What is the search path that Mac OS X uses when searching for resources (like fonts), and why would something like this matter in a multi-user environment with many shared and unshared fonts?

The search path is

1. User (~/Library)
2. Local (/Library)
3. Network (/Network/Library)
4. System (/System/Library)

If you have fonts with the same names, OS X will use the font with the desired name that it finds first in the search path.

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