a handy font manager

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by zoran, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. zoran, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

    zoran macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    I've seen a couple of font manager apps for OSX, but i must say that they seem a bit too complicated for my taste. But i haven't seen any that match the simplicity of Apple software. I could be wrong though... have you seen any that are handy enough?
  2. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    By font manager, i dont just mean an app that will preview my fonts but also one that will activate/deactivate the fonts of my choice.
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    You have three choices.

    FontBook, Apple's stock font managaer
    Suitcase Fusion, the leading font manager
    FontExplorer, the competitor to Suitcase Fusion.

    There really isn't much else. I found this when poking around: https://typefaceapp.com/ . But I have never used it so don't know anything about it.

    The nature of font managers is to be a bit complex. These apps are essentially allowing you to use fonts that are not installed in the standard font locations. The mechanism to do that is not simple, so even the most basic font manager is going to require some learning on your part.
  4. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Thanks, im not sure if Apples stock font manager can activate/deactivate fonts the way the other two can.
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Well, historically what FontBook did was temporarily move fonts in and out of the font folders as you "activated" or "deactivated" them.

    I believe now though, it works in the same manner as the other two by simply activating them "in place".
  6. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    If im not mistaking, one of the other two, has a checkbox next to every font displayed in order for the user to select which fonts he wants to activate/deactivate. But even though, if I recall correctly, those two, don't have the most practical interface for the user to activate/deactivate. So I guess that's what I'm hoping to find, an easier interface than Font Explorer or Suitcase ;)
  7. stanw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    1. Is it even necessary to activate/deactivate fonts? I thought this was something that was necessary back in the old days...

    2. I am also looking for a font manager, though what I’m really looking for Is the easiest way to search and find fonts based on types, keywords, tags, etc. When working on a project and you need a certain type of font, how do you find your available options without spending tons of time?

  8. zoran thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jun 30, 2005
    Maybe im left in the past... how would you handle fonts nowadays? I mean the ones a designer wishes to have active on his system, and not the whole mass?
  9. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    I feel I'm eating crow on this because I have absolutely sworn to Extensis Suitcase since the Mac OS days when Suitcase shipped to you on a floppy disk. Until about two months ago, I happily used Suitcase Fusion. But then I got a new laptop. I realized that my 5-year-old iMac with Adobe CC 2019 apps launched and operated faster on that machine than my new laptop with faster components. The only difference was that I had no Suitcase Fusion installed at the office.

    I did some testing of virtually every app I could find. Most all of them suck as a serious font manager in comparison to Suitcase Fusion (that includes Font Agent and FontExplorer). One app stuck with me, and I've been using it ever since. It's a "middle of the road" app, sandwiched between Apple's FontBook and Suitcase Fusion.

    RightFont 5 looks great, allows you to create collections, auto-activates in Adobe CC apps as well as Affinity & Quark apps, and most importantly; it runs much the same as Suitcase, except it doesn't appear (after a few months of use) to slow down Adobe apps (particularly InDesign, which Suitcase was absolutely killing as of late).

    It's not a perfect app. For starters, you have to keep it running in the Dock all the time. This is more of an annoyance than a problem. It's also lacking a lot of nice features that Suitcase had. But, RightFont 5 is only $40, where most other professional font managers are $100 or more. And it does have some nice features (like font syncing via iCloud, Dropbox, GoogleDocs, etc.).

    It's definitely worth looking at if you need more than Apple's FontBook but find Extensis Suitcase too much.
  10. kat.hayes macrumors 65816

    Oct 10, 2011
    I'm glad I found this thread. I have lots of fonts saved on an external hard drive, others installed on my iMac, and others installed on my MacBook Pro. Lots of the fonts installed on the two Macs are even different than the ones on the external hard drive. I want to find a way to keep all of my fonts on one machine or hard drive, so when I download a new one it goes to the master location and I somehow synch the fonts to my other machines. I also want a good way to tag, keyword, or be able to search for fonts so I can easily access them when needed. What is the best way to handle using fonts across different Macs like this?

    Thanks in advance.
  11. organicCPU macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2016
    Can you tell what exactly were your problems with FontExplorer or what did you prefer at Suitcase Fusion?
    I'm using FontExplorer X Pro since version 1 that has been free. Before on Classic Mac OS I've been using Adobe Type Manager Deluxe and Adobe Type Reunion Deluxe, that I was really missing on Mac OS X. I've never been using Suitcase Fusion, components slowing down the system are unacceptable, but I´m willing to rethink my workflow, if there were clear advantages…
  12. 2mi macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2019
    Hello Zoran...
    I only just discovered (20 July 2019) this thread because i was searching for a new font manager also. I don't know if you've already found a font manager you like, but i thought i'd share what i've discovered recently.

    As mentioned by eyoungren, there is Extensis Suitcase Fusion, FontExplorer X Pro, and a third i've found, 'Insider Software Font Agent 9', which seems to be considered an equal.

    I used Suitcase Fusion at the design studio i was at...and it seemed to work fine - although i rarely if ever used all its features. Which was my whole point of looking for something else, now that i do freelance design. These 3 programs are overkill for what i need.

    Apple's FontBook which i've been using for the time being has been okay. My main complaint about FontBook is that it seems to deem nearly every font i try to install as having errors - even professional fonts i've bought from font foundries, monotype, etc - which i would've thought should be free of errors. But maybe there's something 'off' with my version of FontBook.

    I've found 3 other font managers, which seem to sit in between FontBook and the 3 above.

    They are:
    FontBase (https://fontba.se/)
    RightFont (https://rightfontapp.com/)
    Typeface 2 (https://typefaceapp.com/)

    They all offer much the same (for mac, preview, activation/deactivation, etc) with a clean interface and are all very affordable. FontBase is even free - with an optional paid version.

    I've yet to decide which one i'll go with, so i can't give you a review myself. But i found a decent review of RightFont and Typeface here: https://designwithvalerie.com/font-management-software-mac/

    Anyway, i just thought i'd share this in case you (or others) hadn't heard of them. I appreciate everyone has different needs, but these 3 seem to fit perfectly for what i was looking for.


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11 November 2, 2018