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If you or your business do any kind of work with fonts, font management software can help you organize and manage the fonts you work with. In this article, I’ll explain why you should consider using font management software and I’ll outline some of the most popular font manager packages for Windows users.
Back in the days of the printing press, a font was a specific size, weight, and style of a typeface. The typeface may contain the different fonts of condensed, normal, italic, and heavy, for instance.
In the digital age, the meaning of font has changed to become synonymous with typeface such that a font file contains the variations of condensed, normal, italic, and heavy.
FontLab Studio is a professional font editor for advanced typography. It can import and export TrueType, Type 1, and OpenType fonts. It has extensive glyph drawing and editing tools, advanced metrics, Multiple Master and font transformation features. A font manipulation macro language is included, as is an OpenType feature editor. FontLab supports virtually all font encodings and codepages and can import/export fonts with up to 6400 characters. Version 5.0.2 features new metrics, autotracing, Unicode 4.1, Python 2.4.
FontLister will help you get a general view of all your fonts, regardless of whether or not they're installed. You can install and remove fonts from FontLister, and you can print samples of your fonts without installing them. The last version featured an updated ansi-table, better installation capabilities, and a much-improved font-export. You can also now copy fonts with drag-and-drop functionality.
CrossFont for Windows can convert TrueType and PostScript Type1 fonts between Macintosh and PC platforms and convert Type 1 to OpenType. Modify menu-related names in TrueType and OpenType fonts. Features include Zip archive support, font preview, automatic file recognition, drag and drop, folder searching, font outlines and hinting are preserved, OS X dfont support. WOFF and EOT web font support.
Font Xplorer allows you to find, manage, and print your fonts. It has the ability to browse both installed and noninstalled fonts from disk. It can also print predesigned, professional sample sheets and font listings, save bitmap images of fonts, and search for duplicate fonts. It allows you to find the perfect font in seconds in text compare mode, and rename font files to use the font's full name. It also includes a resizable character map that shows all font scripts and allows you to zoom any character, copy symbols to the clipboard as vecrot images or rich text. Version 1.2.2 is a freeware now.
Moon Software's Font Xplorer is a freeware font manager that makes it easy to view, print, sample, and handle the many fonts installed on your PC -- and take it from us, there are more fonts in your system than you might realize. Font Xplorer's text compare mode makes it easy to pick just the right font, and it can also search your system to find duplicate fonts that you can remove to reclaim disk space and keep your Windows waistline trim. This tool can load, unload, install, and uninstall fonts by folder, search for uninstalled fonts, show summaries of selected fonts, and create and print font sample sheets. Font Xplorer can also rename fonts so that you can use their full name.
Font Xplorer's user interface is box-standard Windows in style, with a menu bar and toolbar, but the main window is tall and narrow, which saves space. We could customize many aspects of Font Xplorer's interface and controls from the View menu as well as icons on the toolbar. The main window displayed samples of all our fonts in each font's name as soon as we opened the program. We could scroll and click any font to call up its character map, and drag the maps to resize them -- very handy since some fonts and characters are hard to see when rendered in such a tiny view. We could select and copy any symbol as text, rich text, or a vector image file and paste it into documents. A drop-down menu let us view fonts in different scripts, such as Western, Cyrillic, and Greek.
The duplicate font finder found none in our system, nor any uninstalled fonts. Font Xplorer includes a Repair Wizard that can remove invalid font references from the Windows registry, and optionally remove valid references to fonts only installed on a removable drive. It worked quickly and caused no issues in our system. Font Xplorer can also restore the default "magic" folder setting from new Windows installations, which displays all fonts. The Help file may not open in 64-bit Windows, but that's not this fine tool's fault.
MainType makes it simple to find, preview, organize, install, and print your fonts. Unlike simple font preview applications, MainType is designed for graphic artists, typographers, and other power users who demand high-end functionality such as network support, plug-ins, advanced categorizing, searching capabilities, and fast searches for fonts you need. MainType provides immediate system-wide font synchronization, with no need to refresh font lists or reboot the computer after installing fonts. Unlike most other font managers, MainType runs without administrator credentials. This eliminates the frustrating elevation prompt when managing your fonts.
This font manager works with TrueType, OpenType, TrueType Collections, and Postscript Type 1 fonts. To assist you in finding the fonts that best suit your needs, MainType allows you to rate, group, sort, and search for fonts within your collection and includes a fast and instant preview within the main font panel. You can browse your whole font library as well as define your own custom views. MainType allows you to generate an HTML-based overview of any of your fonts and print outstanding reports of your font library.
FontCreator fully supports OpenType features, and those are even preserved upon opening a font. It allows you to visually build your OpenType features, while the OpenType features can still be modified in the built-in code-editor. This font editor is the best choice if you need to create and modify professional fonts. This professional font editor allows you to create and edit TrueType, OpenType, and web fonts. It has the powerful drawing tools that typographers and graphic designers require and an intuitive interface that allows beginners to become productive immediately. When you create or open a font, FontCreator displays an overview of all available characters. You can simply add missing characters, or select an existing character, and modify its appearance.
You can import raster based (scanned) images of your handwriting and signature, and/or use the vector based import of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) to make your own fonts. Other features include the ability to preview fonts before installing, and a font installation wizard that makes your fonts available to other applications. FontCreator also lets you fix character mappings, correct font names, and modify and clean up kerning pairs. FontCreator is the first font editor to support the new scalable color fonts extension. This new feature allows you to create multi-colored glyphs for systems that support it, while maintaining backwards compatibility for systems that do not. With the huge popularity of professional fonts being used in desktop applications and web sites, you will love the fact that FontCreator now fully supports all OpenType layout features in the enhanced OpenType Designer. With this major new release, FontCreator now supports all OpenType features required by complex fonts such as Hebrew, Arabic, and Devanagari. It provides powerful tools for creating and editing OpenType features without the need to know how to code.
