25 Font Management Tools Reviewed


If you are one of those people who work with fonts on regular basis, then choosing, comparing and analyzing fonts is a serious business for you. Font management is not always as easy as a walk on the cake. Font management issues like installing and uninstalling fonts, handling missing fonts, taking care of font conflicts always keep graphic designers and typographers on their toes.

Also hundreds or thousands of fonts activated on the system can use up considerable amount of system resources which in turn reduces efficiency and productivity. Mac, Windows and Linux platforms have their own font management utilities, but these utilities are not sufficient in a specialized or professional environment. This is where professional font management tools come to the rescue.

Below we have reviewed 25 free/commercial font managers for Mac, Windows and Linux. Which one do you use and why? Your favourite tool is missing? Let us know in the comments!

Suitcase (Win) / Suitcase Fusion (Mac)

Suitcase Fusion1

Suitcase Fusion2 (Mac) and Suitcase3 (Win) are powerful, quick and clever font managers which have a simple and an intuitive user interface.

While previous versions of Suitcase created a database of information about your fonts, the fonts remained in their original location. You still have this option in Suitcase Fusion but also have the option to collect your fonts in a structured and secure repository called the Font Vault. The Font Vault gives users much more control over their fonts, eliminating unnecessary font conflicts, duplicate font issues and providing easy access to your own library.

Suitcase ensures you have the exact version of the font you need and prevents potential font wrecks (due to missing or substituted fonts. It also keeps fonts in one, secure location – easy to find and back-up. It also offers auto-activation: only the fonts you need are activated when you open a document and deactivated when you close.

With both Suitcase Fusion and Suitcase for Windows you get FontDoctor. FontDoctor is a professional software tool that takes the work out of locating, diagnosing and repairing the most common font problems, so you can stay focused on the task at hand. Suitcase Fusion price starts at $99.95. Suitcase Fusion is for Mac and PC.

Main features:

  • Easy-To-Use interface
  • Organization with font sets
  • Font previews
  • Font Sense, the most advanced font matching technology available, that allows for a deep level of font analysis when identifying fonts for auto-activation using multiple criteria—font type, foundry, version, etc.
  • Keeping font library secure and organized
  • Font auto-activation
  • Windows Vista compatible
  • Powerful font diagnosis and repair
  • Font Doctor (free with purchase)

Linotype FontExplorer X (Win / Mac, free)

Linotype FontExplorer X4

What makes Linotype FontExplorer X5 really different, is the integration of an online store which lets you browse through fonts you are considering for purchasing. Hence, you can examine and compare fonts inside FontExplorer X’s online store as if they were installed on your system. The tool combines font management, font sorting, font shopping and font discovery in one user-friendly interface.

You can organize your fonts using a library, folders, tags and smart sets. That makes it easy to find all typefaces from a certain foundry, all italics or all fonts tagged with a certain keyword.

Auto-activation enables you to you decide which applications may request fonts, and which may not. Plugins for popular DTP apps like Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Quark XPress are available as well. You can examine the complete character set, inform yourself about the legal stuff or just see a few sample paragraphs to know what a font looks like in real-life context.

Finally, you can enable/disable fonts, clear font caches, have a typeface family view, export font information as image/zip/disk image, missing font handling, document font scanner and Growl support. Supported languages are currently English and German. Linotype FontExplorer X is free. The Win-version6 is released as Beta (currently not available for download), the Mac-version7 is stable.

Main features:

  • Powerful font management
  • Built-in online store
  • Auto-activation
  • System integration (Spotlight support)
  • Missing font handling (system-wide auto-activation of fonts)
  • Conflict Handling
  • Document font scanner
  • Growl support

MasterJuggler (Mac)


A distinctive feature of MasterJuggler9 is its ability to store fonts anywhere and share them over a network. Hence, you can store your fonts in any folder on any drive and access them from removable media.

With MasterJuggler you can organize fonts in custom sets to work with the fonts you need for your current tasks. You can also preview multiple fonts and sizes with full Unicode support and view a font’s entire Unicode glyph map to find the exact glyph you want. It is possible to create your own sample strings for display. You can customize the MasterJuggler toolbar to include the commands you use most often. The pricing starts at $89.95.

