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Transfer FontExplorerX sets to other Macs Apps
I love the new (relatively) FontExplorer X (FEX) from Linotype. Fast, cheap (free), lean. One major feature I miss, however, is creating a set on one Mac, then transferring just the set info to another Mac. In a big (or small) graphics house, this is important. FEX can export a text file with a list of the fonts in a set, but that can only be used as a guide to recreating the set on another Mac. FEX can also export a package of all the fonts in the set, but that's messy -- assuming all the fonts are already on the other Mac.

But, there is another way. This is assuming that all fonts are on all Macs involved, and in the same location on each Mac, /Users/Shared/Fonts is a good place.

Save the configuration of FEX (File: Configuration: Save), and give it a meanful name for the set(s) you want to transfer. This saves the complete current configuration of FEX -- prefs, font search rules, sets, and smart sets. But there isn't a way to export parts of the configuration; it's all or nothing.

It turns out FEX saves a Mac OS X package folder with a .fex extension, with plists for each of those four components:
  • com.linotype.FontExplorerX.plist
  • FontRequestRules.plist
  • Sets.plist
  • SmartGroups.plist
Control-click the package and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Delete com.linotype.FontExplorerX.plist and FontRequestRules.plist; you don't need those for a set. Keep either Sets.plist and/or SmartGroups.plist, depending on which one you want to transfer to another Mac. Now open the plist file you're interested in transferring in either Property List Editor (automatic via double-click if Xcode is installed) or TextEdit.

The root of the plist is just an ordered array of the sets. In a text editor, sets will be enclosed by <dict>...</dict> pairs. Delete all but the set(s) you want to transfer to another Mac. Save the plist. I deleted the other plists to be safe, so some user doesn't accidentally mess up their prefs or other sets. Yet, the next step offers a choice of what to import.

So, copy that config package to the other Mac. Double-click it to open it in FEX. You only want to import either Sets or Smart Sets, depending on what you deleted earlier. Then, make sure you choose to Merge with current configuration.

There you are -- the set(s) are transferred to another Mac (or many others). No reading a text file to recreate the set. No copying redundant copies of the font files around.
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Transfer FontExplorerX sets to other Macs
Authored by: Deut3221 on Jul 10, '06 12:19:49PM

I'm on the learning side of the Mac curve. Maybe someone can explain the purpose of a font management utility for me (and other newbies).

I understand something about, if you have a lot of fonts it will speed up your system. Is this still an issue with the Intel products?


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Transfer FontExplorerX sets to other Macs
Authored by: stewf on Jul 10, '06 11:11:02PM
Nice tip. On a related note, for those who make use of any font manager on OS X, you may be interested in a panel being held at TypeCon2006 in Boston next month. I'll be part of the discussion and I'm soliciting your questions for the participants including representatives from Apple, Linotype, Extensis (Suitcase), and Insider (FontAgent Pro).

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Transfer FontExplorerX sets to other Macs
Authored by: webdog on Jul 12, '06 11:38:35AM

Or, if you just want to share between other users on the same system, you can move the folder /User/theuser/Library/Application Support/Linotype into the Shared user folder and create a symbolic link back to it from any users who want to share.

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Transfer FontExplorerX sets to other Macs
Authored by: kyngchaos on Jul 12, '06 01:30:16PM

It may work, but each user wouldn't be able to customize unshared sets and individually activated fonts - the whole FontExplorerX library and set configuration would be shared by all. The only customizable thing would be FEX app prefs.

And there may be problems with Fast User Switching if 2 or more users are logged in at once, since they'd be sharing the library configuration.

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Transfer FontExplorerX sets to other Macs
Authored by: david@javadave on Jul 13, '06 01:38:11PM

Wow, thanks for that tip. I'd love to find a way to do the same thing with Insider's FontAgent Pro. Any ideas anyone?


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