Another new facility is that of Collect for Output. QuarkXPress uses such a feature to gather the current document and all graphics into a single folder; Suitcase uses the similarly-named feature to collect a set of fonts by selecting them in Suitcase’s panel. It’s a useful function, given the cost of a full-blown preflighter. And, while you have to make sure that all fonts are selected, Suitcase removes the headache from working out which printer fonts match up with the screen-font suitcases. Suitcase offers two further new features, both aimed at making font-problems easier to handle. Any font-activation conflicts are shown by the font-suitcase name, as opposed to the typeface name, and corrupted fonts are tracked back to their suitcases, making it simpler to delete and replace them. A nice addition to the package is Lemke Software’s FontBook 3.3.2, which allows you to view and print many sample pages for all your fonts. It includes a number of predefined layout pages, and can help to construct a decent reference type-book.
Many of the gripes with the original release of Suitcase 9 have gone – indeed, most of them disappeared with the 9.01 maintenance version and have remained fixed. The memory usage is no longer bloated, and the likes of QuarkXPress and Illustrator recognize newly opened fonts without having to quit and restart. Font management tends to fall into the hands of one of two products: Suitcase and ATM Deluxe. There’s a core of basic facilities that both offer, including drag-&-drop and font problem warnings. To group fonts into families, Suitcase offers its MenuFonts Control Panel, while ATM Deluxe has Type Reunion. A possible clash has been reported between MenuFonts and Virex 6.1, the result of which is a long delay when trying to change the printer description or page size in XPress 4.1.1’s Print dialog. Disabling the Control Panel solves the problem, but it doesn’t appear to affect everyone – so there may be other contributory factors. If you already own Suitcase, it’s definitely worth upgrading to version 10. ATM Deluxe owners will probably stick rather than twist – but they’ll have to switch when they make the inevitable move to Mac OS X, as Adobe is not going to develop ATM for X. A Carbonized version of Suitcase 10 (free to registered users) is due in early November. If planning to switch to OS X soon, ATM Deluxe users would be wise to get used to Suitcase – to save themselves having to learn a new operating system and a new font-management system at the same time.