Main features:

  • Drag’n’drop support
  • Support of PostScript, TrueType, OpenType and bitmap fonts
  • Font management via drag’n’drop
  • You can store and access fonts anywhere
  • Organize fonts in custom sets
  • Activate fonts either temporarily or permanently
  • Preview multiple fonts and sizes with full Unicode support
  • Glyph maps
  • Examine fonts for corruption with the integrated Font Guardian
  • Automate your workflow with AppleScript support

Font Safari (Mac)


Font Safari11 includes support for multiple language keyboard shortcuts and string encodings. You can view all of the characters in the font and simulate the font in alternative encodings such as Mac Roman, Windows ANSI, Unicode and other common text encodings.

You also can get keyboard shortcut information about all the characters of a specified font, view single characters or the whole glyph table. The pricing starts at $15.00. A trial version is available as well. If you are looking for a simple font previewing and testing tool without overwhelming advanced features, this tool is one of the first to be considered.

FontCard (Mac)


Font Card13 is a haxie that modifies the Font menu and the font panel in Carbon and Cocoa applications. It can add an icon that displays the format of a font next to the font menu item or font panel list, display the font name in the font face, group fonts into submenus, and add third party font collections to the font menu and font panel.

You can view third party font collections (Insider Software’s FontAgent Pro, LinoType’s FontExplorer X, and Extensis’ Suitcase Fusion). The pricing starts at US $17.00. A trial-version is available.

Main features:

  • View third party font collections
  • View the Font Panel with each font displayed using its own typeface (WYSIWYG Font Menu)
  • Reveal the font in the Finder from the menu
  • View font collections in the Font menu
  • View previews of inactive fonts contained in third party font sets directly from the font menu
  • Mark and reveal duplicate fonts;
  • Easy to configure as it comes in usual Preference Pane form, accessible through System Preferences.

Font Pilot (Mac)

Font Pilot14

Font Pilot15 allows you to browse an entire folder of fonts that are not installed with a compact visual preview. While viewing the slideshow, you can simply click on the install button at any time to have that font permanently installed and activated.

You can view and print a character map, view fonts by file or family, reveal fonts in the Finder, use Mac & PC key combos to produce characters and view invisible fonts. The pricing starts at $15.95.

FontAgent Pro 4 (Mac)


FontAgent Pro17 is supposed to be the world’s smartest font manager. Its Smart Activation function integrating in documents and determines precisely the fonts you need. The built-in MagicMatch agent ranks the fonts you may want to use in the future and suggests alternatives.

All fonts are categorized automatically, so you can view and search fonts by category or create custom classes to search later. Finally, you can also use multiple criteria to filter the fonts you need: search by name, format, foundry, type, weight, proportion and angle is possible. It is also possible to automate your tasks and workflow with AppleScripts.

What is really interesting is FontAgent’s ability to create separate font sets for projects and clients and store these fonts in separate libraries from your main fonts directory. The pricing starts at $ 99.95.

Main features:

  • View fonts in Player, Compare, Waterfall and Data views
  • Activate and deactivate fonts automatically or manually
  • Share font specimens and sample books
  • Create nested sets for projects and clients
  • Store client fonts in separate libraries from your fonts

Fontcase (Mac)


A yet to come Font Manager, Fontcase19 looks exciting and enticing. The tool lets you create smart collections for your fonts and share your library using Bonjour. It also lets you view the full Udenicode table for each font in your library and view the html entities for all glyphs.

You will have the power to view both installed and non-installed fonts by icons, lists or Preview lists. You can also tag your fonts and quickly filter or search your library to find exactly the fonts you are looking for. Currently you can only subscribe to a newsletter. Price: unknown.

Main features:

  • Unicode glyph table
  • Smart collections using Bonjour
  • Tagging and filtering fonts is easy
  • Preview of both installed and non-installed fonts

Typograf (Win)


Typograf21 is one of the most detailed font managers out there. It displays all OpenType, TrueType, Type 1 fonts as well as printer fonts and raster or bitmap fonts on hard drives, DVD, CD, opticals, floppies or specific folders – including all subfolders.

The tool can display a variety of font properties such as typeface classification by PANOSE system, IBM Font Classes or the Windows internal metric structure and kerning pairs. You can find related fonts based on typeface classifications and compare various fonts using tables that show major font features, file data, character width, number of kerning pairs. It makes Typography a useful tool for typographers.

It also, of course, includes the standard font file management functions. The pricing starts at $35. A trial-version is available.

