Gnome offers no GUI way to manage fonts

Bug #66833 reported by Robert Persson on 2006-10-18
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Applets
Won't Fix
gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu)
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome

Gnome lacks a tool to manage fonts the way you can in KDE or in OS X. It is very hard to work with a large number of fonts if you cannot enable or disable them when needed. For instance I have just had to uninstall a load of novelty fonts because they were bloating the Abiword font menu to an unmanageable size.

What you should be able to do is to enable or disable fonts both as root (for all users) and as an ordinary user. You should be able to do this both for individual fonts and for user-defined categories.

Jeff Greene (jeffgreene) wrote :

I think you can already do this. Try browsing around to fonts:/// in nautilus and tell me if that satisfies what you were looking for.

Changed in meta-gnome2:
status: Unconfirmed → Needs Info
Robert Persson (ireneshusband) wrote :

Part of the problem is that the standard Ubuntu install includes a large number of fonts for a large number of languages. For instance the arabeyes package installs a couple of dozen fonts or so. For someone who cannot read Arabic script there is little value in having more than one or two Arabic fonts installed--enough to recognise the language a web page is written in. The same applies for many of the Indic language fonts.

And since these font packs are all dependencies of ubuntu-desktop, uninstalling them via apt-get may cause problems when it comes to a system upgrade.

I guess what I am saying is that there are in fact a number of interrelated problems to do with font packaging and font management that make the Ubuntu Gnome desktop a bit unwieldy.

Robert Persson (ireneshusband) wrote :

Sorry, I hadn't seen Jeff Greene's comment when I made my last comment. I have just tried going to fonts:/// in Nautilus, but it doesn't offer any obvious ways to do anything. For instance I tried dragging and dropping a font file into the window, but it didn't stick, not even when I did it is root.

What one needs to be able to do is to enable or disable whole groups of fonts at a time. You also need to be able to work out how to do this without anyone telling you. I would have expected to find a font manager in the System-->Preferences menu on the Gnome top bar. It is not reasonable to expect a novice to do Go-->Location... "fonts:///" without reading a manual.

Jeff Greene (jeffgreene) wrote :

Good point, I would mark this as Wishlist, but I do not have that privilege. Maybe suggest it as a feature?

Jeff Greene (jeffgreene) wrote :

After searching "font" in the feature specifications, it seems like they are already working on this.

Changed in meta-gnome2:
status: Needs Info → Unconfirmed
Robert Persson (ireneshusband) wrote :

That's very encouraging. The Font Management wiki page addresses all the issues I have mentioned above.

mhanski (ma-han2000) wrote :

"Priority: Medium. The project developers will definitely get to this feature, but perhaps not in the next major release or two."

Considering the sheer amount of fonts delivered with Ubuntu, a font management GUI is a plain necessity, thus the priority should be not "medium", but "urgent".

This issue is one of the the major obstactles to consider Ubuntu a recommendable platform for Scribus/DTP. Quting a Scribus team member with whom I chatted about it yesterday:

<mrdocs> well on a default install with Ubuntu there is no GUI fontmanager

<mrdocs> none

<mrdocs> so no way to install fonts as an end user

<mrdocs> defoma the debian font manager was a good idea in Xfree 4.0 days but with fontconfig IMO obsolete

<mrdocs> i want to visually manage my fonts like Adobe Type Manager

<mrdocs> I have 2000+ typefaces :-)

See this list to see other issues that make Scribus users' life on Ubuntu not very easy

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

KDE has a graphical utility to display and manage fonts. The equivalent functionality is lacking in GNOME.

Changed in meta-gnome2:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

This is functionality that currently doesn't exist in GNOME; forwarding upstream to the GNOME bug developers who have a feature idea open:

Changed in gnome-applets:
status: Unknown → Unconfirmed
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote :

I have added my view on this to the GNOME bugzilla...

Stevie (stevie1) wrote :

a year passed and still nothing? holy cow!

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

and what an useful comment, maybe you could work on the issue rather?

Stevie (stevie1) wrote :

nah, why do you guys always think that everyone can code?
not every human on earth is born as a programmer!
i got my skills somewhere else. i was just wondering, that after
more than 3 versions of ubuntu, theres still no font manager.

Which is the KDE package to manage fonts?
Can be that KDE GUI to manage Gnome installed fonts?

Changed in gnome-utils:
assignee: nobody → desktop-bugs
status: Confirmed → Triaged

Anyone got an answer to this interesting question?

Changed in gnome-applets:
status: New → Won't Fix
jpka (jopka) wrote :

I also need any working tool.
typing 'fonts:///' not working (Ubuntu 8.04):

 Couldn't display "fonts:///". Nautilus cannot handle fonts: locations.

I try tools available in 'Add/remove...' by 'font' word, but no success. No one application can show list of currently active fonts used in system.
I need tool for removing or disabling active (presented) fonts.

Could this be regarded as a general GNOME problem which would have to be solved by GNOME developers?

Changed in gnome-applets:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
Narcis Garcia (narcisgarcia) wrote :

First could be a good step to create a "font-install" command line tool, to install/uninstall a font file (user wide or system wide)

Alessio Treglia (quadrispro) wrote :

Please try font-manager:

     sudo apt-get install font-manager

Narcis Garcia (narcisgarcia) wrote :

[Ubuntu 10.04]
sudo apt-get install font-manager
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Couldn't find package font-manager

Fabio Marzocca (thesaltydog) wrote :

font-manager is in ubuntu 10.10

Jeremy Bicha (jbicha) on 2012-05-01
affects: gnome-utils (Ubuntu) → gnome-font-viewer (Ubuntu)
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