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October 21, 2011 6:34 PM   Subscribe

O typesetters! Describe the principles of font management. Recommend essential font management software. Explain its best and most crucial features, and why I will find them helpful.

I'm using a translation project to get into LaTeX. Or, more accurately, I'm getting into XeTeX. Since the manuscript I'm translating contains multiple scripts, as well as phonetic transcription, I'm learning to balance typesetting multiple languages in multiple scripts on the same page.

I'm on Windows. Right now my method for choosing fonts is based on a combination of trawling Wazu for fonts with good character range coverage and digging through my system's fonts folder.

My life would be much easier with a software solution of some sort. I've never had this need before, so I have no idea what to expect and what I might find indispensable.

I suppose what would really help me is to be able to see at a glance how a "lorem ipsum" in a given font family/face looks like in any given script (Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Devanagari, etc.). I'd also appreciate the ability to search fonts by Unicode character and sort fonts by available OpenType features.

Are there utilities that implement these functions? What are my best options in the domains of open-source and commercial software?

Previously and previouslier, but not especially helpful.
posted by Nomyte to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
You mean something like... http://texblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/generating-dummy-textblindtext-with-latex-for-testing/

1st: Might want to look at LuaTeX: It can do pretty much anything XeTeX can do, but also is gaining the features of PDFTeX, such as Microtype.

The places I've found the most useful with LaTeX are http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/

The *best* place to get LaTeX help is tex.stackexchange.com -VERY newbie friendly, very helpful. There is also an IRC channel on freenode, but I've found TeX.SX much easier to get help on.
posted by Canageek at 7:16 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, that is not the question I'm asking. I am not looking for lorem ipsum generators. I am specifically interested in utilities to simplify choosing a font that supports a particular script. XeTeX right now is perfectly sufficient for my needs, and I have plenty of resources for it.
posted by Nomyte at 7:51 PM on October 21, 2011


Suitcase, by Extensis, is what I use on Windows. It allows fonts to be turned off and on, without having to remove them from the fonts folder.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:35 PM on October 21, 2011


Fontmatrix is the only open source one I know.
posted by Zed at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2011


Fontmatrix looks exactly like what I imagined, albeit the project seems to have stalled.
posted by Nomyte at 11:27 AM on October 22, 2011


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