Trying to simplify the usage of Fonts in Mac OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Karvel, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. Karvel macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    I came back to Macs and OS X after using them last in the early 90s but am finding it hard to get to grips with the sheer number of fonts that ship with OS X Tiger (and presumably that has increased with Leopard).

    On the Power Mac 5400/180 which I used in the 90s (till I moved to Windows :rolleyes:) I used Clarisworks, and there one could simply click (and hold!) on the Font menu and see a list of all the fonts available AND SEE IMMEDIATELY WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE. You would not have to scroll very far down beyond the screen to have seen the entirety of the fonts on the system.

    Now, on OS X the shift seems to have been towards using a Font panel, which personally I also find very confusing. There seem to be "Collections" of fonts, of which several nonsenical ones seem to have pre-defined - "Fun" and "Classic"?? But the worst thing in terms of potential usability (in my eyes) is that the list of fonts in the font panel does not immediately show what they look like until you click on them and look at the preview - in contrast to that "Font" menu in Clarisworks which immediately listed the names of the fonts in their respective style (I think Microsoft Word does this also with their Font menu?). The OS seems to contain so many fonts that personally I only know what about 10 of the fonts included look like without clicking on them and finding out again. Also, the top "effects" buttons don't seem very user-friendly - why do the shadow offset/opacity sliders look greyed out??

    Is there anyway to get the list of fonts in the font panel to be in their respective fonts? And can someone explain the whole "collection"/"library" ideas with regard to fonts?

    Thank you :eek:

    Attached Files:

  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Sounds like you want Font Book. Just open it to get previews of the fonts--the font names are not rendered in the font they contain because of the large number of symbol fonts and other difficult-to-read embellished fonts on the small scale. The text palette is for making selections, not for browsing. Applications may elect to use a different selection method (with previews, e.g. Word or InDesign), but if they choose the text palette, that utilitarian view is what you get.

    Open up Font Book and browse from there. You can modify and design your own collections from Font Book to make selection easier, but you're ultimately going to have to adapt to using the font names. Applications themselves determine whether to give you a list or a preview, not OS X.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    What you are describing was not the general behavior of MacOS 9. There were two ways to get a visual font menu: 1) install Adobe Type Reunion or 2) use an application with this feature built-in. Adobe Type Reunion is no more. However, Stone Design develops FontSight™ which is available as a separate download or as part of the wonderful Stone Works suite.

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