Fix Font Problems Correctly
Those who have worked with fonts for a long time have developed a lore about them, and how to handle them successfully. One of these pieces of knowledge is that if you’re having font problems (fonts which don’t display correctly, for example), a possible solution is to delete the AdobeFnt files on your computer. I was reminded of this because of a post this week by Adobe’s resident font guru, Thomas Phinney, on his blog.
What are these mysterious files which appear in odd places in your computer? For example, when I did a search this morning on my computer, here’s a partial list of what I found:
It turns out that these are font cache files. Your operating system and Adobe’s own font technology (used in all the Adobe Creative Suite applications) create cache files to make font display faster. It’s rather a rare event, but because these files may be updated and modified, it’s possible that they, like all files on your computer, may get corrupted. The symptoms of corruption might be a font which displays incorrectly. (This can also be caused by a corrupted font as well. But that would require a separate article!)
You can freely delete font cache files because the operating system or the Adobe font mechanism automatically generates new ones when it needs them. Thomas’ post is to tell you how to correctly delete these files. If you do a search like I did, you’ll see a large number of files with the extension *.lst. These are the font cache files which you may want to delete.
The confusion is that there are also two files whose names begin with AdobeFnt, which you don’t want to delete. One of them is the AdobeFnt.db file I’ve circled in the illustration above. The other is the FntNames.db file. For the archane details of what these files do, I’ll refer you to Thomas’ blog entry.
But there’s nothing wrong with having these files! They normally do no harm, and they probably speed up your font display. You only need to delete them in the event you were having a problem.