Main features:

  • View and preview fonts (OpenType, TrueType, Type1, Printer fonts, Raster or bitmap fonts)
  • Displays all font properties
  • Advanced tool for comparing fonts
  • Print fonts and specimens
  • Font management
  • Manage fonts in database and font groups
  • TrueType and Type 1 References, Typeface classifications

FontExpert 2007 (Win)

FontExpert 200722

Apart from a usual suite of font management features, FontExpert 200723 offers you the ability to assign keywords, categories, ratings and captions in the tags view, print fonts, search for duplicates and corrupted fonts as well as examine your system for font errors. You can also export fonts to HTML (example24) and add Open, Print and Install font custom menu commands to Windows Explorer context menu.

FontExpert can create face sample images having custom width, height, color and file format (BMP, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG). It can manage and print PostScript, TrueType, OpenType and raster fonts.

It is easy to manage any typefaces that are shown in any view of the program. You can sort, filter, preview fonts, copy, move, delete font files, activate or deactivate fonts, add or link fonts to font groups (sets). The program can work with fonts located in the Windows Fonts and Psfonts folder (used by Adobe Type Manager), so you do not need to remove fonts from standard folders as some font managers require. The pricing starts at US $59.00. A trial-version is available for free download.

Main features:

  • View and preview fonts (installed or stored on local drives)
  • Assign tags, ratings and categories to fonts
  • Search for duplicates and corrupted fonts
  • Organize fonts in groups (sets)
  • Activate and deactivate groups of fonts with one click
  • Print character maps of selected fonts; you can generate templates with page headers and footers manually
  • Examine your system for font errors
  • Export to HTML
  • Automatic activation of missing fonts (includes Missing Fonts Loader plug-in for Adobe InDesign CS2 and Adobe InDesign CS3)
  • Windows Shell Extensions (adds font management capabilities to the shell so it is easy to activate or print any font in a folder you browse in Windows Explorer)

Advanced Font Viewer (Win)

Advanced Font Viewer25

If you are choosing a font for printed materials, you can use Advanced Font Viewer26 to print out the list and make your choice according to the real conditions of font usage. Designers who want to accurately compare patterns of several fonts that look similar, may create collection of fonts. An interesting feature of the tool is its ability to let users view previously uninstalled fonts and to install them.

You can also print list with type specimens, remove fonts duplicates and fix registry fonts problems. The export to HTML is possible as well and you can also print out list of uninstalled fonts. The pricing starts at $49.95. A trial-version is available.

Opcion (Win / Mac / Solaris / Linux, free)


Opcion Font Viewer28 is a free open source font viewer written in Java. You can view installed and uninstalled fonts, mark fonts as favourite and preview fonts with a customizable sample/display text. Opcion is a very basic and simple font management tool. Its main advantage lies in the fact that it will work on all platforms. Hence, in case you need to look a font up, it may be the optimal quick’n’dirty solution.

The tool provides a default view that allows you to view one font at a time, and a list view which allows you to view multiple fonts at a time. The favourites list can then be saved for future reference or used in finding out the file names of fonts you wish to install. Opcion Font Viewer requires Java 1.4.0+ to run.

Font Frenzy (Win, free)

Font Frenzy29

The special FrenzySnap30 function enables you to establish “restore points” and re-install the fonts that were in your system on a specific date. The “DeFrenzy”-function removes all fonts except those originally shipped with Windows XP or Vista, or to a previous snapshot. You can specify a folder where all removed fonts will be stored. FontFrenzy is fully-functional freeware – with the nag screen easily removed after a quick registration.

Main features:

  • Save a snapshot of your fonts folder that you can use as a restore point
  • Re-install fonts quickly and easily from a previous snapshot
  • View your font list at any point-size using a customizable test phrase
  • View a sample of each font in a pop-up window including every upper- and lower-case character and numbers
  • User-friendly font manager allows you to add new fonts, delete, or unload and store selected fonts
  • View all fonts from a specified folder.

Font Xplorer (Win, free)

Font Xplorer31

Font Xplorer32 has the ability to browse both installed and not installed fonts from the local disk. Some other prominent features include renaming font files to use a font’s full name with undo support (i.e. arialbi.ttf to Arial Bold Italic.ttf). A resizable character map that shows all a font’s scripts and allows you to zoom in on any character. You can even copy a symbol to the clipboard as a vector image or rich text. You can also filter fonts by character set so you only see symbol fonts.

Font Xplorer does not support Adobe Type 1 fonts and OpenType fonts with PostScript outlines. It works with TrueType and OpenType fonts that have TrueType outlines. The application is freeware.

