With so many fonts, both free and commercial, available on the web, it’s not surprising that many designers find that their font collection quickly gets out of hand. I download several new fonts every week, but I did go though a phase where I had hundreds (if not thousands) of fonts on my machine. It becomes very difficult to keep on top of that many fonts, so what sort of software is available to help you keep track of fonts and management?
Commercial font managers tend to offer more features and more sophisticated tools. However, if you’re getting started with design or are developing an interest in fonts, there are plenty of free font management programs available.
What is Font Management Software
Your pc or mac comes with a certain level of management already. You can install, view or delete fonts, as well as grouping them together based on certain criteria. Every font that has been installed on your computer uses up a certain amount of system resources when they are required by an application. It’s basically a waste to have a font installed if you only use it very occasionally. Most font management software allows you to activate or temporarily install fonts solely for the period of time you actually need them, freeing up resources to allow your computer run more efficiently.
Here are a few examples of free and shareware programs you might consider using:
The Free and Easy Font Viewer for windows is simple and easy to use, and lets you view installed fonts and experiment with their various styles. You can preview your fonts, install and uninstall fonts, and view more detailed font information.
AMP Font Viewer gives you a quick overview of both installed and non installed fonts. It can install and uninstall fonts, and organize them in categories. Fonts can be installed temporarily, while the program is running, to use in your applications, and de-installed when the program is closed.
Font Xplorer 1.2.2 is an excellent free font manager and could be considered the next step up in terms of functionality and sophistication. You can browse installed (and not-yet-installed) fonts from your hard disk, and use compare mode to search for fonts. You can load and unload fonts, install and un-install fonts, rename fonts, save bitmap images, view font information such as copyright information and available character sets, search for duplicate fonts, filter fonts, and much more.
For Mac Users
Linotype FontExplorer X 1.2.3 (Note: It is the last link on this page) is a free, now unsupported font manager. You can view, install, uninstall, sort and group fonts.
This is only a small sample of what’s available and might be useful for you if you’re getting started with font management.
Have you used any of these programs or others for managing fonts?