Font Management

Sammlung von Holzbuchstaben

The phrase “order is half the battle” can be applied to many areas. Also to the computer and in detail to fonts. That’s why I’ve been using font management apps for many years.

Every computer is equipped with numerous fonts by default. These are provided by the operating system. When program packages – such as Microsoft Office – are installed, additional fonts are added. And in the course of work, even more will show up on your machine. Of course, it would be nice to keep track of them. This is exactly where font management apps can help.

Due to a given occasion – Font Explorer X Pro was discontinued at the end of June 2022 – I now have to look for an alternative. This article should also give you an overview of the current possibilities.

Below, I present the programs that made it onto my personal shortlist during my research. This article is not a review of the programs, but should save you time in your search. At the end of the article, you’ll find links to other reports that give a deeper look into how these and other apps compare to each other.

Cloud-Management

If you use an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, Adobe “handles” the activation and management of fonts for you. To get an overview, you can use the Creative Cloud app or the website fonts.adobe.com instead.

Meanwhile, management is not limited to Adobe fonts, but you can upload your own fonts to Creative Cloud.

Creative Cloud App Überblick

The Manage Fonts menu item allows you to upload and activate your own fonts. However, the overview of fonts is rudimentary and does not cover the fonts that are already on your system. For this reason, I prefer apps with greater functionality that also support cloud services.

Management by your operating system

Computer systems provide a simple font management option by default. On macOS this is the “Font Book” and on Windows you will find it in the Control Panel.

The Font Book is the font management of macOS
Systemeinstellung Windows Schriftarten
Organizing fonts in Windows
Free and paid font management

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to get involved with font organization for both Windows and macOS. Depending on your requirements, you should take a closer look at the different apps in terms of functionality and complexity. In many cases, free trial versions are available.

Fontbase (Windows / macOS / Linux)

Fontbase (fontba.se) works with the so-called freemium model and offers a solution for all three popular operating systems. Standard features are free and for an additional charge ($3 monthly, $29 annually or $180 forever) you get Fontbase Awesome with greatly expanded functionality.

Connect Fonts – formerly Extensis Suitcase (Windows / macOS)
Extensis Font Connect
© Foto: Extensis

Running under a new name is the former Extensis Suitcase: Connect Fonts Powered By Suitcase. With the new product, Extensis offers font management on the desktop and in the cloud. According to the Extensis website, this offering expands on the previous one with “intuitive search, font combination suggestions, and remote access via the cloud.” All of this comes at a price of $9 (excl. VAT) per month with annual billing.

NexusFont (Windows)
© Foto: xiles

NexusFont is a free font manager for Windows that, according to its website, makes “organizing, selecting, and comparing fonts simple and intuitive”.

Typeface App (macOS)
© Foto: Typefaceapp.com

According to the developer’s website this program is “a wonderful font manager for macOS that helps you choose the perfect font for your designs. The minimal user interface and focus on your fonts make browsing your collection a pleasant experience”. With a one-time fee of €39.90, the program is yours. Within the first 12 months you will receive free updates. After that, you have the option to purchase a license extension that allows further updates.

RightFont (macOS)
© Foto: RightFont

The developers of RightFont claim that “RightFont is a fast, intuitive, and professional font management program for macOS that allows you to preview, install, manage, and share local fonts and Google Fonts.” Also with RightFont, a one-time payment of $59 gets you a lifetime license with updates within a year. For the time after that, you can get upgrades at a 50% discounted price.

You can find feature comparisons and constantly updated articles on font management tools at:

If you want to learn more about font licensing and font rental, I invite you to read my article “Fontastic”.

As you can see, I’m „spoilt for choice" – to use another phrase – regarding picking the right app. If you have an additional tip on font management, feel free to post it in a comment.

Post image: Raphael Schaller, unsplash.com

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