13 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2012 1:06 PM by turner111

    Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?

    turner111 Level 1

      Hey all,

       

      Well, after 15 years of generally neglecting getting my fonts organized and ending up with them strewn all over multiple drives, I'm looking to pick up the slack.

       

      Years ago I used Suitcase at work, but haven't touched it since I can remember.

       

      Ideally, I'd like to collect all fonts in one location (ok, two if you consider system fonts) and get rid of true duplicates. Also, would like to sequester or somehow identify those that may be causing problems.

       

      Any suggestions?

       

      Thanks,

      Andrew

        • 1. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Unless you want to turn this into a guessing game, you'll need to tell us what plaform (Mac or PC) and what OS version you're running, as well as what version of InDesign.

          • 2. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
            turner111 Level 1

            Mac, OSX, 10.6.8.

             

            I'm running ID CS3 here, 5 at work. Assume version of ID to be irrelevant, though, unless some font management software has a special working relationship with it...

             

            Thanks!

            Andrew

            • 3. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
              mpc999 Level 2

              I have been using Linotype Font Explorer Pro X for the last few years. It will do what you want -- collect your fonts, identify duplicates and problems, and has a bunch of other features. It's not free, but well worth it in my opinion.

               

              I ran a production department that used various generations of Suitcase over the years. It generally worked, but was fiddly and seemed to break every time Apple updated OSX. Extensis does eventually get around to fixing it, but that's no good for a production environment. If you search this forum you will see Suitcase has caused hard-to-track-down difficulties for some InDesign users. So my recommendation is to go with Linotype for the same money or less.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                turner111 Level 1

                Thanks,

                 

                I looked at that and it looks pretty good. Your feedback is helpful.

                • 5. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                  turner111 Level 1

                  Just took a look at Font Explorer - I looked through the information I found but didn't see information on "collecting" fonts - in other words, rounding them up and moving them.

                   

                  Any pointers?

                   

                  thanks,

                  Andrew

                  • 6. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                    mpc999 Level 2

                    When you start FEx you tell it what drives to search for fonts on. Then you have the opportunity to let FEx catalog them in place or to copy them to a new central place (which is what I think you're looking for). I forget the details, since I did it a long time ago. FEx has a ton of features for organizing and displaying fonts, but I admit I don't use most of them. For me the big thing is that its plug-ins for font auto-activation in Creative Suite applications work, and work well.

                     

                    Note that you can download it as a free trial to see if it meets your needs. You'll get access to the comprehensive PDF Help file that explains all the bells and whistles.

                     

                    Of course, since you're on a Mac, you already have Apple's Font Book. I've never bothered with it, so don't have an opinion on whether it served the purpose.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                      coreenm Level 1

                      I use and like TypeDNA. I use a PC running Windows 7, but I believe they have a Mac version as well. One thing I like about it is that you can temporarily activate fonts instead of installing all of them.

                      • 8. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                        lilia@ Level 2

                        I use FontExplorer X Pro and I love it!

                        I felt it was worth the cost since I've used many font management programs over the years.

                        However, recently I came across TypeDNA and it looks great too... and cheaper.

                         

                        My suggestion is to download the trial version of one of these and see for yourself... You won't be dissapointed.

                        • 9. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                          turner111 Level 1

                          Thanks everyone!

                           

                          Yes - FontExplorer X Pro looks great. Cost isn't much of an issue if the software does what I need it to without messing things up.

                           

                          (Biggest fear is that I'll run it and then trying to open InDesign docs will crash!)

                           

                          I'll read up on TypeDNA - looks interesting, but I can't seem to find out if it does the "collection/consolidation" thing I'm looking for.

                           

                          Cheers,

                          Andrew

                          • 10. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                            mpc999 Level 2

                            "(Biggest fear is that I'll run it and then trying to open InDesign docs will crash!)"

                             

                            In my experience, using FEx with Creative Suite 3, 4 and 5, and using the autoactivation plug-ins (use of which is optional), I've never had that happen.

                            I only use "professional" fonts (as opposed to mystery free fonts from the internet, where quality is unknown -- some good, no doubt, but some poor).

                             

                            FEx is made by a font company, after all.

                             

                            Good luck with whatever you choose.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                              turner111 Level 1

                              "FEx is made by a font company, after all."

                               

                              Yup - looks like it'll be my 1st choice to try out. Glad there's a demo.

                               

                              BTW my fonts are a total mess - I will probably not use auto activation until I get my ducks in a row.

                               

                              Thanks again,

                              Andrew

                              • 12. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                                macinbytes Level 4

                                I'm still using FontExplorer 1.2 on Snow Leopard and haven't had any troubles. It can detect/collect most documents. I personally prefer to use ArtFiles by CodeLine for Illustrator document collection. FontExplore Pro is really nice, but I really haven't seen enough merits in it to justify purchasing it when FEX 1.2.3 is still working great at the unbeatable price of free.

                                 

                                I don't use autoactivation and am extremely reluctant to do so since I work in a design agency that has a great deal of legacy files with Eurostiles, Helveticas, Times, Gill Sans being problem fonts for autoactivation. I can get Suitcase to autoactivate the wrong Gill Sans 100% of the time on Fusion 2 or 3, with the one it preferring being a good bit wider than the other. Totally unacceptable for stuff that has copy that creeps to a trim edge in Illustrator.

                                 

                                Screen shot 2012-02-01 at 1.53.44 PM.png

                                 

                                I'm personally a huge fan of FontExplorer. I'd say that Suitcase is the most common and reasonably decent and the preferred font manager of font guru Kurt Lang. Font Agent Pro fans insist on nothing else.

                                 

                                As always I recommend reading Kurt Lang's Font Management Best Practices, updated just last month.

                                 

                                http://www.jklstudios.com/misc/osxfonts.html

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Sorta OT: Best font management solution(s) ?
                                  turner111 Level 1

                                  Thanks for the note.

                                   

                                  What is it exactly that's happening with the example image you've posted?