FontExplorer X problem

pattyfab's picture

For some reason, every time I open FontExplorer X - or restart my computer - it takes me through the setup assistant all over again. Furthermore I no longer have my sets, which took me hours to set up. It also no longer starts up automatically, nor does it load my fonts when I open a file (I now have to do this manually).

I tried re-downloading the software and re-installing it, but the problem persists. I've emailed Linotype but not heard back. Has anybody else had this problem? Or any suggestions? If this persists I may have to try another font management software, which is a shame because I really like FontExplorer.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Switch to Extensis Suitcase, Patty! :-)

pattyfab's picture

I'd rather save the $100!

Actually I trashed FontExplorer, preferences and all, and reinstalled it and (knock wood) the problem seems to have disappeared. I still have to recreate my sets, which is a pain, but I do like the software.

I never liked the "vault" concept in Font Reserve and it looks like that is preserved in Suitcase, I don't understand the purpose of having your fonts in more than one place.

timd's picture

I thought a solution might come up in this thread.


Miss Tiffany's picture

That is one thing which I hope Font Explorer comes to have ... that being the ability to save your sets somehow. I finally have mine set up in a way that makes sense to me and I fear the day something happens to ruin it all.

pattyfab's picture

Like iTunes, which has a separate file containing your playlists. If you need to reinstall iTunes you can drag that file out and replace it afterwards. I'm not looking forward to setting up the sets again, I have a lot of fonts and it took awhile last time.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

There must be a file with a database, so if you make a backup of it you could use that after a reinstall or such.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

Miss Tiffany's picture

I've tried that before and it didn't work.

Patty, once you get your font installed you can make a back-up, albeit a little slow, by dragging the sets out onto the desktop. This makes .ZIP files which you can organize and save for later.

Scott Leyes's picture

I never liked the “vault” concept in Font Reserve and it looks like that is preserved in Suitcase, I don’t understand the purpose of having your fonts in more than one place.

I think all the font managers do this now (they used to give you the option to NOT do it)... it's primarily for two reasons:

1) Speed -- if they know where the fonts are and how they're organized, it's faster to find/load 'em

2) Safety -- By making copies of fonts, they aren't going to corrupt your originals; every time your system cashes for some reason, there's a chance of corrupting any open font files.

plainclothes's picture

That is one thing which I hope Font Explorer comes to have ... that being the ability to save your sets somehow.

I've slowly sorted all my fonts into folders based on my stylistic designations. I then use FontExplorer's smart sets to create sets based on the path to the font. it has been working very well for me, and I have a nicely organized backup of all my fonts.

as for Suitcase, I dumped it myself. I had nothing but trouble in both QXP and InD with it. the primary problem I've noticed was auto-activation, but even without it I experienced much more frequent crashes in InD. I prefer to manually activate things any way so I know what's going on when I open a doc.

pattyfab's picture

Font Explorer does still give you the option not to manage your fonts which I prefer. I have a huge hard drive but it still seems wasteful to me to have my fonts in more than one place. I'm not worried about corrupting the originals because I keep a backup.

Tiff - I'll try your backup idea once I get my sets redone.

Stephan Kurz's picture

There is a file called
/Users/username/Library/Application\ Support/Linotype/FontExplorer\ X/FontDatabase.db
where the actual font database and sets live.
Also, FEX offers the possibility to export/backup the current setup and later to re-import those, see Files > Configurations > Load/Save. This might also be good to know when (or even better: before!) doing major changes in FEX setup.
Some more information can be found here and here.

pattyfab's picture

Stephan, thanks! I'll back that up with my fonts for next time.

Jackie Frant's picture


Thanks to the advice I received on this forum, I tried Font Explorer. What a mess. It took hours to get my computer back to normal. It placed things in my System folder that knocked out the majority of my programs. I had to reinstall everything.

I am happy I'm back on Suitcase. I have a few problems with it - but nothing I can't handle in less than 1 minute of my time.

When Ricardo strongly suggested to Suitcase - I couldn't think of better advice for anyone to hand a professional on a MAC. :-)

mili's picture

I've had totally opposite experiences. Suitcase has caused me a lot of grief in the past, but FEX works just fine (I'm on non-intel mac). Happy not to have to use Suitcase anymore. Funny how it goes.

pattyfab's picture

I haven't had any problems with FontExplorer until this recent issue which seems to have resolved itself. I'm sure Suitcase has improved over the years but I never liked it back in the day. And now that I know how to save my sets I won't have any problems with FEX.

Dan Gayle's picture

I don't get it. You CAN save sets in FEX.

That's how I reloaded my fonts when I re-installed the OS on my laptop. I regularly make backups of this file.

I didn't notice that Stephan posted this solution earlier.

By the way, there is an unofficial discussion board just for FEX so you can get the kinks worked out.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I guess the one time I did try that and it didn't work I gave up on it. That was in a much earlier version. I'll save that for the day, knock wood, that I have to do it all over again. :^/

pattyfab's picture

I'm just sorry I didn't know this trick before I trashed my FEX, preferences and all. Next time...

nert's picture

I'm with Ricardo on the switching to Suitcase...but must add another quick point.

I installed FEX (WinXP Pro), decided it wasn't for me and resolved to remain with Suitcase despite a few issues I have with it.

Uninstalling FEX trashed the majority of older programs on the system (seemingly random fonts for apps making them all but unusable). After much hair tearing (and I don't have much anyway) and silence on Linotype's behalf, a last ditch attempt to rebuild this (system restore failed) was to change my visual theme. Reboot, then change it back to what it was. Amazingly this "so obvious you'd miss it" idea worked.

My personal experience of FEX - on XP at least - is that it doesn't seem to be quite ready yet. Maybe a reminder to try again in a few months or so.. ;)



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