How many fonts do you have?

A few years ago, I was downloading huge bundles of fonts with commercial rights. I now have too many fonts. I had over 4,000 (probably closer to 5k). It was really slowing down everything in my work process…it’s hard to pick a font when you are scrolling through 4k of them for a project, on top of that, Inkscape really doesn’t like it, and would often freeze and crash just bringing up the font menu.

So this week, I’ve been going through my fonts. Honestly, I really don’t like swirly script font, but because that was so popular, I have a ton… and they all look the same to me. I’m working through letter by letter and deleting all fonts i never use and the ones that look identical to me.

Right now, I’m on “N” and i still have 900+ fonts. My goal is to bring that under 200… but I’m not sure how many system fonts there are, because i can’t delete those. I think I’ve already spent 7 hours this week on just deleting fonts…i don’t think I’ll ever download another font again.

So how many is normal? How many do other people have? I have an additional 15 or so that i need simply for projects in other languages, but I’m trying i really only need one swirly script, one regular script, a couple of my favorite slanty handwriting, maybe some decorative ones, some cat dingbats (I probably don’t need those, but I like looking at them)…

One good thing… my computer seems less stressed out… no longer making sounds like it wants to explode when I’m running inkscape and my other design software.


I don’t think there is a right number of fonts. As an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, I have access to beaucoup fonts that I activate or inactivate as needed. At any given time I probably have a few hundred fonts loaded on my computer, with a bunch more ready to load “whenever.”

Obviously though, the most important fonts to keep are Comic Sans and Papyrus. And, if you were quick back a few years ago and were able to snag it, Comic Papyrus! They are ALWAYS a big hit when you use them on any project shown on the forums here.

Honestly though a few hundred (includes all the variations of some fonts like Bold, Italic, etc.) shouldn’t slow a more modern computer down any appreciable amount. The right amount is whatever you need and makes you happy.


Hmmm…i think I’m happy with 3 fonts :rofl::rofl: it would make deciding which ones to user much easier. Last night, going through my fonts, i was like… this won’t laser well, but it’s a good thing for a children’s book… this one too… this too… wait… these look exactly the same…


Delete them all. Install Helvetica. Install some nice serif font. Install a decent stencil font, and then just go about your business. When you come up against a font that you think you need, install it.

In the course of the next six months you’ll have every font that you really need, if you haven’t installed it by then you probably don’t need it.


I thought about doing just that… but the thought only occurred to me after already investing a few hours. I’m in the “s” section now. I’m still at 664…


Marie Kondo is somewhere cheering you on.


If I had known I could make money off my cleaning method, I would’ve capitalized on it years ago. I had friends call me and asking if I had heard of Marie Kondo because she cleans the way I do…except I don’t thank my things when I part with them. I heard she stopped her method after having kids…mine was created because I have kids. :sweat_smile: I couldn’t carry around crates of doodles and burp clothes forever.

I should think about my other ticks and see if I can turn those into a business. :rofl:


+1 for @evansd2’s approach.

I pretty much just install fonts as I need them. Windows Explorer and Finder on Mac OS both show previews of .ttf and .otf files in the preview pane. I keep a bunch in a folder on a network share (with some casual categorization in sub-folders) and, install from there as needed. On my current main machine, I have installed 17 fonts for a total of 373, including the default fonts that install with Mac OS.


You can keep all your fonts, you just need a font manager to free up your system resources :slight_smile:

I highly recommend Fontbase - it’s free, super clean and easy to use, you can easily make collections to sort your fonts and it does the all important activating/deactivating.

If you use multiple computers you can keep your Fontbase collection folder in a synced cloud folder (like Dropbox, etc) and then have all your fonts available on all your machines.


I guess I don’t really want to keep the fonts. I think 1500 of these, not exaggerating, were all the same type of swirly script. Maybe a slight difference between how the T’s and Q’s looked or some other random detail like that.

I was downloading those massive font packages from Creative Fabrica because they were free…and now I have many, many fonts I don’t like and can’t tell apart. Nothing like scrolling to find the perfect font for an hour and then have your project crash and you can’t remember which one you left off on.

The main reason I don’t want to delete and download again is because I think I will end up in the same situation…scrolling through fonts online until I find the perfect one…and since I had to write a couple of articles for Creative Fabrica on fonts specifically-after scrolling through 30k+, I never want to go back to any font website ever again…actually, I told them I couldn’t write for the any more after having to do 2 or 3 of those articles…I was going to lose my mind, and I didn’t get paid for scrolling. :smiling_face_with_tear:


This looks interesting. I may have to give it a try. I have a few hundred fonts and it’s a pain, as @CMadok says to go through them…although I don’t have near as many as she does!!!


i would at a minimum “uninstall” them all. you could keep them all in a folder structure organized however you want after, if you don’t want to lose them. but if they’re not things you’re using (and especially if they’re just free fonts and you didn’t pay for them), i’d delete.

like @hansepe, i have access to adobe fonts, but i only install what i really want to use at the moment and i uninstall when i’m done w/it unless it’s something i know i’m going to use again regularly. nothing worse than a system with way too many fonts that you never use.


I’m down to 500 now, but i think the majority of them are system fonts. It won’t let me delete them… but they are for languages i don’t use, so I’m not sure if i need to see if those language packs are installed and then uninstall to get rid of those.


no matter how you slice it number fonts in the multiple hundreds is simply a LOT of fonts.


Nothing worse than having to pick a font when you have too many.


Lol, it depends on what you do. There are hundreds of variant versions of Helvetica alone - if you’re a design house you’ll have those plus hundreds of variants of every other ‘standard’ font and then all your fun ones, too. Corporate/design house font libraries often number in the tens of thousands.


corporate usually doesn’t have that many (gotta adhere to brand, if i use something other than whitney, i get yelled at).

ad/design agencies, on the other hand, that’s a different story.


Out of many years of work, Architectural drafting was about the only time I regularly used a font. It was one that looked like an old timey hand font, and I don’t think I used anything else for the rest of the time after I found it. Since then I have had very little need of a font and much of that using the font that arrived with the job.


The corporates I usually deal with have a strong design component, even tho they’re not agencies :wink:


we do, too. but that’s why we use one font family. gotta stay on brand.