I started working as a freelance graphic designer and I have many fonts installed from the era when I was just doing stuff for entertainment and learning. I don't want to use these fonts for my clients work not at the beginning of this carrier at least, so I moved to only free to use fonts and resources. The thing is that the old fonts are cluttering my font selection list and take from me valuable time when searching for just the right font from the job. So I'd like to remove all of them except the default ones like arial, helvetica, courier etc.

How can I do it? (is there an open source font management software that will allow me to do this?). Do I need to purchase a license for the fonts that comes pre-installed with windows too, like Arial?

  • 3
    This question would benefit from being more focused. You're asking several questions here and they aren't particularly related (other than involving fonts) - which is not a good fit for the Q&A system. More info.
    – Farray
    Jul 28, 2012 at 18:57
  • You have a license for the fonts that come with the OS via purchase of the OS.
    – DA01
    Jul 29, 2012 at 18:54

3 Answers 3


Font management software is worth paying for because it helps organize your font collection and most applications help with managing system fonts (activate and deactivate fonts in the Windows system fonts "folder").

I recommend Suitcase Fusion by Extensis from my experience. Their latest version includes panels in CS5/6 for just-in-time activating fonts for use in Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. And they have integrated web fonts from Google and their own premium web font service called WebINK.

The other font management software vendors that I've played with (but not used in production) include:

I think they all provide a free trial (including Suitcase Fusion 4) so I'd recommend trying before you buy.

Good luck.

NOTE: I couldn't post more links because my reputation is not high enough. I set off the "spam" filter alarm, apparently.

  • 1
    I added the links for you, if there are more just post the names and I'll edit them until you have the reputation to add them yourself
    – Yisela
    Jul 31, 2012 at 21:35

First thing you can do is a manual cleanup. Use the list of windows' standard fonts for different versions of the os, and just erase the extra ones: http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/docs/appendix/fonts.htm (by the way, Helvetica is not part of the pack so you probably got it from somewhwere else). If you have the original os, then there's no need to buy any licenses (you just can't distribute the fonts, as they are for personal use).

Then you can use a font management program to install and uninstall without copying them to the fonts folder.

Here's Smashing Magazine's recommended 25, includes free and commercial: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/05/25-font-management-tools-reviewed/

And here are some more free ones: http://www.techmynd.com/8-free-fonts-management-tools-for-windows/


Font folder cleanup in FontExplorer X does exactly what you're asking: remove all fonts from the system's font folder that were not installed with Windows. (Font management applications store fonts outside the system's font folder.) You could run the 30-day trial version to get this done. Of course, if you frequently work with non-system fonts, you should use a font management application anyway.

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