Are there ANY good options for managing fonts?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Ed State, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Ed State macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #1
    I've tried EVERYTHING.

    FontBook (weak, too simple)
    SuitcaseFusion2 (buggy, heavy)
    FontExplorerX (buggy, iffy)
    FontAgentPro (buggy, iffy)

    Why isn't there a decent, solid, auto-activating, run-in-the-background font solution for OSX that can handle a fairly large font collection that has multiple versions of the same font?

    Designers need to (gasp!) use Helvetica Neue sometimes, and why does opening it have to screw up my entire system?

    All I want it to do is store my fonts, and let me organize them and categorize them... but stay turned OFF until either a) I turn them on, or b) a program requests the font.

    I've read all the FAQs about how Mac fonts work. I've read articles. I've watched videos.

    I'm not crazy. There are zillions of us who wrestle with this problem every single day, using band-aid solutions, or hacks to simply get our work done.

    This is STILL A HUGE PROBLEM to which there is STILL NOT A SOLUTION.

    I miss ATM.

    :(

    ...any ideas?

    e
     
  2. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #2
    I am using Font Agent Pro and it works really well. I did also try FontExplorer 2 Pro, but has to many options and there is a problem with duplicates, like this:

    Quoted from CORPSECORPS (MacUpdate)
     
  3. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #3
    Most of the problems with any font management app stems from collections containing corrupted fonts. I use FontExplorer X (1.2.3) on one Mac with no problems. On another is Suitcase Fusion (12.1.7). Both are fine.

    Prior versions of Suitcase tended to crash periodically, generally when it determined an auto-activated font was corrupt. Suitcase Fusion has only crashed once in the past couple of years. Fusion has the ability to auto-activate individual font (instead of entire font families). This prevents conflicts that may occur when different font families contain the same font. If one font suitcase contains bold, italic, regular and another suitcase for the same font has bold, bold italic extra bold, extra bold the font management app would generally crap out when both are auto-activated. So the ability to activate individual fonts within suitcases has made Fusion more stable.

    One thing I don't particularly care for about Suitcase is the inability to save font sets for use on different machines. With an earlier version of Suitcase I had all my fonts separated into scripts, condensed, display, serif, sans, pictures, grunge, etc. After the upgrade to Fusion, I lost all the sets. To solve this there's a much more expensive server edition that maintains all font sets on a networked machine.

    Linotype FontExplorer X used to be free and still is listed, though unsupported, on the download page. A fee is charged for FontExplorer X Pro ($79) that is a bit more competitive than Suitcase Fusion ($99). Years ago I used Font Reserve until it was purchased by Extensis. A side-grade was offered, which I accepted. Later Extensis offered both, then finally rolled the best Font Reserve features into Suitcase Fusion 2.
     
  4. Ed State thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #4
    I really thought Suitcase Fusion 2 was "the one", but after using it for a while, and using FontDoctor on all my fonts, multiple times, and Suitcase Fusion2 just continued to make my life a living hell. The auto-activation was very, very spotty. It caused my CS4 apps to crash, and hang up. And a lot of little weird things, too, like it wouldn't let me move some fonts around (good, professional fonts) and also wouldn't let me delete random folders and sets.

    That was just the latest experiment... the others had their own problems. Most importantly Auto Activation.

    Also, none handles duplicates well at all. As someone who works in Advertising, I need to have multiple versions of the same font, for different clients. And not only do NONE of these solutions help w/ managing the duplicate fonts when they conflict with SYSTEM fonts, none of them offer any useful solutions to deal with USER duplicates, purposeful or otherwise.

    We REALLY need a white knight here. Every designer I know struggles with this every day. And a lot of them just do the 'ol "drag the fonts you want to use into the ~user/fonts folder temporarily, and then out again after you're done using them. That is NO way to work.
     
  5. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #5
    Over the past 20 years I have used at least a half dozen font management utilities. Problems I've seen are generally the result of bad fonts, good fonts in bad suitcase combinations, or lack of auto-activation when new software from Adobe or Quark comes out. Generally, the popular font utilities are quick to update their offerings (so they can generate more sales). Updating the OS or graphics software may necessitate the need to upgrade font utilities.

    I am hesitant to update software on production machines. Everything is working well with CS3 and the utilities mentioned. Another one you can try is FontAgent Pro ($100).

    http://www.fontagentpro.com/FA_pro_osx.php
     
  6. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #6
    I converted all my old Type 1 postscript fonts to OpenType PS. So, no problem with font suitcases anymore.
     
  7. Ed State thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #7
    Yeah, I use TransType to convert a lot of my fonts, too. Especially PC TTFs. After that, I run them through FontDoctor. Often a couple times to be sure.

    But, still, problems.

    :(
     
  8. sprale macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    #8
    I'm in the same boat here. I had all my designers' and artists' Macs running Suitcase, which became buggy over time (even after reinstalls). I tried out FEX and Fusion, but nothing seemed to work. I have them all running from the ~/Library/Fonts and ~/Library/Fonts - Disabled folders, definitely no way to work. We're testing a server/client system currently. I may some impressions and details later.
     

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