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Noto fonts -- what are they?

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My computers currently run Windows 10. For testing and comparison, I have installed on my primary desktop computer Microsoft Office 2019, SoftMaker Office 2024, and LibreOffice 7.x.x.

Some time ago I noticed that this computer had somehow, somewhere, installed a huge number of fonts, all beginning with "Noto." A bit of research on the Internet has told me that these fonts originated with Google and that they are intended to provide similar-appearing fonts in every language. That's wonderful, but I don't write in every language. I write almost exclusively in American English, and a bit of Spanish and French.

When I discovered the Noto fonts, I laboriously went through and uninstalled all of them. They came back! I suspect they were installed when LibreOffice updated itself. Does that seem like a reasonable supposition? More importantly, is there any reason why I shouldn't delete them -- again? More importantly, if I delete them, how can I prevent them from returning?


Thank you.

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They will continue to reinstall every time you update the software with which they are bundled, unfortunately.

Typeface files are relatively small (KB, not MB), so they aren't choking your hard drive. If you find their presence annoying, which is the bigger burden—having to scroll past them in a fonts menu or deleting them every time they get reinstalled?

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@Ralf Herrmann Yes, I should use a font manager. In fact, I have FOUR of them: FontBase, Nexus Font, and High-Logic Main Font (all free), plus the font manager that was bundled with the font collection I bought from SoftMaker. The problem is, NONE of them come with a user manual, so after installing them on my computer I have zero idea how to use them. I have made repeated requests on the SoftMaker support forum for a font manager user manual, and the answer is always, "It's easy! (I've been using it for twenty years, so I know.)"

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I know that you stated that you’re running Windows 10 (ew) in the first post, so this is not relevant for you, but since it’s a public forum with users that run a variety of operating systems, I think it’s okay to point out that since MacOS Ventura, Apple have disabled the functionality to deactivate supplemental fonts (of which Noto is a part). Thus, there’s effectively no way to deactivate Noto on present Mac OSes. I solve this personally by creating “font favorites” in apps like Affinity to filter out the deadweight. 

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For anyone else who may have encountered this issue, I have determined that the Noto fonts are being installed along with new installations and updates of LibreOffice. There is no option in custom installation to NOT install these fonts. This means that on every computer I own, whenever I update LibreOffice I immediately have to go into Windows Fonts and delete the unwanted Noto fonts (which means all of them, since I have never used them and have no need for them).

  • very interesting! 1
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  • 1 month later...

Update: Mystery solved.

I have been attributing the unwanted installation of hundreds (yes, literally hundreds) of Noto fonts to LibreOffice updates. Today's e-mail brough a notuce from the German software company, SoftMaker, that an update to their PDF reader/editor FlexiPDF, is available. Among the things this update claims to have fixed is (ta-da!) the unwanted installation of hundreds of Noto fonts.

  • Like 2
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