Fonts have become one of the biggest trends of the internet. Even if you’re not a web or graphic designer, but only a humble editing enthusiast or just a random Internet surfer, you realize the impact fonts can have on your overall impression of a website. The text needs to be easy to read, but charming at the same time – using a type of font can enhance the effect a piece of writing has on the reader, titles and subtitles need to catch your eye, banners and logos need to stay with you once you’ve taken a look at them. Websites are absolutely dependent on typography, as well as some products, packages, posters, textile prints any type of “material” you’re working with that requires text, is tied to the feeling it gives.
A single font may even inspire an entire concept for a project. So, as a designer, you have to keep yourself up to speed with fonts, be they free or premium. Once you’re (momentarily) stocked up on what you want to use for your next project, it becomes more and more of a challenge to manage all of your font options, making sure you’ve looked through all of them, made a short list, compared those final ones and decided about the best ones to use. Well, we bet you wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a tool that helps you manage all of these operations.
Below you’ll find a list of font management tools with their starting prices, for Windows and Mac. Some good ones to use if may even be free, in fact most of those we’ve enclosed turned out to be freeware. Check them out:
Nexus Font – Price: Free
With Nexus Font, you can install, remove, organize, easily view and compare selected fonts to your heart’s delight – Bold, Italic, using different colors on them and so on. You’ll quickly be able to realize which one fits your current design project. You don’t even have to keep hundreds of fonts taking up the space of your hard drive – they can be found on other running programs, Nexus Font will even find duplicates regardless of how the files are named. It has an intuitive interface and a quite a few options to choose from in dealing with your sets of fonts.
Nexus Font has gotten raving reviews from users and might just be the best there is. While we recommend it wholeheartedly, you shouldn’t head to C.NET to get it, since there have been some reports on malware being included in the download.
Typograph – Price: 35 $ and up; Trial: Yes
One of the most in-depth font managers you’ll find, Typograph has all the features you need to effectively manage your Fonts, either generally or for a specific project. It provides extensive details on font files (full name, family name, version, designer, copyright information and so on), while allowing you to form a font database, so as to keep track of all of your files regardless of their location on your computer. You can group your fonts in different sets, which you can then share with other people, without being tied to the software itself. Of course, you’ll find many other options to play with, see for yourself by downloading the free trial version.
Main Type – Price: 39 $ Standard & 79 $ Professional; Trial: Yes
Main Type is a user-friendly, reliable manager that suitable to use for beginner enthusiasts and expert designers alike. With a great interface that allows you to freely move along smoothly while previewing, managing, installing and printing your font collection. It comes with a flexible docking layout, which you can optimize according to preference. All of its pathways are quite intuitive, so you’ll easily find your way around to: compare and rate fonts, group and categorize them by any way you want, use the advanced search, filtering options and the variety of plug-ins it supports (various versions of Adobe InDesign and in development, for Adobe Illustrator). It is a bit pricey, but reviews are generally favorable.
Fontcase; Price: 34.99 $; Trial: Yes
Without taking its toll on your performance, since it doesn’t need any plug-ins, with Fontcase you can do basic and more advanced typography-related operations with ease. The layout is reminiscent of iTunes, quick and easy to navigate, while maintaining a stylish, elegant appearance so that it feels right on the money. Fontcase works with the whole Adobe CS Suite, it lets you preview your fonts directly on a webpage (with Typesetter) and its auto-activation function works like a charm. Use tags, create collections and store them into a database, easiness in comparing fonts, activate and de-activate the ones you need and all that jazz.
Master Juggler; Price: 89.95 $; Trial: No
Another great designer’s font tool for Mac is Master Juggler. A pretty straightforward management program which you’ll likely enjoy, but what’s even more convenient about it is its ability to recognize, organize and store font files regardless of their location (could be an external drive) without modifying the files themselves in any way. You can even share fonts with others over a network. It provides full Unicode support, you can compare and preview multiple fonts, it includes a drag and drop function and it’s compatible with all other programs related to graphic design or desktop publishing. It doesn’t, however, provide a free trial before buying.
Font Agent Pro 5; Price: 99.95 $; Trial: Yes
One of the top players in terms of font management, Font Agent 5 offers its users a lot of control through a simple, intuitive interface. It goes easy on computer performance and keeps itself flexible in terms of customizable layout. What else? Advanced filtering options, multiple ways to preview fonts (Waterfall, Compare, Data, Player), the ability to find and repair broken font files and automatic activation plug-ins for Adobe CS6 InDesign, Illustrator, InCopy and Photoshop. See for yourself how you handle your font collection with Font Agent Pro 5 during the available free trial.
Suitcase Fusion 5; Price: 99.95 $; Trial: Yes
A product that has proven valuable to many people working on both Windows and Mac operating systems is Suitcase Fusion 5. A lot of the characteristics mentioned above are available – a powerful library and a secure database (The Font Vault) in which to sort your fonts and avoid common issues such as font duplicates, a diagnosing and repair tool, plug-ins for Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud, easy to learn and use, auto-activation, great font previews and so on. Even though it’s on the more expensive side, you can use the free trial to decide whether to use it permanently.
Linotype Font Explorer X; Price: 89.00 $; Trial: Yes
Besides sorting and organizing fonts, Font Explorer X offers you the opportunity to browse through its very own font store and buy new fonts that you come to like. Even if they’re not installed on your system, you can review the fonts in the web store as if they were. Functional and stable on both Macs and PCs, is suited for a large library where you can tag, group and sort whichever way you want to. There are smart sets to be made (grouping on a particular trait of the font) or manual sets (suitable for certain projects), a Web preview is available directly within the program, plug-ins of course, Fonts.com and Google Fonts usability. Previously free, the software now costs around 90 $. Still in progress is a feature that will allow for social media font sharing, but unfortunately only one at a time.
myfontbook is a simple font manager that you can use online to organize and preview your installed fonts. Being a web application, you won’t have any issues related to your operating system. You can easily choose your favorite fonts by rating them, while all those of certain interest can simply be tagged so you’ll find them quickly when needed. With this little app, you are able to effectively preview your fonts (Body Text function) and print them for previewing without much trouble.
Does typography take up a lot in your designs? Do you think it’s wise to invest a considerable amount of money in a font management tool? Or do you think anyone could get by with free versions of such programs?
We’re interested to know what your favorite font management tools are. Tell us whether you’ve been using the ones we mentioned in this article. Have they served you well?