- Best Practices for Managing Fonts in Mac OS X – 5th Edition — This free PDF from Extensis is a great place to start to learn more about font management.
- Take Control of Fonts in Leopard — A $15 e-book from TidBITS publishing that is a wealth of knowledge about fonts and font management. I love how it walks you through finding all your fonts and organizing them. Highly recommended.
- Take Control of Font Problems in Leopard — A $10 e-book from TidBITS, this book focuses on fixing problems with fonts and is a great resource for anyone that supports designers.
There are a few really important steps to fixing fonts — scan for corrupt fonts, identify font ID conflicts, and clear font caches. There are at least two dedicated utilities for this purpose.
- Smasher is included with FontAgent Pro and helps organize font suitcases and fix bad fonts. It is available for purchase separately as well.
- FontDoctor is included for free when you purchase Suitcase Fusion 2, or you can purchase it separately for $69.95. FontDoctor fixes common font problems and includes basic organization tools.
For most people, you would be better off to look at the professional font management apps like FontExplorer X Pro, FontAgent Pro, and Suitcase Fusion 2 which include these features.
The font management apps that I covered in the font management article are focused on managing fonts for a single workstation. If you need the ability to control fonts centrally to enforce uniformity or to track licensing so that fonts are only installed on certain machines, you may want to look into a font server. Here are the popular solutions, available from the same companies that make the desktop products included in the font management review.
- Extensis Universal Type Server Pro
- Extensis Universal Type Server Lite
- FontAgent Pro Workgroup Edition
- FontAgent Pro Server
- FontExplorer X Server
Technical Details on Mac OS X Typography
Apple publishes a fair bit of information on everything going on under the hood with your fonts in the Text & Fonts section of their developer web site.
If you are interested in designing your own fonts, then you will want to check out FontLab and see what they have cooking.
Rich typography on the web is limited to rendering out text as image files, or using CSS to specify certain fonts that you are reasonably assured are available on both platforms. You might also check out the sIFR project for another take on how to use your favorite font faces on the web. I also really like this reference article from Smashing Magazine on 50 Useful Design Tools For Beautiful Web Typography.
Where Are They Now?
Some of you may be familiar with other font management apps and are wondering why I didn’t include those in my font management apps article. Here’s a list of apps that have fallen behind over the last few years.
- MasterJuggler was last updated in July 2005. A very good tool in its time, this utility from Alsoft (publishers of DiskWarrior) has been left in the dust by the competition.
- Font Reserve is owned by Extensis, the makers of Suitcase Fusion 2, and was discontinued January 1, 2007.
- Fontographer was last updated on March 31, 2006.
- Adobe Type Manager Deluxe, or ATM Deluxe as we all knew it, is no longer necessary under OS X. Yes, we all had it back in the day and I included it here more out of a sense of nostalgia and respect for how important this was to Apple in the 90’s. ATM Deluxe was probably the most widely pirated software of that era too. If you still need font management in Classic, you can download Adobe Type Manager Light for free.
If you know of any other font resources, please take the time to post a link in the comments below and share with the rest of us.