10 Free Apps for Managing Your Fonts

Dec 2 2009 by Jacob Gube | 36 Comments

If you’re a typical designer or web developer, you probably have a large font collection. Having a sizable number of fonts can make finding the ideal font for a project a grueling effort, akin to a needle in a haystack scenario.

However, there are several free applications that can help you find, categorize, tag, preview, and install/uninstall your fonts. In this article, you’ll find 10 free applications that will help your better manage your font collection.

myFontbook

myFontbook

myFontbook is a free web application for organizing your installed fonts. It allows you to tag your fonts by keyword and gives you the ability to rate them so that you can quickly, making it easier to see your favorites. It has a pane for previewing fonts to help you in your font choices.

Notable features:

  • Tagging and favorites lets you organize your fonts
  • Metrics gives you insight about native letterspacing and line height of a font
  • Body text preview provides realistic previewing of a selected font
  • Proof sheet makes it easy to print font previews
  • Being a webapp means that you can use it on any operating system

Font Book (Mac)

Font Book (Mac)

Font Book comes pre-installed in Apple computers and is a solid tool to use for font management if you’re an owner of a Mac. It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, a trademark of Mac apps, and it has amazing font/organization features.

Notable features:

  • Organize, install, remove, search your font collection in one interface
  • Sorts fonts by categories (i.e. Modern, Traditional, Web)
  • Create custom categories to organize your font collection
  • Comes standard with Macs, no installation needed

Fontmatrix (Windows/Linux)

Fontmatrix (Windows/Linux)

Fontmatrix is an open source font manager for Linux users; though it was recently made to work with the Windows OS as well. It is a great font management tool for power users, and is ideally suited for developers who can take advantage of the script console to extend and customize the application.

Notable features:

  • Tagging feature makes organization easier
  • Script console lets you extend and customize the application
  • Interface is intuitive
  • Displays meta information about a font such as designer, copyright info, etc.

Font Picker (Windows/Mac/Linux/Web Browser)

Font Picker (Windows/Mac/Linux/Web Browser)

Font Picker is a free Adobe AIR desktop application that lets you manage and view your font collection. It’s simple and straightforward and can run in any operating system that can run the Adobe AIR framework. It also has a web-based version so that will search your  machine for installed fonts.

Notable features:

  • Ability to mark fonts as favorites
  • Remove fonts that you don’t like
  • Simple and straightforward

sFont (Windows)

sFont (Windows)

sFont is a free Windows font management tool that has a uncomplicated interface. Organize your font collection by tagging certain fonts as favorites. Quickly find TrueType or non-TrueType fonts using the Filter feature. You can review your fonts in a variety of ways including the ability to change the background and foreground colors.

Notable features:

  • Add fonts to a favorites list
  • Charmap view gives you a matrix preview of a font’s characters
  • Customize colors to see fonts in different colors
  • Filter feature lets you pick out TrueType or non-TrueType fonts

FindThatFont! (Windows/Linux)

FindThatFont! (Windows/Linux)

FindThatFont is a simple and free tool for preview and categorize all the fonts installed in your system. You can organize fonts within the 30 categories that the application has. There’s also an extensibility featured called Extension manager for developers who’d like to customize how FindThatFont! works.

Notable features:

  • Tag your fonts in one or more of the 30 categories
  • Created using XUL language just like Firefox and Thunderbird
  • Extension manager for developers to customize and extend the tool

Fonts++ (Windows)

Fonts++ (Windows)

Fonts++ is for Windows PC users that have many fonts installed on their computer. You can deactivate your unused fonts so that you don’t have to see your entire collection when looking at your fonts. You can also install/uninstall fonts with this app instead of the traditional Windows method

Notable features:

  • Activate/deactivate fonts to help you navigate your collection
  • Install/uninstall TrueType fonts quickly
  • Small resource footprint

Cfont Pro (Windows)

Cfont Pro (Windows)

Cfont Pro allows you to preview fonts even before you install them, a helpful feature if you have a external hard drive or portable media device that has fonts. It has proof sheets in case you want to print out fonts for reviewing purposes. The property viewer displays a ton of information about your fonts.

Notable features:

  • Proof sheets allows you to print out font previews
  • Property viewer lets you display font meta data
  • Character Magnifier lets you zoom in and out to inspect font characters

Font Xplorer (Windows)

Font Xplorer (Windows)

Font Xplorer is a popular freeware desktop application for managing your font collection. It has a filtering feature so that you can hone in on specific types of fonts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Adobe Type 1, OpenType fonts with PostScript outlines, which may be a deal breaker for some designers.

Notable features:

  • Browse installed and uninstalled fonts
  • Print sheets allow you to print out fonts using one of the apps templates
  • Comprehensive font information is displayed
  • Font Repair Wizard helps you repair font files

AMP Font Viewer (Windows)

AMP Font Viewer (Windows)

AMP Font Viewer is an easy to use but robust font manager for Windows. It has support for a wide variety of font formats such as TrueType, OpenType, and Type1 fonts. It allows you to easily install multiple fonts, as well as removing installed fonts. There are several options for categorizing your font collection, which will help you tame your massive font collection.

Notable features:

  • Several previewing options are available
  • Several management options
  • Supports most font formats
  • Search feature gives you advanced search options

Related Content

About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and PHP development. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

36 Comments

Jay Carlson

December 3rd, 2009

great list! I’d like to add Linotype Font Explorer for Mac to the list. it’s great w/the exception of printing off font previews.

do any of these in the list allow you to print off one big list of your fonts as a preview sheet? I’d love to be able to do that!

