There’s an old adage in the graphic design field. ‘You can never have too many fonts‘ and whether they’re the cheap to free fonts found on the web, packs of hundreds or thousands of fonts available for sale, or Adobe’s incredibly expensive but near perfect fonts, they all have one thing in common. Management problems.
Must. Have. Fonts.
Fonts are available everywhere these days and if you collect any fonts beyond those that Apple sticks into OS X as an afterthought, you need a way to manage font collections. Even the Mac App Store has a few dozen affordable font packages with every style font you can think of.
What’s the problem? The FontBook app on your Mac doesn’t do much but show you the fonts that are already on your Mac.
FontBook is fun to look at fonts but it’s managing collections and activating and deactivating fonts that separates the font looker from the font stalker.
Enter one of my favorite new apps of 2016. Appropriately enough, it’s called Typeface, and what it does is exactly what you want to do with fonts; not too much, not too little. Use Typeface to find and preview fonts regardless of where they’re stored on your Mac, whether activated or not.
That means Typeface can view and use and install fonts saved on iCloud, Dropbox, or anywhere else on your Mac.
All the basics are there. View fonts on your Mac’s system, view fonts stored elsewhere on your Mac, or view fonts stored on a cloud service (good for sharing fonts between Macs) like iCloud, Dropbox, or anything else that connects to the Mac’s Finder.
Typeface previews are great and display not only the fonts but detailed characters so you can compare one font character with another. Need to check out a font on a dark background? Typeface can do.
Typeface lets you organize your fonts however you choose. It can always find them and make fonts visible in the app with a click. The app displays ligatures and metrics if you’re into that kind of thing, but also does a simple comparison of one font to another with a clever font overlay already built in.
Some almost hidden features in Typeface include options to view custom tracking and hide missing glyphs fonts from view. Even better, Typeface can install or uninstall– activate or deactivate– fonts on the fly. Just right-click on a font and select the option.
Yes, there are very expensive Mac font manager apps that have been around forever, but they’re complicated, complex, and made more for a corporate design office than a Mac user with a need to manage fonts. The only negatives are more nits, especially considering the nominal price tag. Typeface needs a way to sync settings between Macs, and it needs a try-before-you-buy option. Otherwise, it’s a bargain.