Main features:

  • Browse both installed and not installed TrueType fonts from disk
  • Print pre-designed, professional sample sheets and font listings
  • Filter fonts by character set
  • Integrated Repair Wizard solves most common problems with fonts
  • Extensive support for calling external programs. Plus support for different variables in callable command lines

MainType (Win)


MainType34 is an universal font management tool for both novice users and advanced graphic designers and typographers. In order to find the right fonts for your needs, the software includes filter and sort functionality. The main information about the font, such as its properties, supported characters, font type etc. are displayed in a font information pane. A groups pane helps you quickly organize all your fonts.

MainType is a drag’n’drop font manager that offers a straightforward and easy-to-use interface to help you find, preview, organize, install and print your fonts. The tool works with TrueType, OpenType, TrueType Collections, Postscript Type 1, vector and raster fonts.

It also allows you to generate an HTML-based overview of any of your fonts, print reports and export the font information. The latest release includes the ability to type a preview text into the Font drop-down list, a character zoom popup window and more predefined font variables. The price starts at $49.00. Trial-versions are available for free download.

Main features:

  • Install, uninstall, load and unload fonts
  • Preview and browse fonts on any drive or directory without installation
  • Full Unicode support
  • Character grid with Unicode block navigation
  • Print and print preview your fonts
  • Support all popular font formats and more: TrueType, OpenType, TrueType Collections, Postscript Type 1, Vector and Raster fonts
  • Drag and drop support
  • Font export wizard generates a HTML-based overview of all your fonts

The Font Thing (Win, free)

The Font Thing35

The Font Thing36 is a legacy, a still very popular freeware program for managing TrueType fonts in Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0. You can browse installed and uninstalled TrueType fonts, viewing sample text, individual characters, and detailed font information.

Easy font-management functions let you install, uninstall, print, copy, or delete any number of fonts at once. You can also store your own notes with them, filter them according to type (serif, sans serif, and so on), and group them into collections for convenience. Users can rename font files to avoid conflicts, and load fonts temporarily for use without installing them.

AMP Font Viewer 3.82 (Win, free)

AMP Font Viewer 3.8237

AMP Font Viewer 3.8238 is a simple free font manager, which allows getting a quick overview of both installed and non installed fonts. You can install fonts from a folder into the system or temporarily (until the program is closed). There are also standard options for organizing fonts in categories and managing them.

You can print a list of all or some of the installed fonts with an example of each font. The applicationhas a Scratchpad area for testing the look of any font. You can also group and categorize your favourite fonts. AMP Font Viewer is free and comes in a dual English/Spanish version.

Main features:

  • Support for TrueType, OpenType and Type1 fonts
  • Installation of fonts from a folder (one by one or from a list)
  • Installation of fonts temporally (until the program is closed)
  • Several options for organizing fonts in categories and managing fonts
  • Printing a list of all or some of the installed fonts with examples
  • Scratchpad area for testing the look of any font (installed or from a folder)

Cfontpro (Win, free)


Just as Typograf, Cfontpro40 provides many details about the attributes of every installed or non-installed font. You can preview fonts from any folder, CD, disk, or network drive and export the proof sheet to HTML or Rich Text Format file (RTF). Using the advanced character map and a character magnifier you can see exactly what any font character looks like. You can also zoom in and out and look at any part against a grid.

Another useful feature of the Cfontpro is the Font Packager which enables you to package any number of fonts into a single file for ease of transport to another computer. The application is free.

Main features:

  • Powerful font engine
  • Printing proof sheets
  • Export to HTML and RTF
  • Enhanced Property Viewer
  • Advanced character map and character magnifier
  • Portable font packager
  • Font management

Worth mentioning

Pigfontviewer41 (Win / Mac / Linux)
Pigfontviewer is a simple but elegant font viewer that allows you to preview all fonts in your fonts folder. PigFontViewer also features the ability to display your fonts in any custom folder and install into them your fonts folder. A simple font management tool without advanced features.


Font Fitting Room Deluxe42 (Win)
An interesting feature of Font Fitting Room Deluxe is the ClearType Tuning. You can activate this function to switch the system smoothing mode, set ClearType contrast value, or change LCD striping order setting. You can preview the custom sample text with a font list without actually installing them. Unicode Range Character Map allows you to type sample sentence simultaneously containing any locale characters. For example, you can preview English and Korean characters in the same sample string. Price: $49.95.

font fitting room deluxe43

Fontmatrix44 (Linux, free)
Fontmatrix is a general font management tool which is licensed under GPL. Standard features such as previewing fonts, installing and uninstalling them as well etc. are available. Good choice for Linux users.


FontHit Font Tools46 (Win, free)
The main advantage of this handy free application is that it supports drag-‘n-drop viewing of fonts within .ZIP files.

