Is there a program that will present all of the fonts present on a system?
January 3, 2004 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Fonts. They're driving me nuts. Does anyone know of a simple program to generate a specimen book from all fonts present on a system, installed or not. True type, open type, type 1, etc. The problem is, I have my fonts organzied well enough, but I frequently forget what the ones I don't often use look like.
posted by Grod to Computers & Internet (17 answers total)
Um... what operating system are you running?
posted by nicwolff at 3:13 PM on January 3, 2004

I haven't used all of these, but this is a good list of freeware font management utilities.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:13 PM on January 3, 2004

Response by poster: nicwolff, if I tell you you'll scream at me. WinME.
posted by Grod at 3:21 PM on January 3, 2004

Response by poster: What I want to be able to do is print a simple specimen book one family to a page, of all my fonts. I tried writing a Word Macro to do it, but it always crashes halfway through.
posted by Grod at 3:22 PM on January 3, 2004

OT1 Font Manager is good for True Type, Open Type, Type 1, etc.
posted by signal at 3:34 PM on January 3, 2004

At one point in my OS history (no, I don't remember when), I was able to click on any .ttf and get a nice page of the font sampled at various point sizes, and printable. I printed out dozens of these for my fonts and stuck them in a notebook.

Since then, this facility has been broken. I have no idea what program was being used to view the fonts, but I didn't have any special font-management stuff on board so I think it was part of the (Windows) OS.

Anyway, my notebook is darn handy. Alas, I cannot add to it.
posted by beth at 4:11 PM on January 3, 2004

Beth, I'm in Windows XP, and I can open my fonts folder, and double-click any font to give me the window you describe, with a handy print button.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:24 PM on January 3, 2004

The Font Thing is what you're looking for. Beyond allowing you to view the fonts currently installed on your system, TFT lets you browse folders and preview the fonts therein without installing them, build collections of fonts that can be installed and uninstalled at will, and create a catalog of fonts for printing purposes. Oh, and it's freeware.
posted by Danelope at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2004

I remembered a post about this on the blue: here. I don't think it is quite what you are looking for though.
posted by Orange Goblin at 4:29 PM on January 3, 2004

beth: Make sure that in your File Type control panel (accessible only as a tab from within the Folder Options menu, which is of course insane), that the TTF file type is associated with the program:

C:\WINDOWS\System32\fontview.exe %1

(Double check it's there. You may need to restore it for some reason. There should be an open and a print action, the latter with a /p in the above line.)

As for previewing them all, it's one of those things that naturally should be a default part of the OS functionality and naturally Redmond decided wasn't actually needed. (Who prints lists of the files in their directories, anyway?)

As far as third-party tools go, I always find that my printouts of such things are drastically out of date. Once in a long while I like to print a hardcopy sample, but then I'm not a graphics guy.
posted by dhartung at 4:30 PM on January 3, 2004

Is there any point in not installing all fonts on your system anymore? I know it used to be a problem but I'm using XP with something like 1000 fonts installed and haven't particularly noted any problems. I realize you are using ME, so YMMV.
posted by rushmc at 5:15 PM on January 3, 2004

Well, the amount of fonts you have probably increase load times for programs that use them.
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:25 PM on January 3, 2004

Response by poster: OK, I can do each font manually, I can use a tool like the font thing or adobe type manager. So the problem is basically solved. I was hoping however, that I could make a nice little book without any work. The Font Thing doesn't handle Open Type, nor is it able to display PostScript outlines (which I thought were type 1, but all the formats confuse me). I don't need to look at most of the default windows fonts, but I do need to see what things like Adobe Jenson Pro (Open Type edition) or Walbaum Book Regular (a PostScript single master) look like, and would prefer (though obviously it isn't essential) to be able to do so without opening another program or trying it out in the program I'm using.
posted by Grod at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2004

Grod, I insist, use OT1 Font Manager, handles all formats.
posted by signal at 7:17 PM on January 3, 2004

Response by poster: Signal, I'd love to, doesn't handle WinME. The OS I'm stuck with.
posted by Grod at 7:37 PM on January 3, 2004

Dhartung, thanks for the info! However, when I changed it to what you suggested (Actually C:\WINNT\system32\fontview.exe, I'm on Win2k), I try to open fonts and get a message that the file is not a valid font file. This is true even for my installed fonts. Argh!
posted by beth at 2:30 PM on January 4, 2004

Got it! There were quotes around the path to the exe and around the %1, which I left when I changed it from the irfanview file association. Removing the quotes solved the problem. Thanks, dhartung!! :)
posted by beth at 2:48 PM on January 4, 2004

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