’s going on?

  7. I upgraded and have unusual font issues. In Pages, 2 of my fonts don’t work, even though they are enabled in font book. Both of them works fine in another program, Swift Publisher. One of them, when validated, says there is an issue but doesn’t say what it is. I am at a loss of what to do, as the 2 fonts are the ones I use for my business in everything I do, and I use Pages a lot.

  8. I have just bought Lion and find that my Fontbook doesn’t display properly – i.e. all fonts are in there but they won’t display in Font Collections (I have all my basic sans in one collection, all handwriting scripts in another collection, etc) and they just don’t appear. (I do have loads of fonts… but they worked fine in Leopard.) I know how to enable / disable; most are disabled for reasons of volume but that isn’t the issue. ALSO – don’t know if this is related or not, but Microsoft Office isn’t finding the fonts that ARE enabled – even ones that claim to be “Windows fonts”, and IS offering fonts that are disabled. Weird.

  9. Apple Chancery is not in my Font Book. It is in Avery Labels, but I would like to have it here for Pages.

    How do I get it into my Font Book? Ralph

  10. Has anyone found any fixes to John Toth’s problem in Lion?? My company has purchased two brand new macs with Lion pre-installed on them. We are unable to install A LOT of necessary postscript fonts, they show up as unix files. When trying to replace them with other fonts in InDesign CS5.5 the words just completely disappear, making it impossible to select the sentence and change the font to something that will work. FontBook is no help to these postscript type 1 fonts. Any help with this would be much appreciated!

  11. What if you have no fonts that need to be enabled? I have the same problem, this seems like the perfect answer to it, but none of my fonts are disabled….well I guess some are because they are repeats, but not like the same instance above where it is just one family. Help!

  12. I have tried both ways you suggest, the fonts are in the font book but are not showing up in pages.

    please help!

      • Hey, I finally got this to work. I imported a word document that used the garamond font. With Ben’s help, I went to launch pad (the F4 key) on my imac running 10.75, clicked Font Books (it was there! Why doesnt Apple Support tell us these things?), typed garamond in the search block, and up it came. Under Font Book Preferences I clicked to set it to auto activation, but that did not help. When I imported the word doc, a warning appeared.
        I clicked
        And one of the warnings was that the garamond font was missing.
        I selected that “warning” and a button appeared.
        I selected and a list of fonts appeared.
        I scrolled to the very bottom of the font list to find
        I selected that, and the document imported with the correct font.
        It also appears on the very bottom of my font list in new documents, so it is now available to all of Pages 09.

  13. Thanks so much! You just saved me a lot of time, trouble, and tearing my hair out. -E

  14. This information was very helpful. After having problems with my printer, Canon had me repair permissions – and then a bunch of my fonts would not show in applications, even though they were in my font book. Your remedy worked – a big relief as I’m in the middle of a wedding invitation project. The bride and groom are thankful to you as am I. Best.

  15. I am trying to launch Dreamweaver CC and it says that Tahoma is not enabled. When I look in fontbook, the program says that Tahoma IS enabled, and it validated fine– no errors. This problem cropped up long after I updated to lion. Anyone have any idea how I can fix this? Thanks!

  16. Thank you so much for posting this! I was on chat with Adobe for 2 hrs and then they said it wasn’t an adobe problem and couldn’t help me.

  17. After Effects would not launch because it could not load Verdana Italic. Your tip helped me fix it. Thanks!

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