User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Third-Party Products »

Font Management Q3:2022


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Font Management Q3:2022
Thread Tools
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-09, 14:22

Well, FontExplorer X was EOL'd this summer - did anyone notice?

I did, after the fact.

While it's still functional, it will no longer be updated, which means that it's time to move.

Right now I'm looking at the options available, and listening up for input from people who manage a big font library.

Whatcha got?

The app called "Right Font" seems to be up there, but it's an annual subscription instead of a one-time purchase.


...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-09-09, 15:32

I'm the poor shmuck who just has a couple hundred folders under ~/Library/Fonts and I just drop stuff in there manually.



I've never bothered with a font manager, but I imagine the problem becomes pretty gnarly if you have a thousand or more custom fonts, right? How big is "big" for font collections?

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory.
 
2022-09-09, 16:10

Still limping along with FontExplorer X as well Drew, and not looking forward to making the switch either. It's a daunting prospect but it's looming - I get a double warning every time I open FEX now and have to quit out of it after I activate fonts or it freezes up.

From what I've gathered RightFont and TypeFace are the main contenders ($59 and $36 respectively, each with free upgrades for 12 months), with FontBase as the best 'free' app. I'm leaning towards TypeFace as it's not locked to a single machine and they've made it a point to support PostScript fonts for as long as possible, which I'm gonna need for a while until I broach the next daunting task, which is converting a bunch of PostScript to OpenType. Don't even want to think about that yet.

Let me know what your experience is, as I haven't jumped into testing as much as I really need to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
How big is "big" for font collections?
I just did a ⌘I on my Other Fonts folder and it says 18,587 items... so considering folders and that a bunch of those are old-school suitcase fonts that require 2 parts (earliest I saw just randomly opening was from Nov 1990 ) I'd say I have close to 10K. Barely a tenth of those are actively being used at this point though.

So it goes.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-09-09, 17:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
I'd say I have close to 10K.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
old-school suitcase fonts
Suitcase fonts! Now that's a format I have not seen in a long time.

I had a ton of suitcase fonts way back in the day (probably still only on the order of a hundred or so, though, not thousands), but I can't remember the last time I saw one. I bet I still have a bunch archived somewhere. I vaguely remember using some tool to convert those to TTFs at some point. Is that something you should do at some point just in case those kinds of tools disappear or stop working on modern systems? IIRC, suitcase font files store data in the old-school resource fork, and that means they're at high risk of vanishing forever if you ever copy/move them to a not-macOS device, FAT/NTFS external drive, or network share.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-09-09, 22:45

10k fonts? Crazy talk, I don't even use more than 2 or 3 of the defaults.
  quote
tomoe
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
 
2022-09-09, 23:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
10k fonts? Crazy talk, I don't even use more than 2 or 3 of the defaults.
Same here. I can’t fathom what one does with 10k fonts aside from “coin collecting”.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-09-09, 23:54

I only occasionally dabble in graphic design for fun, and even my pathetic, piddly little projects often lead me to compare 10 to 20 similar but subtly different fonts and weights in the same general design lineages before settling on one. I could easily imagine a more discerning eye considering and comparing far more for a particular text setting.

Or I guess you could flip a coin a couple times to choose between Helvetica, Gotham, and Garamond and just call it a day.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-10, 13:25

I have less than 5,000 fonts to manage.

First impressions of RightFont:

I do not like the interface - it's far too spare - unusable for someone who needs to plow through a library to search for the right typeface.

It's finally crashing down on my how incredible a tool FontExplorer X Pro really is, and am wondering what led to its downfall?

To show how amazing FontExplorer X Pro really is, I currently have FOUR panes open.

From left to right:

1) Sidebar
This shows my libraries, including Fonts, System Fonts, Last Imported, Conflicts, Activation Controls, Application Sets, Font Requests, Activated Fonts, Sets, Cloud Fonts, Stores, and Classifications.

2) Font List
A scrollable list of fonts rendered in the style of the font, showing the font name.

3) Preview
This pane allows you to view a preview of the font using your preferred typeface in a waterfall of type sizes and fonts. It also allows you to find similar typefaces and fonts that pair with the primary that you've selected, employing something called the "discovery engine", an algorithm which works by scanning your existing font library/libraries - mine would take about 90 minutes to complete.

4) General Settings
This sidebar lets you select colors, transparencies, to control ligatures.

Buttons

A) I only discovered today that there's a Web Preview option, that allows you to integrate the app with designing websites using webfonts. Dammit.

B) Font detection

C) Plug-ins

D) Auto-Activation
Fonts are activated if a document is opened that requires fonts that are currently NOT open. I have had this for years now and love it. I think that RightFont does something similar but is it as powerful?

E) There is more, I just ran out of time.

This is a big loss for our community.

EDIT:
I just noticed that Monotype indicates that they are working on an "exciting" new product.
I signed up for the newsletter, let's see what happens.



...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-09-10, 15:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I only occasionally dabble in graphic design for fun, and even my pathetic, piddly little projects often lead me to compare 10 to 20 similar but subtly different fonts and weights in the same general design lineages before settling on one. I could easily imagine a more discerning eye considering and comparing far more for a particular text setting.
Sounds like the guy I co-own a business with, at the end of the day little things can give your work a unique look. I get it. Painful process to watch though.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-09-10, 18:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I have less than 5,000 fonts to manage.

