Adobe Type Manager is essential, without it on-screen text would get the ‘jaggies’. For years, Adobe has included the basic ATM with its serious graphics programs, while the Deluxe version has been available as a separate package. Unfortunately, Mac OS 8.6 led to a number of incompatibilities with ATM Deluxe 2.0.3, resulting in the release of version 4.5, with includes some new features as well.
When launched for the first time, the program searches for fonts and adds them to its Known Fonts list. This can be run at any time and it also checks for duplicate fonts. Fonts can then be dragged and dropped into sets – using a two-sided window that shows both fonts and sets – either individually or in groups. A swift double-click on a font brings up a sample preview box that can be viewed or printed.
There are major new features in version 4.5. The first is the ability to change a set’s restart characteristics: Delete or Deactivate for a temporary set, Activate for permanent sets, and Leave As Is. Secondly, option-dragging a set to a hard disk copies all fonts within that set to a folder.
Adobe Type Reunion 2.5 is also included in the package. While this has few new facilities, it is supposed to be more robust with Mac OS 8.6, but unfortunately appears to have a serious incompatibility with QuarkXPress 4.04 and OS 8.6, refusing to group families or show the typefaces in either the measurements box, or the format character dialogue box. Adobe is aware of this but has not yet offered a workaround. Also, ATM Deluxe 4.5 has some problems printing to non-PostScript printers.
If you want a font-management system, it’s a straight shoot-out between ATM Deluxe 4.5 and Extensis Suitcase 8. Both offer basic font organization and WYSIWYG font menus through a separate control panel. ATM Deluxe’s auto-activation facility works with most applications; Suitcase 8’s only with XPress, although its application sets act in a similar way to the Global option.
Incompatibilities may make ATM Deluxe 2.0.3 a non-starter, but the superior auto-activation feature and ability to copy font sets to disk give ATM Deluxe the edge.