Which font manager for Windows?

Ataliano's picture

Hi guys!

I'm new here so excuse me if this question is already answered, I tried to search for a topic talking about this, but I didn't found anything, at least what I was searching for.

I'm now studing Graphic Design and actually I'm a PC and I'm a Mac (LOL). My main computer is a Pc and I've a Macbook Pro for working at university.

I've some troubles finding some font manager for Windows, because I'm used to work with Font Explorer on Mac and I think it's one of the best choices for OS X, works fine, quick and have a lot of options.

For Windows, there's Suitcase wich lots of people say's the best one, but not for me, I think it sucks. Now I've tried Suitcase Fusion 2 and it seems the worst suitcase I've ever tested, It didn't oppened on Windows startup and I've to open the program each time I want to activate a font... so frustrating.

I know Linotype is working on a Font Explorer version for Windows, but the beta version have some bugs and there's not any link to donwload it at now... so I need some font manager program wich works like Font Explorer but over Windows (actually I've Windows 7 ultimate on my PC), and I've tried some of them but I don't likked them...

So as I know here's the best place to put questions like that, please, suggest me one font manager to use with Windows.

Thanks for your help!

Regards from Spain ^^

Ataliano's picture

As long as I've been searchinig I've found those ones wich I unknow its functionallity:

- Main Type (recommended here for some users)
- FontExpert 2009 (seems to have a lot of possibilities even see the glyphs)

So... anyone tested any of those? some suggestions about those ones?

Thanks again ^^

Arno Enslin's picture

I know Linotype is working on a Font Explorer version for Windows.

They seem to have stopped the development of a Windows version. And it was announced as freeware. A Windows version was promised. Both was a bold lie (because Linotype wants to have money for the Mac version, which also was announced as freeware)!

And I totally agree, that Suitcase sucks.

jkidwell's picture

Ataliano,

You can tell the Suitcase Fusion Core to launch at log-in if you want. The Core keeps all of your requested fonts active, even when Suitcase Fusion isn't open.

To enable the Core to startup at log-in:

1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
2. Double-click the Suitcase Fusion 2 Core item
3. Enable the "Start Suitcase Fusion 2 Core at Log-in" option
4. Close the dialog box.

Hope that helps you take full advantage of Suitcase Fusion 2.

Arno, if you haven't tried the most current version of Suitcase, it's been enhanced dramatically from the previous version. You can download a trial copy here: http://www.extensis.com/suitcasefusion2

Jim Kidwell
Extensis
http://blog.extensis.com
http://twitter.com/extensis

Arno Enslin's picture

@jkidwell

Does Suitcase Fusion 2 include a font file explorer or do I have to build a library first?

It’s a pity, that you have required FontReserve, because you did not continue with the development of the Windows version. Why?

darreng's picture

Ataliano and Arno, we are beta testing a completely new Font Manager (www.typedna.com). If you visit our beta page (www.typedna.com/beta), and fill in your details, mentioning "typophile" in the "how did you hear...box". I can fast track you both a copy to try.

Sorry Jim I cannot extend this offer to you ;) - Pass my best to Thomas P.

Ataliano's picture

Thanks for all your answers.

I think Suitcase is actually the best choice for Windows since I tried LinoType beta version and it **** all my system fonts... (maybe cause I'm actually on Windows 7).

I've tried SuitCase Fusion 2 (under Windows Xp) and yes, it has really been improved, but I think it's still far from the easily handling and type options from Font Explorer, but anyway, a good steep onto it.

I'll try again Suitcase Fusion 2 over W7, and see what happends... but if it actually works, It'll probably be my choice at least for now, because the other font managers are extremely overloaded of previews, options and many things on the main screen and the smaller buttons are the activate/deactivate ones, wich is really anoying (hard to find them quickly) (Like Font Expert... it's so crazy to search for something with all that caos on it's main screen).

I'll follow your typedna progress darreng! thanks for your invitation!

jfldesign's picture

I have used every single font viewer on windows and by far the best IMO is FontExpert 2009. Here is my reasoning suitcase fusion is a piece of garbage.

I paid for the program and yes it works great for finding and organizing the fonts you can even see glyphs. So why does the program suck well it started randomly deleting fonts.
Also it tries to integrate itself with adobe products which often leads to an error and all the fonts you have activated through the suitcase fail.

If you want something that looks pretty but makes you want to blow your brains out go with suitcase.