Font Showcase47 (Mac)
A very handy utility if you’ve got too many fonts to remember just what each looks like, and also allows you to print out a catalog of your font collection. You no longer have to install the fonts before you can view and print them. It features basic viewing, font printing, font peek, slide show, FontStream, character view, and font panes.

Font Showcase48

Windows Fonts Explorer49 (Win, free)
Windows Fonts Explorer is a very small, very fast and very compact tool for browsing your Windows fonts directory. You can choose your own sample text, and enlarge any character to examine it in detail. Nothing special, yet simple and handy.

Font Wrangler50 (Win)
Font Wrangler will allow you to install and remove TrueType fonts in batches; preview fonts before you install them; browse downloaded font files and view font copyright information. You can also print a ‘contact sheet’ of fonts so you’ll have a paper reference of what each font looks like and change your font names to make them more easily remembered and to resolve typeface name conflicts. Price: $24.99. A trial-version is available.

What font management tool do you use and why?

Let us know in the comments!

What font management tool do you use?51
( surveys52)

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  1. 1 http://www.extensis.com/en/products/suitcasefusion/index.jsp
  2. 2 http://www.extensis.com/en/products/suitcasefusion/index.jsp
  3. 3 http://www.extensis.com/en/products/font_management/product_information.jsp?locale=en_US&id=1055
  4. 4 http://www.linotype.com/2493/fontexplorerx.html
  5. 5 http://www.linotype.com/2493/fontexplorerx.html
  6. 6 http://www.linotype.com/3321/freedownloadpc.html
  7. 7 http://www.linotype.com/2631/freedownload.html
  8. 8 http://www.alsoft.com/MasterJuggler/index.html
  9. 9 http://www.alsoft.com/MasterJuggler/index.html
  10. 10 http://dreystone.com/fontsafari.php
  11. 11 http://dreystone.com/fontsafari.php
  12. 12 http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/fontcard
  13. 13 http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/fontcard
  14. 14 http://www.qweas.com/download/graphics/font_tools/font_pilot.htm
  15. 15 http://www.qweas.com/download/graphics/font_tools/font_pilot.htm
  16. 16 http://www.insidersoftware.com/FA_pro4_osx.php
  17. 17 http://www.insidersoftware.com/FA_pro4_osx.php
  18. 18 http://www.bohemiancoding.com/fontcase/
  19. 19 http://www.bohemiancoding.com/fontcase/
  20. 20 http://www.neuber.com/typograph/index.html
  21. 21 http://www.neuber.com/typograph/index.html
  22. 22 http://www.proximasoftware.com/fontexpert/index.html
  23. 23 http://www.proximasoftware.com/fontexpert/index.html
  24. 24 http://www.proximasoftware.com/fontexpert/samples/index.html
  25. 25 http://www.styopkin.com/details_advanced_fonts_viewer.html
  26. 26 http://www.styopkin.com/details_advanced_fonts_viewer.html
  27. 27 http://opcion.sourceforge.net/
  28. 28 http://opcion.sourceforge.net/
  29. 29 http://sdsoftware.org/default.asp?id=7665
  30. 30 http://sdsoftware.org/default.asp?id=7665
  31. 31 http://www.moonsoftware.com/fxplorer.asp
  32. 32 http://www.moonsoftware.com/fxplorer.asp
  33. 33 http://www.high-logic.com/download.html
  34. 34 http://www.high-logic.com/download.html
  35. 35 http://members.ozemail.com.au/~scef/tft.html
  36. 36 http://members.ozemail.com.au/~scef/tft.html
  37. 37 http://www.ampsoft.net/utilities/FontViewer.php
  38. 38 http://www.ampsoft.net/utilities/FontViewer.php
  39. 39 http://www.cfontpro.com/index.asp
  40. 40 http://www.cfontpro.com/index.asp
  41. 41 http://www.pigfontviewer.com/
  42. 42 http://www.qweas.com/download/graphics/font_tools/font_fitting_room_deluxe.htm
  43. 43 http://www.qweas.com/download/graphics/font_tools/font_fitting_room_deluxe.htm
  44. 44 http://www.fontmatrix.net/
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  46. 46 http://www.download.com/FontHit-Font-Tools/3000-2316_4-10332216.html
  47. 47 http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18451
  48. 48 http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18451
  49. 49 http://www.brothersoft.com/windows-fonts-explorer-70371.html
  50. 50 http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/fontrang.html
  51. 51 http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/904637/
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  1. 1
  2. 52

    Why even mention Linux when the only Linux-program featured is a cross-platform Java program?

