Anyone using Linotype FontExplorer in production?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Blue Velvet, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    And when I say production, I mean something like a dozen jobs a week plus a monthly full-colour 32pp magazine... ;)

    Am looking for ways to save a little money here and there, and if I can avoid buying five Suitcase licenses I will.

    I've read this excellent article and discussion over at Ars but would also like to hear any views from others here at MR if at all possible.

  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I installed it for the graphics guy at work, after they'd tried to get Suitcase to work on his (then) brand new Power Mac G5 just a few months ago (his first work Machine with OS X, BTW). He was and is using Macromedia Freehand as his layout program, and when Suitcase failed to let him use all his old fonts I found Linotype FontExplorer X and we tried that.

    5 minutes later they called the Mac shop to return Suitcase... :)

    He still seems quite happy.
  3. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    I would be quite happy too to abandon Extensis... getting support and updates on their site alone gives me the horrors.

    At the moment, all fonts are managed locally on each production machine; I haven't got the time to set up Suitcase Server and prefer to let the designers handle what they need on their own machines.
  4. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    I'm finally thinking about making the switch myself. I always liked suitcase, but over the last six months I've had nothing but trouble. I can't seem to isolate where my issues are coming from, but it often becomes unresponsive, and often can't be quit without 'force'.

    Anyway, interested in hearing real opinions about these topics in font Explorer- managing thousands of fonts, managing sets, managing system fonts, and auto-activation.
  5. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    After reading that article, it sounds like FontExplorer has some deal-breaker issues with auto-activation. I guess maybe all I need is an update to suitcase. $99 a license is dirty cheap.
  6. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    i find suitcase to be very buggy, very heavy and the interface is a bit off for me. i use linotype but i do agree that the auto-activiation is somewhat lacking, however i would rather deal with that relatively minor annoyance than suitcase's larger ones.
  7. SumDumGuy macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2002
    i've installed FontExplorer on all the machines at my print shop and have had no trouble whatsoever. Dozens of small jobs every day (business cards, forms, invoices, etc) and enough 4-color brochures, posters, flyers, etc. to keep everything interesting. All the machines are running Tiger and Quark XPress 6.5 and Adobe CS2 suite (less InDesign).
  8. aafuss1 macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2002
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I'm a fan of FontExplorer-does the job for me (I do a lot of page layout in Pages) and I've never needed to use something like Suitcase or FontBook.
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Suitcase (especially Fusion) has never been anything other than bulletproof for me.

    As for FontExplorer X, everytime I've tried it, it seems to shag something up. Usually Word. And usually when I need it to work.

    That and it's auto-activation is f'in dreadful (as has already been pointed out). Severely reducing productivity and throughput, especially when you rely on more than a handful of apps per day.

    That said, it is Linotype, and it will eventually be nothing less than brilliant. It's just that it's not. Yet.

    But it's free, and if you're in a position where you really have to cut costs, then it'll just about do the job.

    Adobe... Adobe, where art thou ATM Deluxe? :(
  10. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    The old farts thread is in another forum. ;)

    I also liked ATM Deluxe... despite it seeming to be the number one cause of extension conflicts on my machines.
  11. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    A bit of background info: I'm a designer with dozens of clients who are forever asking for amendments and reprints of old jobs, plus I do a lot of long document stuff in Indesign (training books).

    I've been using FontExplorer on my G5 for eighteen months now in tandem with CS2. To be honest most of the time I'm not really aware that it's running, which I guess is a good thing. It has built in spotlight searching which is handy when auto-activate fails. It's previews are good. Set creation is painless (think iTunes).

    On to the negatives... as said by others auto-activation occasionally misses a beat. The find duplicates option doesn't seem to work for me. Finally, being that it's free, I worry for its long-term future.

    I think that many of the font problems that people have are due to the way that OSX organises and manages fonts. Hopefully Leopard will improve the situation. It's absolutely essential that your font libraries are conflict free.
  12. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Isn't it work placement time soon??? ;) weheheh.
  13. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    Two simple words: FontAgent Pro. I started using it when I switched full-time to Mac OS X back during the 10.1.x days, and it's only gotten better and better with every release.

    I think FAP is really the ideal font manager for production environments where many different jobs are coming in and out the door, because you can load each job's fonts as a separate library, so you can be absolutely sure there are no conflicts with another job's fonts. It's a very powerful and flexible app.

    I honestly haven't played much with FontExplorer. It's a nice looking app and I like their business model (I wonder how much revenue they're actually generating through font sales through the application). But I've been so happy with FAP that I haven't spent much time with any alternatives lately.
  14. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    I'm using it for my daily stuff and I'm happy with it. You can't beat the price anyway...

Share This Page