View Full Version : Font Managers - Do you use one? Which?

01-24-2011, 10:22 PM
Hi all ... my fonts are getting completely out of control and I need more. I'm pretty sure I need to buy a font manager (I've looked at free ones and they don't seem to fit the bill), but I have no idea which is the best. Do you use one? Which? What do you like about it?


01-24-2011, 10:52 PM
I don't use any. I find that organizing them by myself just as efficient, or not, as any manager. The fonts that your computer uses are in the windows/fonts folder but I made a separate folder, called fonts, on my drive and I keep all of mine there divided into subfolders like calligraphic, handwritten, techy, gothic, old west, grunge, dingbats, etc. Depending on your computer you can only have so many "loaded" into the windows/fonts folder at one time. Older pcs have around 1,500 max and newer pcs 3,000 plus (mine maxes at 3,500) but, if you're like me and have way more than that, you have to keep them somewhere else. What's more important is a good font viewer that can load from a directory other than windows/fonts. I'm using Main Type and Font Creator both from High Logic but I used to use a free one but I can't remember what it was called. The AMP free viewer looks very similar to what I'm using.

01-24-2011, 10:57 PM
I'm previewing MainType right now, as a matter of fact. Do you like Font Creator too? I'm pretty pleased with their Scanahand product, even though its use is limited.

01-24-2011, 11:18 PM
I haven't used it for quite a while and I didn't really know what I was doing when I did use it so I can't really say.

01-24-2011, 11:57 PM
I'm still using AMP font viewer http://www.ampsoft.net/utilities/FontViewer.php since The Font thing seems horrible unsupported.

Free but adequate for my needs.

-Rob A>

01-25-2011, 02:27 AM
Amp comes highly recommended by myself.

I tend to not to keep a lot of fonts loaded. Amp allows me to load the fonts I need as I need to use them. I did find it's convenient to keep copies of the font files in the maps I use them on so I can find them easily. That way when Photoshop complains "the fonts aren't loaded, you can't edit them as vector" I can load up Amp, tell it to temporarily install the fonts in the map folder, and off I go.

I dunno, maybe fonts are managed easier now, I come from a time when the more fonts you had loaded in active memory, the slower things ran, so i developed this workflow.

01-25-2011, 04:11 AM
I use nexus font. Supports groups/categories and easy loading/unloading with a mouseclick.

01-25-2011, 06:59 AM
I'm using Advanced Font Viewer and paid circa $20 for the full version. Bit of a mistake as it doesn't do the one thing I want it to, and that is to organise my fonts into families of my choosing with the font manager so I can find what I'm looking for quickly. I've downloaded nexus font from DJ's recommendation and it does exactly what I want it to do (and it's free!) Thanks DJ!!

Gidde, I'm using Font Creator at the moment, and I love it. The interface is really intuitive and easy to use and it hasn't crashed yet. From what I've read on the webs it's an 'enthusiast level' font creator, but then it's much cheaper than the pro font apps and so far it (apart from a couple of minor niggles, like not having a preview screen which is anti-aliased) it does everything I want it to do. I'd highly recommend you give the demo a whirl.

01-25-2011, 07:50 AM
Thanks for the input so far, everyone. I'm not sure if it's where my slowness was coming from but after i started my clearing crusade last night i found i was down to 350 (i must have been around 600). I'd like to get below 100 if windows will let me. will check out Amp and FontNexus tonight. And Ravs --- thanks for the info on FontCreator. I tried that TypeLight but wow the learning curve. I'll check it out.

01-25-2011, 07:59 AM
Im using Font Glancer

01-26-2011, 12:53 AM
Google The Font Thing - can't open it and grab link just now as I'm on a Linux box, and it's Windows. Freeware, hasn't been updated in a while, but does its small thing well. Lets you keep a library of fonts in some random place of your choosing, and lets you skim through them quickly to find that one you remember the look of but can't recall the name. Lets you categorize them too. Can set the "Quick Brown Fox..." text to whatever you like - useful if your map needs a particular diacritic; look for what you really need in a quick scan.

YES, you want to keep your loaded fonts down. A hundred would be great. Over 3-4 hundred and you'll be *killing* yourself every time you open a doc. Lots of apps, particularly things like MS Word, have to rummage through ALL the loaded fonts every time something's opened. I should know, my mumble-thousand font collection once bogged me to a molasses crawl. Or treacle, of you're non-US :-). Now I only load what I need. The Font Thing will let you install, I think its terminology for stickng a copy in the /fonts directory and it'll be there past reboots, OR just load - in use this logon session only, goes away without having to remember to do housekeeping. Hence a lot of my PhotoPlus layers are named things like "title - Andes Medium 32".... If not loaded or installed, and you go to bring up a file, most apps will pick a default, which can Really ruin the look of that carefully crafted art deco advertisement you did back years ago, or whatever.

Coyote, I love your "keep copies of used fonts with map files". Why has that not occurred to me?

How much capability are you looking for, Gidde?

01-26-2011, 08:12 AM
I'd like to be able to categorize and subcategorize, plus the install/load features you mentioned. I like MainType ok from the demo, but changing categories in it is weird. I think tonight I'm going to download all of them mentioned in the thread and check those out. Although I'm starting to think less than 100 may be a tall order with win7. each system font has like 15 variants (and i mean actual system fonts like arial and calibri, that get used for menus and things.

01-26-2011, 04:18 PM
The Font Thing is very nice - that's the one I used long time ago but couldn't remember.

01-27-2011, 12:00 AM
Well, after paring down the fonts on my machine to only what it needs to survive (which happens to be exactly 100 under Win7 -- I'm afraid to delete any more Win fonts) and categorizing them all using MainType's demo, I think I'm going to stick with that one. I likes it. It has an infinite sub-category scheme, a great customizable preview, and some info tabs that give you all the info you'd ever want about the font (provided the vendor filled out the fields).

I have yet to really work with Gimp and fonts since the Great Font-Clearing Crusade began, but I have to believe there will be a big difference -- I went from over 600 to 100.

01-27-2011, 10:14 AM
Here's a font question for the experts:

When you've got AI or PS open and realize you need to install a new font, the only way I've found to get it to appear in AI or PS is to close those programs down completely and reload them (and your images). Is there a way from within those programs to trigger a "reload font list" behaviour without having to reload completely from scratch?

01-27-2011, 01:16 PM
I'm not aware of any way to do it; I'd love to hear if there was one!

The Font Thing has been mentioned a couple of times here. Has anyone gotten it to run in a 64-bit environment? I gave up on it when I got my new computer because I just couldn't get it to run on Vista64. Disappointing because I'd just spent a couple of hours creating font groups prior to the upgrade.

01-28-2011, 08:45 AM
That's the main problem with Adobe stuff - want a new font, gotta close the program down, install the font, then reload the program. I hate it. I don't know if they addressed this in newer version but I'm on plain old CS.