Me and fonts have a love hate relationship which goes back to 1985 and the first $7,000 Apple LaserWriter printer (with four usable PostScript fonts). Way back in the day, thanks to the high price placed on high quality fonts for the Mac, I built more than a few of my own with Fontographer. Today, decent fonts can be had for a dime a dozen. Literally. Fonts are cheap but good fonts still have a hefty price tag.
My Mac is home to thousands of fonts, but the age old problem of installing and using fonts remains. Apple’s built-in FontBook app lets you view fonts, and any one of a dozen other font apps do much the same thing. What’s missing is a simple, elegant, basic utility which displays both installed and not-installed fonts, and lets you add or remove fonts with a couple of clicks.
This week I’ve been toying around with Fonty, a nice Mac font viewer (for installed fonts) which has support for font characters; which is always handy.
For that Fonty is worth a few bucks but still does not fill the obvious need of font management. A few years ago I bought Font-Wizard which worked well for a few months (installed and uninstalled fonts)– until the next upgrade to OS X. The app hasn’t been upgraded in more than three years so that was money wasted.
Fontboss came along and looks like a usable font manager except Mac App Store reviews are terrible and the app hasn’t been upgraded beyond 1.0 in two years, and it does not have a trial version (odd, too, because Fontboss comes from a company that sells fonts for the Mac).
At the high end of the scale is Suitcase Fusion which is a professional level font manager for both OS X and Windows. Suitcase has a trial version and plenty of built-in features, but is cumbersome, clumsy, and painful to use; not to mention the price tag.
What I want is a simple font manager that displays both installed and not-installed fonts, and can move fonts from not-installed to installed and back again with a minimal number of clicks. So far, the app inventory available is either expensive and complicated or cheap and feature limited.