Windows version of FontExplorer X or alternative

Peter G.'s picture

I've been watching Linotype's FontExplorer X site for months now waiting and waiting for the Windows version, but alas, it has still not been released. In my despair I even asked Linotype last October via email and they said they hoped to have it out at the beginning of 2006.

So I'm wondering if anyone here can give me a more definive answer or recommend a compelling alternative for Windows.

fmiles's picture

I'd also like to get it on Windows.

I'm a web designer, so I simply can't get rid of Windows. I also can't afford buying a second computer just because it's a Mac.

jason's picture

Peter, I've been waiting and nagging about this for months as well, but a previous post pointed me in the direction of Proxima's FontExpert2006, which was just released a few days ago, and while I've only just downloaded the trial a few minutes ago, I like the interface a lot: full character set preview, easy creation of font sets, temporary activation (something Extensis Suitcase removed in their last version), etc. I'm just about to give their auto-activation for InDesign plug-in a test run and will report back here on the result, but even if the plug-in is buggy I have a feeling I'll be migrating to FontExpert (after 4 years running Suitcase).

As for Linotype, well, I'm sure they're busy with mergers and whatnot, but I'm tired of waiting. I don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth (Linotype's FX being free and all), but, seriously, why not just throw a note on the website saying "Don't hold your breath."

noftus's picture

Whole-heartedly agree with Jason.

jason's picture

For a few details on what I've found in testing out FontExpert 8.0, see this thread.

Tijs Krammer's picture

Recently I've compared a lot of font managers. My favorite is definitely MainType. It's fast and clean. See

nadine_chahine's picture

The public beta version of FontExplorer X for PC will be released this fall as we have announced in TypeCon last week. Development is still in progress and the first release will be comparable to the 1.0 version of the Mac one. The reason for the delay is as any programmer, or type designer for that matter, will tell you: things just take soooo much time...

I hope this helps :)

thierry blancpain's picture

no beta or something? we all are in urgent need of a good font manager! ;)

good news that there actually is a planned release «date» anyway.

nadine_chahine's picture

Well, it will be a "beta" but if the Mac beta was any indication, there should no problems with functionality. In any case, the updates will make sure that you stay on top of bug fixes.

jason's picture

Nadine, can you confirm auto-activation in the PC version?

nadine_chahine's picture

We don't usually give information about features before the actual release, sorry!! Once it is out, then we can talk more openly. We look closely at the feedback so please send us your wishlist and comments :)

Si_Daniels's picture

>Nadine, can you confirm auto-activation in the PC version?

Auto-activation is technically challenging on Windows without hooks in the apps themselves.

Looking forward to the beta though!

Cheers, Si

negativespace's picture

Getting close to Winter 2006 ;) Any word about the PC version yet? Been using the Mac version since the early beta's on my powerbook and love it.

negativespace's picture

Still looking forward to the beta, any word on this yet? :) :)

rlueder's picture

A PC beta version is now available. Yay! :D

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

I was totally unimpressed with the linotype software. It froze my system completely to start off. Something I haven't experienced since I installed XP. And I don't find the program to offer much at all. I own Suitcase and Typograf and have tried many other programs. Typograf is well worth the $35. It's incredible rich with features. Suitcase and Font Expert are both better than this program and worth the money.


jason's picture

Sharon, I applaud you for even giving FX a shot; I've been so fed up with the wait on this that reading the long list of known issues with this beta was the icing on the cake. While they were probably trying to address the frustration Windows users have felt, waiting and waiting and waiting, this release just screams "we can't be bothered to make this thing actually work, so here's a bungled version for the time being."

Linotype didn't have to develop FX at all, and for their part I realize all they're getting out of it is PR and some traffic to their store, but to my mind the PR attempt has backfired in a big way. A couple of years ago I simply thought of Linotype as a big foundry where one can purchase font licenses, and now, simply because this ball has been dropped so badly, they've lost me as a possible consumer of their product.

I'm one person, of course, so who cares what I think, I'm just pissing in the wind here, but if I feel this way I have a feeling others might as well.

metalfoot's picture

I'm avoiding it without even trying it because the known bugs are more alpha than beta, as far as I'm concerned. Beta should mean most of the bugs are worked out.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

You are the smart ones. I had to do a system restore and I may have to reinstall another program. Pfui...


Sharon Van Lieu's picture

After spending $30 to repair my registry, I no longer consider this a free program. I'm usually more careful about what I download but I really wanted to see what this program was like. Dumb move on my part.
Fortunately, the registry booster program I used worked great and my system is actually running better now.


manofscience's picture

High-Logic's MainType is really nice. I have trialled all the other Windows options and MainType is by far the best. It's fast and easy to use, but very powerful.
The main thing I like about it is that it doesn't try to 'organise' your fonts for you. If your fonts are already organised how you like, it will work with this.
You can browse your active fonts or fonts in folders elsewhere on your computer. You get to see a sample preview which you can easily type over or revert to a number of presets, plus a full character map. You also get a choice between activating and permanently installing fonts.
Hope this helps.
btw I don't work for them, just seems that people have a lot of trouble finding decent, stable font managers for Windows!

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