Clear out those excess fonts and speed things up

Helpline

January 29, 2001|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

I have received a message a couple of times stating that I have more than 500 fonts on my computer and should remove some of them. How do I go about this?

The font management software you need to clear things up is built right into the Windows operating system. You just go to the folder named Fonts in the Windows directory and call up a list of icons for each and every typeface on your machine.

So click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and then click on the icon for the C: drive and then open the Windows folder and then the subfolder Fonts. Each font has its own icon, and when you click on that icon you get a window displaying samples of text in that particular typeface in many different sizes. Go through and pick out 50 or so that you like and then delete the rest.

You will find that a handful of these fonts cannot be deleted because they are used to display the Windows operating system itself, but the majority are overkill and can easily be eradicated. The problem with having huge numbers of fonts is that just about all software that uses any kind of font at all is set up to display a list of all the fonts available in one of the menu bars. Having to display a huge list of fonts bogs things down, and so programs include those warnings like the one you got saying there are too many fonts.

I want to buy a device that will allow me to: 1. Make my own CDs with selections from my collection of cassette tapes, LPs, CDs, minidisks and DATs; 2. Make and copy data storage CDs for photos, text, etc.; 3. Download and burn MP3 files onto CD. Do I need to buy two boxes? Or am I not shopping hard enough for an all-in-one, foot-in-both-eras piece of hardware?

First of all you need a CD burner. For example, the backpack CD-rewriter by Micro Solutions Inc. of DeKalb connects to the USB port on PCs running Windows 98 or ME.

I recommend these external USB CD-RW drives because they are plugged into the outside of the computer and don't force the buyer to open the case and install complex hardware.

Almost all these drives come with the same excellent CD-burning software from Adaptec, named Easy CD Creator. This software will let you create those disks of data like photographs, text files and other information that can be moved among computers by way of their CD-ROM drives. This software also lets you make exact copies of whatever music CDs you happen to own (this is legal as long as the copy is for your own use).

However, you will need other software to create the MP3-type music files that are required for creating the archives you want to make from your various types of music - vinyl records, digital audio tapes, cassettes and CDs. I recommend MusicMatch Jukebox (www.musicmatch.com), which will handle the whole job.

MusicMatch is best-known as a so-called music ripper, a program that records individual cuts of tunes on music CDs, or music that is piped into the computer sound card's line-in connector from the line-out connector on an auxiliary music machine such as a tape player or even a microphone. The software transforms all of these into the MP3 files that computers can read and play as digital music.

Once you have all of your tunes transformed from the various players into the computer, MusicMatch works nicely in tandem with Easy CD Creator to burn custom music CDs with the exact mixes of tunes that you care to put together.

Send email to jcoates@tribune.com.

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