FontExplorer X Pro 2.01 review

Mac users are a diverse bunch, but many came to the Mac through its support for design and graphics applications. It’s a source of bewilderment therefore that Apple has yet to come up with more effective, built-in font management tools.

That’s where tools like FontExplorer X Pro from Linotype (a Monotype Imaging company) come in. The name understates the power of this industrial strength tool. While font managers allow you to preview, add and remove fonts, FontExplorer X Pro integrates with your favourite applications and enables you to accomplish those tasks within them. You can also customise previews, create active font sets and find missing fonts. You can even buy replacement faces within the application.

The main application collates and backs up the fonts already on your machine, whether installed system fonts or application specific, giving you access to everything in one place. From there you can arrange fonts into sets manually or create smart sets. Like an iTunes smart playlist, a smart set is a set of files that meet configurable criteria. You can group by creator, application, family and many more criteria. Then, like some malevolent god of fonts, you can deactivate whole typeface swathes in a single click.

Plugins connect FontExplorer to design applications like Photoshop and Quark, giving you control over how you handle text styles in those apps. Installation is pretty seamless and is reversible.

OUR VERDICT

FontExplorer X Pro might not be the most exciting application a designer can install – but you’ll use it every single day you work on your Mac. It’s close to a “must have” for graphics professionals.

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