If you want something that works go with maintype or my fav font expert 2009.

jkidwell's picture

Arno,

Font Reserve is the previous font manger that was replaced by Suitcase Fusion 2.

Font Doctor is an application that comes with every purchase of Suitcase Fusion 2 and is helpful when diagnosing and fixing problematic fonts.

jfidesign,

Sorry that Suitcase Fusion 2 wasn't working as you expected. Perhaps some of your fonts were orphan fonts (missing either part of a PostScript font file) and that's why they were removed. Your fonts could also have been corrupted though movement across a network, or other hardware errors. Suitcase Fusion does not allow corrupt fonts into its database, to help you keep them from making output error and such in your workflow. You are able to add corrupt fonts temporarily if you absolutely need them, but otherwise, it's best to keep them out of daily usage.

Otherwise, you may have inadvertently activated a font temporarily, instead of activating it permanently. Fonts that are activated temporarily are automatically deactivated when you log off of your system. They are not removed from your font vault, merely deactivated.

Hopefully this answers your questions about Suitcase Fusion 2.

Jim Kidwell
Extensis
http://blog.extensis.com

Arno Enslin's picture

@jkidwell

Font Reserve is the previous font manger that was replaced by Suitcase Fusion 2.

Yes, but does Suitcase Fusion 2 include a font file explorer or do I have to build a library (a database) first? There is a font file explorer included in FontReserve and you can preview fonts, before you add them to a set. Is this basic function included in Suitcase Fusion 2? If not, Suitcase Fusion 2 would be a step backwards. A downgrade with regard to one of the basic functions. If I had to build a library, before I can preview fonts, Suitcase Fusion 2 would be useless for me. I like the font file explorer of FontReserve, because it is not just the Windows Explorer as in FontExpert for example. I don’t use the Windows Explorer because of unintended drag and drop operations.

jkidwell's picture

Arno,

I think I understand what you are looking for. Yes, you must add a font to Suitcase Fusion to be able to preview the font. Remember, adding fonts to Suitcase Fusion does not automatically add them to the system's fonts folder. They are not active on the system until you activate them with Suitcase Fusion. All fonts added to Suitcase Fusion can be previewed and even examined at a glyph level with the Glyph Viewer before being activated.

Fonts can be added to Suitcase Fusion in two ways: to the Font Vault, or add them in place on disk. Adding to the Font Vault makes a copy of your fonts into a secure location, while adding them in place merely refers to the file in its current location.

Suitcase Fusion works like iTunes in this way. You wouldn't necessarily need to preview a song before adding it to iTunes. Mainly you just want it to know where all of your songs are located. You can of course then remove songs from playlists (sets) or the database (library) whenever you need.

Hope that this helps.

Jim

Jim Kidwell
Extensis
http://blog.extensis.com

Arno Enslin's picture

@jkidwell

Yes, know I know, that I have seen Suitcase Fusion 2 somewhere.

The missing explorer of fonts, that are not in the database, is extremely uncomfortable in my opinion. It is so uncomfortable, that I would not use the tool, even if you would pay me its actual price. It’s like a car without wheels.

jfldesign's picture

Jim,

The windows version of suitcase is not something any professional can really use. The program is so buggy. I really want a refund to tell you the truth. The program looks good which is one thing I will say. It also has a great layout and superior tools. The program simply does not work very well though.

It kind of reminds me of windows blinds I had a few years ago. I installed it twice only to find problem after problem. Yea it looks cool and almost seems like its worth it. But when you add up all the problems and things that go wrong the program is trash...

jkidwell's picture

JFLdesign,

If you would like to talk through some of the specific issues that you are seeing, our Technical Support is free for registered users. Please feel free to call or contact us, and our experts will help you resolve any issues.

http://www.extensis.com/support

I really hope that you'll try to work through your specific issues with experts. If you would rather receive a refund, we would be sorry to lose you as a customer, yet would rather that you be satisfied with your purchase. Please contact our customer service team if you would like to pursue that option.

Jim Kidwell
Extensis
http://blog.extensis.com

typophilus's picture

about "Font Manager for Windows":
Ataliano, I use 3000 fonts at any given time for my typo-encyclopedia. I found Serif Font Manager very good in Win XP, tho I'd committed to using the old ATM, which was crude but bulletproof.
I've come here to seek a better tool to use in Win 7 cos Serif is a bit unstable in 64-bit, or I've not set it up right, but it is a very good manager. It is a companion software to Page Plus. Though slow for my intensive use, you might want to check it out.
Cheers,

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