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font management tools in OS X
Authored by: jwoolson on Sep 22, '05 04:36:29PM
The short history of font management utilities for Mac OS X has shown that no vendor has yet to recapture the features and ease-of-use of ATM Pro 4.6 in Mac OS 9. That was the last time I can recall using a font tool that *just worked* without too much fiddling, auto-activating fonts correctly, identifying corrupted fonts accurately, and politely wiping and removing its muddy boots before traipsing across my kitchen floor. OS X's .dfonts, OpenType, old PS Type1 suitcases, TrueType, Classic System Folder fonts, and a lack of Multiple Master fonts have all created an enormous muddle, making font management much, much harder than it was under OS 9. In my experience to date, no developer has solved those complexities and sated the demand for a fully-functional font manager. I want to use and love FontExplorer X, but it didn't work for me. Failed miserably, really. I am not inexperienced with font management tools and have used various font managers for about a decade or so in professional publishing environments. If you get FontExplorer X to work for you, you have my joy and admiration for your success, but based on my experience, which resulted in my returning to manual installation of fonts into the User and Classic(for QuarkXPress 4) font folders. In my experience, FontExplorer X is NOT YET that long-awaited solution for easy (free!) font management, but given the complexity of the task, I expect to continue waiting for that holy grail for a while longer. Extensis, I'm lookin' at you.

Jonathan Woolson

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