Sam Brown

FontAgent Pro 1 Extensis Suitcase 0

FontAgent Pro
I have been trying to find a good font management program for a while now, with a large collection of fonts, well over 4500+, I needed something that would bring them all together nicely. The program needed to manage them well, be fast, run in the background, auto-activate fonts that were needed by programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, be able to group fonts into sets (usually a set for each client) and be able to search through my collection of fonts very easily and quickly.

I have been reading FontLeech since it’s creation in February. After some hours of reading and many more downloading fonts they link to, it came to my attention that I needed a new program and last weeks discussion on that exact topic led me to..

FontAgent Pro

FontAgent Pro by Insider Software is The New Face of Font Management and Repair built in Cocoa for OS X this program is brilliant. I imported all my fonts, it seperated the broken ones from the good ones, it put them all in neat folders just like I had them, it manages them by Family which is great, no more scrolling for five minutes to get past the 90 Helvetica family fonts I have. FontAgent Pro comes with Plugins for Quark Express, Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, and the bonus here is, the application does not have to be running for the auto-activation to work. I open up a file in Illustrator and any fonts that are not activated or on my system folder get activated and display fine in the file! The app itself has a few nifty features including Libraries, Sets, Sharing, Font Player, Font Compare, Search, Filter, and a whole stack of other great options.

Extensis Suitcase

Suitcase X1 used to be my application of choice but it has been a pain in the you know what since I got it. But, at the time, I was oblivious to any good alternatives. Suitcase took forever to load on Startup which it had to do for the Auto-Activation plugins to work, so I had to have the program running 24/7 which was an annoyance on its own, but the slow load times and increased startup time for OSX was a major no-no. I in the end resorted to not having the Program auto-launch, but launch it manually myself whenever it was needed. All in all, Suitcases many crashes, fonts not being able to be previewed, constant corrupt fonts that infact, were not corrupt led me to delete the app and all traces of it.

Summary

FontAgent Pro definitely wins the game in my view, their has been a lot more thought put into the program and their hard work pays off. Both products sell for $99.95, from their respective websites, so I would definitely be taking a look at both of the demos before making a decision, but in my case, Suitcase just didn’t cut it.

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.

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