Mac: Removing non-Latin fonts by script or by hand

Remove non-Latin fonts from Mac

My problem today: A friend has the usual macOS fonts installed on his MacBook Pro. Including, of course, many Asian, Cyrillic and other fonts that are usually hardly needed.

I rarely notice these fonts negatively because I keep using the same three or four fonts, which are automatically sorted upwards in Photoshop. But if you use many different fonts in Photoshop and scroll through the entire font collection several times a day, you keep stumbling over the blocks with non-Latin fonts. Since you hardly ever use them, it can get quite annoying in the long run.

For this reason I went looking for a solution to this problem.

Font list in Photoshop: there is a lot of "junk" in here that you don't need in your daily work.
Font list in Photoshop: there is a lot of "junk" in here that you can't use in your daily work.

Script on GitHub solves the problem up to macOS Mojave

I became aware of a script through a forum post that moves all non-Latin fonts (there should be 162 in total) from the fonts folder using the mv command and stores them in a “uninstalled-fonts” folder on the desk.

The shell script with the name can be executed in the terminal and then does its job after entering the admin password.

Executing the script via the Port works with this input (if you have the script on the desktop):

sudo sh /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Desktop/

Of course, you have to replace the area YOURUSERNAME with your macOS username.

Under macOS Catalina, the folder structure for the system files is unfortunately different, so that the script only throws a lot of errors, but does not move anything.
Under macOS Catalina, the folder structure for the system files is unfortunately different, so that the script only throws a lot of errors, but does not move anything.

Adaptation to macOS Catalina required

Unfortunately, the whole thing only works up to macOS Mojave, because from macOS Catalina onwards, Apple has packed the entire system and thus partially also the fonts on a protected volume to which the script has no access. As a result, the following error message appears for every font when the script is executed:

mv: rename Al Nile.ttc to / Users / jens / Desktop / uninstalled-fonts / Al Nile.ttc: No such file or directory

I think that somehow a shell script should also have to be added under macOS Catalina if you insert the appropriate lines of code, but unfortunately I have no idea about the programming.

If any of you have enough programming knowledge to get the script to work under Catalina or Big Sur, I would be very happy to hear from you.

Fonts can be deactivated using the "Font Collection" utility on the Mac, unless they are system fonts, which are grayed out.
Fonts can be deactivated using the “Font Book” utility on the Mac, except for system fonts, which are greyed out.

Manual cleaning using the font collection

Of course, you can also go to the trouble of manually deactivating non-Latin fonts that you will certainly never use with the “Font Collection” utility. However, some of the fonts are grayed out and cannot be deactivated via the font collection because they are system fonts.

In addition, there is the problem that deactivation via the font collection does not amount to "deleting" and applications such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop can still see the deactivated fonts as a file. There is one for that Post in the Adobe Support Forum.

If a font should really not appear in the list of Adobe programs, then the best way is to remove it from the corresponding fonts folder (there are several!).

File paths to the fonts folders

Since macOS Catalina there are three places where you can search for the fonts:

  • / Library / Fonts
  • / System / Library / Fonts
  • / System / Library / Fonts / Supplemental

Before permanently deleting the files, I would strongly advise you to make a copy of all three folders so that you can have a backup in case of emergency. If you do throw an important system font in the bin, it would be stupid not to have a way back.

Favorites: Workaround for Adobe Photoshop and Co.

Since I didn't want to remove all fonts by hand, I looked for a solution to still only get the “desired” latin fonts in Photoshop or Illustrator.

You can use the favorites selection in Photoshop's text tool. If you have opened the font list in Photoshop, you can click an asterisk in front of each font to add it to the favorites list. If you then click on the asterisk above the font list in the filter, only the favorite fonts are displayed.

With the favorites you can create a list of your favorite fonts in Photoshop in order to hide the nonsense fonts.
With the favorites you can create a list of your favorite fonts in Photoshop in order to hide the nonsense fonts.

Although this is not a solution that works in all programs, it is at least a workaround for people who are specifically using the Adobe Suite. By the way, Photoshop remembers the filter with the favorite fonts, so you only have to activate it once. From then on, the font list is always pre-filtered until the filter is deactivated again.

