The operating system that runs on every computer comes with basic support for managing fonts. The functions that are available are sufficient for users who don’t have an extensive library of fonts and don’t need to add or remove fonts on a regular basis. For all other users, there are font managers (sometimes referred to as font utilities or font tools, even though they are management tools). These are separate applications that provide more features than the operating system itself, including:
- the ability to organize large libraries of fonts.
- activate or deactivate fonts or groups of typefaces, either manually or automatically.
- print font samples in a wide variety of ways.
- warn about corrupted or damaged font files.
Which font managers are available for Mac OS X?
- Alsoft MasterJuggler
- Extensis Suitcase Fusion
- Insider Software FontAgent Pro
- Linotype Linotype Font Explorer X – a freebie!
Which font managers are available for Microsoft Windows?
- ApoliSoft Font Fitting Room
- Black Sun Software X-Fonter
- Extensis Suitcase for Window & FontReserve
- OT1 Font Manager by J M Berthier
- High-logic MainType
- Linotype FontExplorer for Windows – at the moment of writing (11/2008) still in beta
- Lose Your Mind Software Printer’s Apprentice
- Insider software FontAgent Pro
- Neuber Software Typograf
- Proxima Software FontExpert 2007
Comparing different font managers
There are some excellent reviews on the web that compare various font management programs.
- For all platforms: Best Font Manager Software Comparisons and Reviews (2011)
- For all platforms: Smashing Magazine’s review of 25 font managers for Windows Mac or Linux or the Creativepro font manager face-off (2008)
- For Mac OS X:Ars technica review (December 2006) or the Designtalkboard comparison (2006)
- For Windows: Typoblography overview (2007)