TypeShow: font preview widget for websites

frankrausch's picture

Dear type founders,

if you run a website to sell your fonts, you have probably considered providing one of those try-before-you-buy font testing widgets to your potential customers.
We have recently built a piece of software for this purpose: TypeShow.
Type something, pick a font and a style, and TypeShow will render it. That’s it.

TypeShow’s front end is a jQuery plugin that easily integrates with most existing websites.
We have focused on simplicity and worked hard on interface details to give your website visitors the best possible user experience.
You can upload your fonts and completely customize the appearance through a dedicated admin interface.

TypeShow runs on almost any web server, since it only requires PHP 5.2+, GD & Freetype—unfortunately this means that there is no support for OpenType features, and there’s not much we can do about it at this time.

We have released TypeShow as free software under the terms of the GPL, which means that may download, install, use, and modify the code to your liking at no charge.

Learn more about TypeShow here: http://typeshow.net

I’m looking forward to your comments and feedback.


ralf h.'s picture

Thank you so much for releasing this as GPL! We are already implementing it and it works like a charme! :-)

Feature request: Ability to use different instances (with pre-defined fonts/themes/pangrams …) from one installation.

clauses's picture


dezcom's picture


hrant's picture

Very nice, and very nice of you!

Just to check: plug-in required? And if so, easy download/install?


frankrausch's picture

Thanks for the kind reactions so far. :-)

@Ralf: There should be a way to specify a subset of fonts and themes for every individual page during initialization in the page header. I’m going to check back with our JavaScript mastermind Marcus and let you know.

@hrant: No plugins required, all your website visitors need is a browser with JavaScript enabled. If you see the word »plugin« in the TypeShow documentation, it refers to the way TypeShow is integrated with the jQuery framework. But this is also plain JavaScript and has nothing to do with a browser plugin like Flash or Quicktime.

Ken Messenger's picture

Really nice work and thanks for sharing. I'm about to upload and give it a whirl. Looks promising.

hrant's picture

Do you anticipate any problems for me based on this text from my host?
"At Hostway, PHP is run as a CGI binary. You may be familiar with PHP as an Apache module. Hostway does not run PHP as an Apache module on our shared servers. Hostway supports "mod_php" only on dedicated, unmanaged Linux servers."


frankrausch's picture

@hrant: Can’t see a problem with it. Just make sure that your server has PHP 5.2+, libgd, and FreeType, and that .htaccess file support is enabled.
The easiest way to find out is to just install it and see if everything works. ;-)

tourdeforce's picture

Installed with success:

P.S. - There seems to be one bug after page loads. It's not showing styles for the first font on the list. But when you select some other font and then open again the first font, it's working normally. Any ideas why is that happening maybe?

ralf h.'s picture

Did you set the default font and style under "defaults" in the Admin settings?

tourdeforce's picture

Now it works well!

4thfebruary's picture

Much thanks!

PabloImpallari's picture

And great tips on optimizing the fonts for server render also!

tourdeforce's picture

I have one question about TypeShow.

If we say there is a font catalog page, with the list of all fonts. And if you choose one of them, you get in individual page for that font. Is it possible to include TypeShow for each font individually?
So it doesn't appear only on one page with all fonts in it.

ralf h.'s picture

If you don't want some crazy JavaScript calls for that, it's best to just create different TypeShow instances for each font separately.

tourdeforce's picture


Must think about whole idea again, with JS seems easier cause for setting up TypeShow per each font would be little tricky cause of linking TypeShow's JS and CSS in each font page (meaning = probably will have to make for each font new template page, just with difference in links for JS and CSS).

Thanks Ralf!

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