First impressions of RightFont:

...

To show how amazing FontExplorer X Pro really is,

...

This is a big loss for our community.
Thanks for the mini review, Drew. You prompted me to look up some other reviews too to see what I might have been missing out on all these years. I hadn't really thought before now about how useful a font manager like this could be. The last font "manager" (if you can even call it that) I used was… Apple's Font Book , and a few decades before that was… Apple's Font Mover.

This is what my first experience shuffling fonts looked like in the 80s:



(I just took that screenshot from an emulator a few minutes ago because, thanks to 709 mentioning suitcase fonts, I've been down a deep rabbit hole all afternoon trying to find, extract, and convert some ancient fonts that I'd all but forgotten about. )


Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
It's finally crashing down on my how incredible a tool FontExplorer X Pro really is, and am wondering what led to its downfall?
This is complete speculation, but if it's anything like the quiet deaths of other products I've loved over the years, I'd bet on these usual suspects:

a) Maybe the user base is shrinking due to availability of other cheaper tools or due to the inclusion of rudimentary font management in other products (like how Adobe gently pushes you to get fonts through their services). Fewer users might mean less revenue, and it might just not be financially viable to keep supporting the app.

b) Janky old code? FontExplorer has been around for a long time, and I wonder if maintaining some of its existing code now exceeds the cost-benefit equation. Maybe they think the need to toss it and rewrite something new?

c) Greed? I see Monotype is teasing a new subscription service for enterprise customers. The transition from "pay once" to "pay forever" has certainly helped fill Adobe's coffers.

d) Changes in management leading to changes in priorities? FontExplorer X was originally a Linotype product, and Linotype was consumed by Monotype many years ago, though when FontExplorer X was still young (like 1.x or 2.x). Maybe there were folks inside keeping FontExplorer X alive all this time who recently moved on to other things, and nobody else took up the mantle. This happens depressingly often when corporations buy each other.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-10, 21:17

Losing the single creator with vision has taken out several products I loved. Shifting technologies has been the bane of every generation since time immemorial. I understood it theoretically in my youth, but it takes time to experience it for yourself.


...
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory.
 
2022-09-12, 09:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoe View Post
Same here. I can’t fathom what one does with 10k fonts aside from “coin collecting”.
I reckon there's a bit of that. Back in ye olden days I used to design my own, and did some collecting from foundries and solo designers that I appreciated. Still do, actually. I really and truly love typography.

There's also 30+ years in the design business where you really can't help the fonts piling up. Unless, like Brad says above, you just use Helvetica Neue or Gotham for everything. Some people do!

So it goes.
  quote
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-12, 13:28

Acumin Variable became my go to standard typeface.



...
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-09-12, 14:57

Anyone remember one of Apple’s old fonts from classic Mac OS? It looked like cursive, zaf chancery or something like that? Think it dates back to OS6, maybe older.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-09-13, 00:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Anyone remember one of Apple’s old fonts from classic Mac OS? It looked like cursive, zaf chancery or something like that? Think it dates back to OS6, maybe older.
Older system versions had a relatively small selection of built-in fonts.

firing up the emulators again

System 6 and older had Chicago, Courier, Geneva, Helvetica, Monaco, Palatino, and Times. Many early Macintosh diskettes (like the one with MacWrite) included a font file that contained a few sizes of Cairo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto, and one large version of New York (whoops… I forgot to copy this one over for the screenshot).



System 7 added New York and Symbol, but otherwise the list remained the same.



Sometime between System 7 and Mac OS 9, several more fonts including Zapf Chancery were added, probably when 8 or 8.5 were released. Here's what it looks like on Mac OS 9.


The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-09-13, 07:32

Interesting, just shows how easily one’s memory can get twisted, for some reason I thought for sure we had it on our first Mac. I know we had some third party add-on extensions that gave us more symbols, maybe we had more fronts as well, and one just looked similar? Should fire up the SE one of these days and see.
  quote
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-13, 15:42

Type 1 fonts, also known as PostScript, PS1, T1, Adobe Type 1, Multiple Master, or MM are a format within the font industry that has been replaced by larger glyph sets.
Type 1 fonts were introduced by Adobe in 1984 for use with its PostScript page description language, and became widely used with the spread of desktop publishing software and printers that could use PostScript. In 1996, Adobe products and type development began to concentrate on the use of more versatile OpenType fonts rather than Type 1.

Most browsers and mobile OSes do not support Type 1 fonts. Similarly to Adobe, most operating systems will move forward with support for the more robust technical possibilities of OpenType format fonts, ending support for the Type 1 format.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
  quote
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-14, 00:06

Ooof. I left off the lead-in for that last post, but you get it.

I went through and determined that I have 1,321 PostScript Type 1 fonts that will stop working next year.

...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2022 MacBook Pro Capella Apple Products 27 2022-06-16 18:24
Wwdc 2022 Frank777 Speculation and Rumors 43 2022-06-07 08:47
Best font management system?? Fullthrottledesigns Genius Bar 3 2010-12-03 11:46
Font management for Mac OS X on Intel jyo Purchasing Advice 1 2007-06-26 12:18
Tiger: Font Management drewprops General Discussion 23 2005-12-02 20:50


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:38.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2022, AppleNova