List of fonts from the script

If you still want to clean up your fonts and would like to work through a list, you can create a small to-do list with the following information. I extracted all the font names from the script so that you can search for and remove them by hand:

  • l Nile.ttc
  • Al Tarikh.ttc
  • AlBayan.ttc
  • AppleMyungjo.ttf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-Bold.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-ExtraBold.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeoHeavy.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-Light.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-Medium.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-Regular.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeoSemiBold.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-Thin.otf
  • AppleSDGothicNeo-UltraLight.otf
  • AquaKana.ttc
  • ArialHB.ttc
  • Ayuthaya.ttf
  • Baghdad.ttc
  • Bangla MN.ttc
  • Bangla Sangam MN.ttc
  • Baoli.ttc
  • Beirut.ttc
  • Bodoni 72 OS.ttc
  • Bodoni 72 Smallcaps Book.ttf
  • Bodoni 72.ttc
  • Bodoni Ornaments.ttf
  • Bradley Hand Bold.ttf
  • Chalkboard.ttc
  • ChalkboardSE.ttc
  • Chalkduster.ttf
  • Damascus.ttc
  • DecoTypeNaskh.ttc
  • Devanagari Sangam MN.ttc
  • DevanagariMT.ttc
  • Divan Kufi.ttc
  • Divan Thuluth.ttf
  • EuphemiaCAS.ttc
  • Farah.ttc
  • Farisi.ttf
  • Gujarati Sangam MN.ttc
  • GujaratiMT.ttf
  • GujaratiMTBold.ttf
  • Gungseouche.ttf
  • Gurmukhi MN.ttc
  • Gurmukhi Sangam MN.ttc
  • Gurmukhi.ttf
  • Hannotate.ttc
  • Hanzipen.ttc
  • HiraKakuInterface-W1.otf
  • HiraKakuInterface-W2.otf
  • Hiragino Sans GB W3.otf
  • Hiragino Sans GB W6.otf
  • ITFDevanagari.ttc
  • InaiMathi.ttf
  • Iowan Old Style.ttc
  • Kailasa.ttf
  • Kaiti.ttc
  • Kannada MN.ttc
  • Kannada Sangam MN.ttc
  • Kefa.ttc
  • Khmer MN.ttc
  • Khmer Sangam MN.ttf
  • Kohinoor.ttc
  • Kokonor.ttf
  • Krungthep.ttf
  • KufiStandardGK.ttc
  • Lantinghei.ttc
  • Lao MN.ttc
  • Lao Sangam MN.ttf
  • Libian.ttc
  • Luminari.ttf
  • Malayalam MN.ttc
  • Malayalam Sangam MN.ttc
  • Microsoft Sans Serif.ttf
  • Mishafi Gold.ttf
  • Mishafi.ttf
  • MshtakanBold.ttf
  • MshtakanBoldOblique.ttf
  • MshtakanOblique.ttf
  • MshtakanRegular.ttf
  • Muna.ttc
  • Myanmar MN.ttc
  • Myanmar Sangam MN.ttf
  • NISC18030.ttf
  • Nadeem.ttc
  • NanumGothic.ttc
  • NanumMyeongjo.ttc
  • NanumScript.ttc
  • NewPeninimMT.ttc
  • Oriya MN.ttc
  • Oriya Sangam MN.ttc
  • Osaka.ttf
  • OsakaMono.ttf
  • PCmyoungjo.ttf
  • Pilgiche.ttf
  • PlantagenetCherokee.ttf
  • Raanana.ttc
  • STHeiti Light.ttc
  • STHeiti Medium.ttc
  • STHeiti Thin.ttc
  • STHeiti UltraLight.ttc
  • STIXGeneral.otf
  • STIXGeneralBol.otf
  • STIX GeneralBolIta.otf
  • STIXGeneralItalic.otf
  • STIXIntDBol.otf
  • STIXIntDReg.otf
  • STIXIntSmBol.otf
  • STIXIntSmReg.otf
  • STIXIntUpBol.otf
  • STIXIntUpDBol.otf
  • STIXIntUpDReg.otf
  • STIXIntUpReg.otf
  • STIXIntUpSmBol.otf
  • STIXIntUpSmReg.otf
  • STIXNonUni.otf
  • STIXNonUniBol.otf
  • STIXNonUniBolIta.otf
  • STIXNonUniIta.otf
  • STIXSizFiveSymReg.otf
  • STIXSizFourSymBol.otf
  • STIXSizFourSymReg.otf
  • STIXSizOneSymBol.otf
  • STIXSizOneSymReg.otf
  • STIXSizThreeSymBol.otf
  • STIXSizThreeSymReg.otf
  • STIXSizTwoSymBol.otf
  • STIXSizTwoSymReg.otf
  • STIXVar.otf
  • STIXVarBol.otf
  • Sana.ttc
  • Sathu.ttf
  • Savoy LET.ttc
  • Seravek.ttc
  • Shree714.ttc
  • Silom.ttf
  • Sinhala MN.ttc
  • Sinhala Sangam MN.ttc
  • Skia.ttf
  • FastRoundhand.ttc
  • Songti.ttc
  • SukhumvitSet.ttc
  • Tamil MN.ttc
  • Tamil Sangam MN.ttc
  • Telugu MN.ttc
  • Telugu Sangam MN.ttc
  • Thonburi.ttc
  • Trattatello.ttf
  • Waseem.ttc
  • WawaSC-Regular.otf
  • WawaTC-Regular.otf
  • Webdings.ttf
  • WeibeiSC-Bold.otf
  • WeibeiTC-Bold.otf
  • Wingdings 2.ttf
  • Wingdings 3.ttf
  • Wingdings.ttf
  • Xingkai.ttc
  • Yu Gothic Bold.otf
  • Yu Gothic Medium.otf
  • Yu Mincho Demibold.otf
  • Yu Mincho Medium.otf
  • Yuanti.ttc
  • YuppySC-Regular.otf
  • YuppyTC-Regular.otf
  • Zapfino.ttf
  • 儷 宋 Pro.ttf
  • 儷 黑 Pro.ttf
  • 华文 仿宋 .ttf
  • 华文 细 黑 .ttf
  • 华文 黑体 .ttf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 明朝 Pro W3.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 明朝 Pro W6.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 明朝 ProN W3.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 明朝 ProN W6.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 角 ゴ Pro W3.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 丸 ゴ Pro W4.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 角 ゴ Pro W6.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 角 ゴ ProN W3.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 丸 ゴ ProN W4.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 角 ゴ ProN W6.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 角 ゴ hours W8.otf
  • ヒ ラ ギ ノ 角 ゴ StdN W8.otf

