How to Remove Helvetica Neue

An ongoing annoyance with Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 is their requirement that the font Helvetica Neue be active. Because of this, font managers such as FontExplorer, Suitcase or FontAgent won’t let you activate any other version of Helvetica Neue — such as the one you need because it was used in a previous project!

Therefore it may seem impossible to replace it with your own version, but here’s a trick that works:

  • Quit any font managers that may be running (FontExplorer, Suitcase, FontAgent, etc.).
  • Go to /System/Library/Fonts/ and copy all the Helveticas you find there to /Library/Fonts/
  • Delete them from /System/Library/Fonts/ (admin password needed)

Because the Helveticas are no longer in the “System” fonts folder, but are in the “all-users” fonts folder, your font manager should now let you deactivate any of those Helveticas and activate your own versions.