It’s an unfortunate aspect of growing older that I can remember back to the days when Apple launched the LaserWriter printer and a handful of high resolution (300dpi was high back then) PostScript fonts. Good fonts were hard to come by back in the day, so many of us used Fontographer to convert bitmapped fonts to PostScript fonts in a tedious, time-consuming process. Ah, those were the days.
That dearth of fonts and the difficulty creating more may help to explain why there are 6,000 fonts stored on my Mac. Fonts are a dime a dozen these days. Sometimes less. So why am I just as frustrated about font management now as I was back in 1985?
Here’s what I want. Fonts should be located in three places. The Mac’s system Fonts folder. The Users’ Fonts folder. And a folder of fonts that have yet to be activated for use. That part is easy peasy. What’s not so easy is a way to view the fonts that are not installed, and install them with just a click so they’re made available for whatever graphic app is available at the time.
The Mac’s built-in Font Book app does that, but the process is somewhat convoluted, though far better than the predecessor options which including drag and drop. Font Book has Collections which display fonts by category. To view new fonts, simply double-click the font file and Font Book will display a sample. To install the font, just click the Install Font button.
Almost. But Font Book has a few other good tricks. For example, it can install fonts only for the current user, it validates fonts upon installation, and even installs multiple fonts from a folder on your Mac. Fonts can be viewed, managed, categorized, organized, collected, disabled, and even deleted as needed.
What’s not to like?
It’s font management and organizing fonts by groups and applications– easier installing and uninstalling– that I want to see in Font Book or any other font management utility. I’ve tried most of them; the freebie utilities and the expensive ones. Here’s one I want to try but won’t. It’s called RightFont for Mac and it does most of what I require in font management in an elegant, well-thought-out interface.
Select a font. Double-click to install. Create unlimited font lists. Search through thousands of fonts by classifications. It even integrates and inserts fonts into designs; Photoshop, Fireworks (which I love, and boo to Adobe for discontinuing Fireworks), Office, and others.
Where’s the trial version?
I’ve been burned so many times with promises of font nirvana only to have the latest and greatest and new font utility die on the vine, passing away from developer neglect, that I’m not willing to fork over $49 for an app I cannot try first. Adobe has trial apps. Microsoft has trial apps.
My limit for an app without a trial version is $4.99. Not $49. I’ll buy a Mac app if it looks good, but I have limits, and right now it’s $4.99. Note to Mac app developers: trial versions are important.
UPDATE: A little sleuthing pays off. I found a downloadable version of RightFont for Mac at MacUpdate. A review is forthcoming.