Now that is not the kindest of ways to start off a story, but today, it is what it is.
How did I come to utter this phrase, first to myself, then out loud and now here? Well it all started a few weeks ago when I purchased a Microsoft Office Update. It wasn’t the latest update from what I presently use, though I doubt if that would have mattered.
The long story is that I was still running Microsoft Office X. I’ve been wavering on updating my Microsoft software. Truth is, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to update my Microsoft Office suite ever again. With the advent of the Apple suite of apps for word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, and email, it gives us Mac users a welcome alternative to choose from. So part of my decision making was not to update my Microsoft products at all or at least until I could no longer open Microsoft files sent by associates or clients.
The only Microsoft app that I really used on a regular basis was Entourage and even with that, I was slowly wondering about using Mail full-time. Then recently, I purchased an unopened copy of Office 2004 at a going out of business sale, thinking “for $20, I can update what I have and at least not be so out of date.”
Well, for the first week or so after installation, everything went fine. The ‘new’ software worked and I could keep working. Happy. Then one day the dreaded beachball reared it’s colorful ugly little head, and the only part of Office 2004 that would launch and open was Entourage. First it was a minor annoyance that I could work around. As long as Entourage wasn’t complaining I didn’t have to stop what I was working on.
Then, I noticed that some of my other apps starting complaining, by slowing way down or giving me that dreaded beachball. OK, that was it, what had Microsoft Office 2004 done! Word, Powerpoint and Excel 2004 all froze at the same place, “Optimizing font menu…” Entourage would pause here and pass this by. What gives? Parts of the suite likes some of the fonts and parts don’t?
My first attempt at troubleshooting and removing the fonts installed by Office 2004 got me nowhere, remembering that Microsoft, like some other software companies, like to install their fonts in particular locations. Removing fonts from that particular folder, the only thing that changed was the interface look of Entourage. Hmm, don’t want to mess with that, it’s the only one working.
The problems persisted, so I started digging in the main directory of fonts. Viewing from the Finder and with Font Book, low and behold a sea of corrupt and outdated fonts all installed by…. Microsoft Office 2004.
Using Font Book to validate all the fonts, it would indicate corrupt or cautionary fonts, and indicate which ones I could safely turn off. Some fonts that you think you can turn off or remove are being used by the OS. Once I removed this sea of 90 or so fonts Word, Powerpoint and Excel 2004 all launched and opened without incident.
So, my question then becomes, “How is it that a software program actually installs the fonts that take it down?”
Speaking from time lost and scale of aggravation “Sometimes I just hate Microsoft.”