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21 Response to “Mac: Remove non-Latin fonts by script or by hand”

    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll test that tomorrow. It would be great if the app runs under Catalina and also cleans up the fonts. But I prefer to make a backup before I start. : D

      1. brother mosses of lobdenberg

        These "language packages" are probably only the subdirectories /Contents/Resources/*.lproj in the program package, in which the localized or localizable files are located.

    2. Hello OnSmash! Short feedback: Monolingual does not change the fonts. It only removes language files from apps and removes codes written for other processor architectures. I checked it in Photoshop and (if it creates a cache for displaying the fonts) I checked it again in the font collection. All foreign fonts are still available after monolingual. So it's not an option for this thing ...

    1. Please forgive me if this is the wrong name for these scriptures. If you tell me what else you could call this font group, I'll be happy to add that to the post.

  1. The overabundance of never-needed fonts for third-party writing systems also annoys me - especially since I need quite a number of my own fonts for various projects and do not like these in the font menu in the abundance of exotic Asian et al. Want to search for fonts.

    But since I also look after bilingual websites (including German / Chinese), I would of course like to have Chinese characters available when translating with WPML in the WordPress back end (and of course also in the later view in the front end). You have to be careful with global removal, right?

    In addition: Does anyone know from their own experience whether you can use FontExplorerX to simply deactivate these exotic fonts (and possibly other system fonts that were never used voluntarily) and thus get them from the font menus of the various application programs?

