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Best font software for Mac?
July 12, 2014 5:55 AM   Subscribe

Font Book isn't burly enough to handle my thousands of fonts, and it has now crashed twice. Its default of loading fonts as active contributes to its crashing, I believe. (I've taken it to the Apple Store, etc., so please don't tell me how to get Font Book to work.) I've committed to buying some new font software. I'm currently looking at FontExplorerX Pro and Suitcase Fusion. Please share your advice on those two, or any other font management systems that are effective and not crazy expensive. Thank you! (I used to use suitcase back in the oughts. Obviously the world is a different place.)
posted by miss tea to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Suitcase Fusion 5 is definitely the most reliable option I've found. The UI is a bit clunky and dated, but auto-activation is reliable and it's generally easy to use.

For more in depth research, you might want to read through this web page. It's a great resource on font management on OS X in general, and has brief reviews of the major font managers too. (They ultimately conclude that SF5 is the best of the bunch, but there are other contenders that come close.)
posted by cvp at 6:56 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I had used Suitcase for years and when i looked into everything a while ago I ended up replacing it with FontExplorer. I thought the interface was good and I recall that at the time it was marginally more stable. It also had more bells and whistles that I never ended up using. I had used Suitc.

I never use auto activation since I have typefaces organized by client and tend not to use very many one-off fonts. I also opted to have it copy all the fonts into a new location since I like having a non-used set of them to (hopefully? superstitiously?) reduce the errors / font damage that seems to inevitably creep into them.

I'm currently on Font Explorer X Pro and I've been happy with it.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 7:11 AM on July 12


I used to work in doing tech support for 3 very large ad firms. During my tenure there, the switch was made over to Font Explorer due to the types of issues you described . While more stable, there were sometimes printing issues (phantom pages and the like) with Font Explorer. For the more problematic staff, we made copies of their font folders during a stable time, and if they had some weird issue we couldn't figure out, we'd nuke the fonts for orbit and reinstall.

Side note: When an operating system has a font called "lastresort.dfont", don't delete that one under any circumstances when you're having font troubles.
posted by Debaser626 at 7:38 AM on July 12


I stopped using font management software a while ago and put the fonts in the proper Font folder on Mac or PC. I live in Indesign and Photoshop, with a bit of Illustrator thrown in and that works just fine. I never take the fonts out, just keep piling them in there and both systems seem to handle it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:32 AM on July 12


The best font management software I've used (for years now) is FontAgent Pro. It has some nice tools for finding/fixing corrupt or malformed fonts as well.
posted by mboszko at 11:56 AM on July 12


Thanks all! I'm going to give all of your advice a try.

Brandon Blatcher, how many fonts did you copy over?
posted by miss tea at 2:42 PM on July 12


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