J.

designi1

December 3rd, 2009

What do you recomend for windows use? to instal and unistal and full manage categorize, etc :D

Muhammed

December 3rd, 2009

cool am using “Suitcase Fusion” think is good

Bluefaqs

December 3rd, 2009

I may have to try one of these out. Thanks for the list.

creu

December 3rd, 2009

FONTS++ not working at all on my PC (vista), has lagged and crashed. I was interesting in the activate/desactivate feature …

ThisIsInspired

December 3rd, 2009

I use Font Book (since I have OS X) and have never needed anything different. I appreciate that it lets me create custom folders, which means I can sort or re-sort any fonts I like or by style. I can track font stacks that way as well.

Thanks for the list Jacob!

Brian

December 3rd, 2009

I didn’t see Linotype FontExplorer X. I’ve been using the program for about a year now and it’s proven to be extremely useful.

expressions

December 3rd, 2009

I have used many of these but found Suitcase Fusion to be most feature complete font manager but yes you need to pay for it.

John Briggs

December 3rd, 2009

No Linotype Explorer that sucka costs some dinero now…

Jon Crim

December 3rd, 2009

Font Book works great – has always met my needs as a Mac user. Wasn’t aware of a few – great list!

Gretchen

December 3rd, 2009

Just downloaded FontPicker. Thanks for sharing these!

Marcin Slocinski

December 3rd, 2009

@ John Briggs
Linotype FontExplorer X 1.2.3.is still free ( http://www.fontexplorerx.com/download/ )
FontExplore X Pro costs some $, it is true.

Joanna Ciolek

December 3rd, 2009

MyFontBook is what Ive been using ever since I became a serious designer and I love that tool. Free and works perfectly for my needs. Great list – will have to check some of the other tools as well.

João Pescada

December 3rd, 2009

I’ve been using Linotype FontExplorer for 2 years now. I was about to recommend the app, until I read here in the comments that it was no longer free… But it seams the latest free version — the 1.2.3, the one I’m running — is steal available to download in their site (http://www.fontexplorerx.com/download/) while the new version — with Server / better Snow Leopard support — costs money.

ebta

December 4th, 2009

Great list..
after for a long time search free font manager..
Thank you

Tu DX

December 4th, 2009

My favourite is AMP Font Viewer, a great apps. :)

Alex Flueras

December 4th, 2009

Useful list, thanks for sharing. I use FontPicker and works just fine.

Peter

December 4th, 2009

Nice list, just got a question yesterday about this.
Thanx

hasrimy

December 4th, 2009

Going to try Fontmatrix!

jayse

December 4th, 2009

Actually Linotype FontExplorer X still has their free edition buried at the bottom of their downloads page – you just don’t get the server abilities – other than that it’s crazy fully featured and free. Best one I’ve used… And I think I’ve used them all… many times… too many times.

Chris

December 4th, 2009

Funny how you guys think these are good font programs. Maybe I’m just too much of a “mac” fan, but FontExplorer X Pro may be like $70, but worth every penny. Say goodbye to font problems. Sometimes spending money isn’t a bad thing…

Jan

December 4th, 2009

Great List, thank you!

I also would like to add NexusFont – It’s a great Freeware Font Manager for Windows
http://xiles.net/programs/

Samoo

December 4th, 2009

It’s really a pity Linotype is not free anymore beacuse I really think it’s the best.
Great collection though!

Hugh Collier

December 4th, 2009

It isn’t free but Suitcase Fusion 2 is very good. It has awesome integration with CS4 apps and is generally intuitive and easy to use.

Ben

December 4th, 2009

Great list, I use Sfont, it works really well.

GizMecano

December 4th, 2009

I agree with Jan: Nexus Font is an simple program in order to manage (i.e. installing or uninstalling) your fonts on Windows…

Mark

December 4th, 2009

@Jan I couldn’t believe NexusFont wasn’t on the list. I’ve tried several font managers, and nothing has come close.

Christopher Anderton

December 5th, 2009

Linotype FontExplorer X is really the king of the hill on macs. There is a Windows version, but i heard it has some nasty bugs.

arnold

December 5th, 2009

A poll would be great.
What’s the best font manager for windows?anyone

kramer

December 7th, 2009

Coming from a more developer mindset are there any font apps that have public tagging/organization to them? I’ve always wanted something that could automatically group similar fonts together.

Jason

December 7th, 2009

Awesome! I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile. You Rock!

Sergej

December 8th, 2009

Great List!
I have been looking for a good font-managing tool for a long time. now i can test different tools!
thank you!

Savannah

December 11th, 2009

As a web designer using Macs exclusively, Font Book is -sufficient- if you don’t have Fontcase ($56 Single User – http://www.bohemiancoding.com/fontcase/).

Other free font manager for Mac is Linotype FontExplorer X

Neilo

December 17th, 2009

For Mac I’ve always found Font Doc a great free app. It lets you preview the same text in all installed fonts at the size you specify – very cool: http://www.integrity.com/homes/tomandkaren/FontDoc/

campuscodi

May 17th, 2010

AMP Font Viewer will not work for Windows 7.
What about writing an article about software in which to create fonts?

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