    (Not that anyone serious about fonts and typography uses Linux. I wonder why I still do. OpenOffice for Linux still doesn’t support OpenType, sigh.)

  3. 103

    Sigurdur Armannsson

    September 7, 2008 4:14 pm

    Great article.
    I have used Linotype FontExplorer X (mac version) since it was introduced and find it to be almost perfect replacement of the late Adobe Type Manager. In fact I like it so much I made a little tutorial on how to install it on the mac at: http://font.is/?p=38
    Although it has not a server version it is not so difficult to set up many macs exactly the same if needed.

  4. 154

    I’m using The Font Thing in Vista, just fine, but I am definately going to look at some of these others, just for a change of scenary really – yes the Windows apps are ugly – such a shame!

  5. 205

    using AMP on win – pretty much does the job.

  6. 256

    @Martjin: “I’m using windows Linotype FontExplorer X beta. It’s not very fast but it’s in my opinion the best font management software.” What? It’s perfectly fine. Get a better computer, maybe.

    Linotype’s FontExplorer is the best around in my personal opinion, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone I meet who wants to know.

  7. 307

    @Michael Schlierbach Our current Suitcase for Windows product merges the technology of the previous Suitcase & Font Reserve products on the Windows platform.

    Also, for font support on Windows, we support all font formats that are supported by the operating system. Adobe’s Multiple Master format support for Windows was enabled through the ATM technology. Since Adobe is not longer developing either ATM or MM fonts, this is no longer a supported Windows font format. Technology similar to the MM format was incorporated into the OpenType format. When possible, we highly recommend upgrading your fonts to OpenType.

    Also, for fonts that you may not be able to find a suitable OpenType alternative, there are are also tools available that will convert your previous MM font to OpenType format.

    Jim Kidwell

  8. 358

    another vote for bitstream font navigator, I’ve been using this thing for the last 8 years, beats me why development is not more active, it’s the only decent program that corel have ever published.
    I’ve also been playing with nexus font 2 which comes in a close second.

  9. 409

    My vote goes for FontExpert, the only program to work easily with non-western charsets.

  10. 460

    I miss Bistream Font Navigator, is the best one I ever seen.

  11. 511

    I’d kill for a Firefox add-on that auto-hides fanboy comments like those of the Mac fan brigade here.

  12. 562

    I have Extensis Suitcase installed on my Power Mac at work, but i stopped using it and went back to Font Book.

    Thank you, really needed a font manager for my laptop, didn’t know where to start looking, and just on the right time.

    You Are Smashing!!!

  13. 613

    I’ve created a very simple font picker program that works directly from your browser.

    i made it to solve the problems I have with choosing the right font for a project. There’s also an Adobe AIR version you can install.

  14. 664

    Worth mentioning Printer’s Apprentice, one of the best I’ve ever used.

  15. 715

    Adobe Type Manager Deluxe is da best for win… too bad its discontinued.. for now im stuck with Extensis Suitcase and it realy sux.. because it has problems with fonts allready installed in system (like Helvetica).. maybe im missing something there but, i had no such problems with ATM..
    i have to try that ipcion thing..

  16. 766

    don’t think anyone’s mentioned this:

    Insider Software’s Font Agent Pro has been available for Windows for about a year now — XP only, Vista support promised “soon” I’ve been trialling a beta of the next iteration during development and like what they’re doing.

  17. 817

    I’ve never used a font manager before but need something to view character maps when using Photoshop. Downloaded Nexus Font and it looks good. However some of the characters don’t show a corresponding keystroke, especially in regards to ornaments within OT fonts like Bickham Script Pro or Dear Sarah. Can anyone tell me how to access these extra characters so I can use them? In other words, what do I need to type to get the ornament?

  18. 868

    I’ve tried Linotype, but prefer the simplicity of default FontBook. :)

  19. 919

    I use Fontmatrix, which you mention above for Linux (I’m using Ubuntu), but it’s still a bit buggy – the tagging (maybe the most useful feature) doesn’t seem to be correctly implemented.

  20. 970

    I use X-Fonter from Blacksun Software for quite a while.

  21. 1021

    Nice article (as always).

    Have anyone stumbled upon a solution that will enable me to let people browse a font library hosted on my webserver, through their browser without any installation issues?

    I guess it would be more like a script, but I am in doubt if there are viewers out there capable of the same?