Font design isn't easy, but FontCreator simplifies the process with an intuitive interface and tons of features. Its specialized drawing tools allow you to design glyphs one by one. If you're not patient enough to start from scratch, it's easy to import an existing TrueType font (TTF) and get started modifying the smallest of details. You also can convert images to glyphs, which allows you to turn a logo or your handwriting into a custom font. That said, it's the bonus utilities that elevate FontCreator to a professional caliber. Glyph Transformer lets you instantly boldface, rotate, or alter every character in a font. You also can set kerning, change character-to-glyph mapping, and validate fonts to detect common problems. FontCreator's wealth of features and recently improved ease of use make it a great choice for type designers of all skill levels.
Typograf is a top rate font manager for Windows that seems to be designed with the professional in mind. This program offers deep features and a clean interface that is well suited for graphic designers and other professionals who need to keep their fonts in order. However, the interface is simple enough that anyone with an interest in typography can use it. The program can store several different font types: OpenType, TrueType, PostScript Type 1 and even printer fonts. This program contains a wide array of information on your given font, including file name, font name, font file size, and copyright information. In addition, some of these fields are editable, allowing you to change, for example, the name of a font, or its copyright information. If you have a particular font type that you are looking for, the program allows you to search through your database for fonts of particular qualities, such as searching by serif or spacing. Typograf has a useful Compare feature, which allows you to select two or more different fonts and compare them side by side. You can compare not only sample text and other visual samples of the font, but character width, file size, copyright information, character mapping and more. If you want to see how different fonts work on different paper stock, Typograf allows you to print out test pages of either character sets or of a keyboard layout. Typograf's Sets allow you to group your fonts into user-defined groups. These custom-named Sets can be used for any number of purposes, such as creating a group of similarly themed fonts, sorting them by copyright status, or grouping a set of fonts that you need from a specific project. Typograf is compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Windows Server, and has a negligible install size of 2MB. It is available for $35, which includes access to future Typograf software updates. There is also a volume discount, which is convenient for businesses or academic institutions.
You don't have to be a graphic designer to produce professional text effects with FontTwister. This program is designed to add a range of logos, letter headings or banners without having to struggle for hours with Word's design features, or clumsy programs which only have a limited library of texts to work with. The FontTwister also allows you to add glowing backgrounds, transparency and embossing, and create texture, blurs or shadows to your words, along with many other features. As a YouTube thumbnail maker, FontTwister offers a variety of free thumbnail templates. It works with Windows and with Mac through the Crossover feature, and this can also allow it to work for Linux customers too. Overall, the text effects of the program are great, with dynamic images which can be ideal when a company wants to change its image without employing a professional designer. It can also be sued to create dynamic images which can be put on to a webpage, perhaps as a logo for a new brand, or for a blog. Being able to use the FontTwister cuts down on the amount of effort you have to put into text before you get a professional-looking design, and you can create and reject a design in minutes, spending all day getting the perfect look if you choose. The program works with all TrueType fonts, including those for both Windows and Apple, so you could change any text you want. Rather than pay good money for another boring typeface which doesn't inspire enthusiasm in your workforce, or interest in your blog readers, using FontTwister can easily give you exactly what you want.
While many designers use high-end graphics applications to add effects to text, this program provides a more specialized and economical solution for stylizing TrueType fonts.
The program has many unique features, such as the randomizer, which generates a series of random text effects and displays the results in a slide show window. Output options are plentiful, but in order to retain a fully editable vector image, you must save your text as a FontTwister file (FTF).
Some of the preset and random effects are cheesy, but the program gives you extensive control over each effect so you can design text effects to meet specific needs. What's more, the developer's Web site has many additional styles, textures, and fonts that you can download for free. All in all, FontTwister is intelligently designed and easy to use.
NexusFont is a font manager for Windows. If you have many fonts and you need to choose the fonts you want, this program is for you. You can compare many fonts at once. And there are useful functions to manage font files. Supported font types are TrueType, TrueType Collection, OpenType, and Adobe Type1. Install or Uninstall fonts: install fonts into system or uninstall fonts from system.
Many of us don't give much thought to fonts, aside from selecting our favorite from the drop-down menu of whatever we happen to be working on. For other people, however--graphic designers, Web designers, and general font nerds--fonts are serious business. NexusFont is a simple font manager that can help people keep their fonts organized and easy to browse.
The program's interface is plain and intuitive, with a handful of menus and buttons for easy navigation. The program automatically accesses and displays all fonts that are installed on your computer, and you can easily import new fonts as well. NexusFont is a great way to preview and compare fonts; the heart of the program is a scrollable list of fonts that displays whatever sample text you like. You can view the fonts in different colors, sizes, and styles, as well as turn antialiasing on and off. NexusFont also displays metadata--the font's version, foundry, and so on--and you can add your own tags to the fonts. Groups and sets let you organize fonts in ways that make sense to you, although we admit we were never entirely clear on what the difference was between the two; the program's online Help file doesn't go into much detail about this. Overall, we think that NexusFont is a great way to organize and preview fonts, especially for people who don't want to shell out big bucks for a font manager.