Fonts. They’re a dime a dozen these days. Sometimes not even that much thanks to websites which feature thousands of fonts for free. For those of us who grew up in the font-starved era of Apple’s first LaserWriter printer, circa 1985, we live in the golden age of fonts, but not font managers. Collecting hundreds to thousands of fonts on your Mac is easy and inexpensive. Managing those fonts is not.
Apple’s FontBook app does a good job of showing you how specific fonts will look and which fonts are installed on the System, but does not manage fonts. For that you need a third party app, and there are a few, including the aging Suitcase Fusion, which is expensive and complicated, and the very well done RightFont which syncs fonts between devices but has a challenging subscription fee which is not aimed at the casual font collector.
That brings me to Typeface, the best bargain and value in font managers.
What do most of us who collect and use a variety of fonts really need? First, we need to view all fonts on a Mac; those installed into the System, and those in collections scattered here and there on the Mac. Second, we want to view those fonts in a typographic situation before they’re installed. Finally, we want a quick and easy way to activate and deactivate fonts so they’re ready to use, or easily removed so as not to use too much of the Mac’s resources with a giant font collection.
That’s exactly what Typeface does. Not more. Not less. Everything you need is in a single window interface, but everything you need isn’t so obvious; but it’s there.
Typeface is elegant and simple to use but only after you realize where the power and controls reside. The minimalist toolbar could use more visual cues, but it doesn’t take long to master the basics.
Enter the text you want to review in the top entry field. Click on the iMac icon below and to the left. That displays all the installed fonts on your Mac. Then, scroll through the fonts to see how a particular font looks with the text. Use the slider bar to adjust the font’s size.
What about your font collections; those not activated but installed on your Mac? Typeface has those covered, tool. Click the folder icon next to the iMac icon and you can find and select fonts stored elsewhere on your Mac. That way you don’t have to clutter up the System fonts.
Other options include the ability to create and manage collections, collapse families, hide missing glyphs, show font metrics, use font smoothing, show outlined text, add custom tracking, compare fonts, and select either standard ligatures or discretionary ligatures.
These features are all useful to fontaholics, but the real power isn’t so obvious from a menu selection. Right-click on a font to Activate into the Mac’s System. Or, Right-click on an activated font to Deactivate. It’s that simple.
For those of us font collectors who don’t need the complexity or expense of Suitcase or RightFont, Typeface is nearly perfect. Nearly. Since Typeface is a Mac App Store app so there’s no try-before-you-buy option. I took a chance. I was rewarded. The only additional feature I want to see is font syncing between Macs. I’d pay another $5 for that, otherwise Typeface is the bargain value font manager for the Mac.