    1. Hi Peter! I've read through various entries on FontExplorerX, but I didn't really get it. : D According to their product page, the integration into the Adobe apps was one of the important innovations (see blog post by them here). Ultimately, you'll have to try their demo version to see whether the app works with your applications or not. I would definitely not suggest removing the fonts globally, as you might then run into problems with the Chinese fonts. Then give FontExplorerX a chance. : D

    2. Since I use FontExplorer, I can say that this does not work because the system fonts are grayed out and cannot be moved. According to my research, they can only be moved after deactivating the SIP (System Integrity Protection) via the terminal command - for which the Mac must be started in recovery mode - or with the recipe here, which I have not yet tried.

      1. Hi Peter! Thank you for your report. That's helpful. I think Apple is sealing off the system more and more and so it's getting harder and harder to remove the system fonts. Ultimately, you have to consider whether the effort is even worth it. So far I've been quite happy with the "Favorites" solution in Photoshop.

  2. Hi. Deleting fonts in the system folder does not work. No right. macOS 12.3.1 – It's really annoying that I can see all unnecessary fonts in Illustrator. So much SHIT is programmed... ;) Having to mess around with the stupid technology takes me EXTREMELY annoying...

  3. Yes, it really is a real annoyance with the forced and unnecessarily overcrowded font menu. If you can't change this at the system level in such a way that ONLY the system fonts that are absolutely necessary for the localized system (e.g. "German") appear in the menus (and you can get others if necessary via system settings, if you actually need Arabic or Chinese), one would wish that at least the layout programs like InDesign or Affinity Publisher (and related ones) would make it possible to hide certain (system) fonts that are not required in the font menu.

    Why am I only being forced to constantly clutter up the font menu with “Apple LiSung” or “Gujarati Sangam MN (2)” and x other fonts that I neither actively nor passively need???

    Here it would really be a worthwhile task for Apple to actually do justice to its supposed(?) user-friendliness (which, of course, all too often now turns into a quasi-patriarchal paternalism)...

  4. I have a computer (Ventura) that is causing problems, I cannot load fonts because of the /System/Library/Fonts folder. According to Finder, there are 289 files (fonts) in there. Another MacMini with freshly installed Ventura only has 73 items in the same folder. Now I would like to empty the folder and replace it with the 73 system fonts. But the system doesn't allow it. With the earlier systems you could just do this, then restart, and after that there were no more problems. I can’t “clean up” anything about the collection of writings. Is there a solution?

    1. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the system has its own fonts in the protected area and you can't just throw things out or swap things out. Actually there should be a fonts folder in your user folder.

      Do it like this:
      1. CMD + . Press (period) to make the invisible files visible
      2. go to your user folder
      3. then in “Library” (is normally invisible)
      4. then look for the “Fonts” folder
      5. Throw out fonts you no longer want
      6. cmd + . Press (period).
      7. Restart your Mac

      The fonts that were installed in addition to the standard fonts should be there.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. However, it's not about the Fonts folder in the user folder (which you can access), but it's about this one: Hard Drive/System/Library/Fonts folder. Unfortunately it is untouchable, but there are fonts in it that don't belong there and I would like to “clean up” this folder. Maybe I have to do this from the root user? So activate root beforehand, log in as root and then replace the contents folder. No idea if that works in Ventura??!!

        1. Hello! Sorry, I misunderstood that. Since you can't mess around in the folder, you would have to take the following detour: Back your system to an external hard drive. Then flatten the internal disk and install new macOS. Then bring the user over from the backup during the installation. Then you have the system in a “fresh” condition and without any legacy issues.

          1. Thanks again for the super quick answer this time…
            I hope that not all the “crap” is taken with me during the migration. I'll try it and like to write my experience here.
            Greetings from Munich

          2. I believe you can choose during the migration assistant process what type of data will be transferred. Maybe you can leave something out there.

  5. What Apple is doing is pretty annoying. The Mac used to be the preferred tool for designers, but macOS etc. is becoming less and less important because there are just a lot of annoying things about macOS. It's similar with iOS. As is so often the case, Apple misses a lot of things. I'm actually surprised that there are still so many people who buy Apple. It has often simply become far too complicated.

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