    User scenario: Let people browse and test fonts on an intranet from a shared font library, before installing/choosing font.

    Hope theres a solution out there :)

  22. 1072

    I use NexusFont for a few months now. A great and free fontviewer and more options coming up. (java based). I translated into Dutch. Very recommendable.

  23. 1123

    Christopher Anderton

    October 11, 2008 2:45 am

    If you are on a mac. Why use something else instead of Linotyp FontExplorer or FontBook (a part of the OS)?

    Have been using Fontreserve and Suitcase for many years. When LinoType released the new free FontExplorer there was no reason to look back.

  24. 1174

    Can you print an enventory of your fonts in LinoType FontXplorer?

  25. 1225

    How could you omit FontBook for Macintosh. Although there are other free font managers–I here FontExplorer from Linotype is terrific and also free–the convenience of FontBook’s being part of the OS and requiring no installation gymnastics makes it the font manager of choice for me.

    Granted, as a book designer, I only have between 100 and 200 typeface families, not thousands, on my system. But it does the minimal things I require of a font manager. I don’t spend time assembling fonts into different groups for different projects or clients. It’s enough to just have one alphabetical list. Keeping it simple is all I want.

  26. 1276

    I’ve tried about 3/4 of the Windows apps on here. My main reason for wanting to use a font manager is to sort out a large number of huge Japanese fonts without having to install them. Unfortunately, none of these apps is perfect. I have several (old) “problem fonts” that not even Word will recognize for its font list (Koibumi Penji and Reiryuu Reisho among these, though I can enter the fontnames manually in the bar and still use them, or cut ‘n paste from WordPad), and some of the apps just screwed up on these. Others couldn’t handle any font names in Japanese. Font Expert was mentioned as a good one for Asian fonts, but if I remember correctly, it had issues with more of my fonts than most of these apps, refusing to provide an actual sample of a good couple dozen of my fonts (instead showing MS Gothic or something as a default fallback; I’d rather it simply told me it had an issue!). And Font Fitting Room is a piece of crap – it crashed just from going down the list of fonts.

    I have high hopes for Linotype’s app when it’s finally released for Windows, but for now, AMP Font Viewer has actually given me the best results. Its major shortcoming seems to be that it doesn’t have TTC set up as a recognized filetype, and as such, it won’t allow me to look at uninstalled TTC fonts, and it shows “(???)” as the filename on installed TTC fonts (but otherwise renders them fine). Other than that though, this one serves my (amateur) purposes best, and I’ve emailed the author about the TTC issue, so hopefully it will be fixed in the near future.

  27. 1327

    Crazy that Nexus font manager isn’t on this list.

    Definitely the best free windows font manager I have come across.

  28. 1378

    FontExplorer X Windows version download link from Matthias above for anyone trying to find it. http://fex.linotype.com/download/pc/FontExplorerX-

  29. 1429

    I’ve given up looking for a utility to take the place of the Mac OS X Font Book. Not because I like Font Book — it’s slow, but I’m afraid to let a 3rd party software mess with my OS.

    So, what I really want is a tool that allows me to organize, search and identify fonts based on standard and custom tags/styles/sets. I don;t want to have to activate the fonts…I’ll do that with Font Book once I’ve selected the fonts I want.

    As opposed to Stephen Tiano’s scenario (see above), I am a magazine designer and I need to pick from thousands of fonts I own.

    Anybody have any thoughts?

  30. 1480

    Sigurdur Armannsson

    January 8, 2009 2:19 am

    @Scott : It is hard to mess up your fonts with FontExplorer X. I have used it since it first shipped and now I just upgraded to version 2. I made some directions on how to set it up version 1 for the first time and it should be more and less the same for version 2.

    I like it very much for many reasons but this one comes in very strong:
    – You can keep your font collection as you like and when you install fonts into FEX it COPIES from your original fonts into its own folder. It means that if something goes wrong or you want to start fresh you can always throw the /User/FontExplorer folder away without loosing any font. Just remember to check: Use Copy when installing.

  31. 1531

    I was using a program called Font Manager. This is a payware but was distributed free with a PC magazine (required registration). I thought this program very bad. It kept crashing and when it did, it brought the whole system down with it (BSOD).

  32. 1582

    I use FontAgent Pro 4 + fontcard as an “plugin-font” extension. In mac (os x) you can use any font management tool (like suitcase, linotype, fontagent, etc.). all works great if you know how to use it.
    I use FontAgent because its really simple. i like fontcard because works like Adobe Type Reunion, but in better version. it very useful when you have thousands fonts and you don’t have time to loose finding these font that are you looking for.

  33. 1633

    I don’t know about Font Explorer. They went from being free to now asking for cash. What’s up with that?

  34. 1684

    I was using font explorer, and providing feedback on the beta testing deal. I found it great, but buggy as all hell. it crashed completely at times, and you couldnt get it to actually open and initialise properly. On Vista x64 by the way.

    The perf of vista 64 with cs4 is really nice, so i wish to use a dont managment tool that works well. Font explorer works well when it work, import, export, comparisons, font matching, glyphs all nice.

    anyway, ive been waiting for the release and its never made it … and now I see the Apple version is there, but win version and they are asking for payment?

    so ….

  35. 1735

    I literaly just started font management yesterday- spent an entire afternoon searching! The Best Practices guide included with Suitcase Fusion 2 makes it my manager of choice :)

  36. 1786

    I have to second Nexus Font Viewer – it’s exactly what I was looking for. A clean, well presented app, with some smart features. It easily stands alongside the other viewers on the list.

  37. 1837

    Well, Suitcase’s ‘free trial’ is really limp! I loaded up Suitcase and spent about three hours organizing my fonts so ‘it’ would be able to take them in, and it didn’t. It refused to accept whole clusters of .ttf files sans explanation, while accepting others as suited its whim and fancy. Called support, and they have no clue except to try ‘Font Doctor.’ Errr… thanx, but no thanx. If the free trial can’t cut it, there’s no need to go further. So what’s rated as number 2 here?

  38. 1888

    FontSuit Lite is freeware, it suits my needs. You can try this free one.

  39. 1939

    i have been using suitcase fusion on mac, its been very handy as it has got auto active feature for which i dont need to activate or deactivate each time. its good but a bit slower when i am working on all adobe applications.

  40. 1990

    Thanks for the list! I am actively looking for a font manager to suit my needs. This is great!

  41. 2041

    I’m confused. It says here that Font Explorer is for Win/Mac, I’m on Win but there doesn’t seem to be a win version *scratches head*

  42. 2092

    Thanks to thibaud (comment 10), and the others on here who have recommended NexusFont. Exactly what I was looking for. An excellent alternative to Font Fitting Room, and very similar in use.

  43. 2143
  44. 2245

    In dealing with a sizable production crew, a shared font repository is a must. I’ve been using Extensis for about 3 years now. And until we installed it, we had many man hours. and frustrating crashes due to bloated windows font folder, and missing fonts. Although it can be a bit slow at times, its very stable. And auto-activation is nice. Good article, but I almost think you should have put the comparisons in a grid format. So we can compare the features. I’m still trying to figure out if any of them have the same network and shared repository features that Extensis does.

  45. 2296

    So, there is no app for windows available, supporting CS4 auto activation?

  46. 2347

    HighLogic Maintype 2.1.1. is an excellent Font Managing Program.
    And therefor it is underrated in the poll. It should be at least in the top 5.

  47. 2398

    When I saw this as a search result for organizing fonts, I got excited. I thought I was going to see someone actually REVIEW the products. This isn’t a review. It’s a one-stop place to see the “features” of a product. I wanted to know things like, how easy is the GUI to use? Can the program handle 1000s of fonts without crashing? Is there an easy-to-use help manual or .pdf? These are the issues I see people complain about. Too bad this “review” didn’t address the actual performance.

  48. 2449

    Just a translation

    August 2, 2009 2:22 pm

    > кpacaвицa вocтoкa

    Beauty of the East

    > Мне вот интересно, если текст c вашего сайта себе копировать, то ссылку куда
    > лучше ставить прямо на эту страницу блога или же на главную страницу.

    I wonder if I want to copy a text from your site, should I better put a link directly on this page of your blog or on the home page.

  49. 2500

    Proxima’s FontExpert2009, Insider’s Font Agent Pro and ApoliSoft’s Font fitting Room would all appear to support CS4 activation.

    (Very good thread this BTW :) – lots of useful info to trawl through in the various posts.)

  50. 2551

    Can you recommend one of these font manager programs for Windows that allows you to backup up your sets?
    I currently have Extensis Suitcase 11.0 (Win) and it works great EXCEPT when my computer needs maintenance (ie upgrades, reinstalls, reformat) it doesnt allow us to backup and save the sets I custom create (often per project or by style/genre). Its such a HUGE task to organize these fonts and I “NEED” something that wont create problems or waste my time & efforts to be organized. Thanks!!


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