25 Excellent Typography Tools for the Serious Designer

Jun 18 2009 by Tom Walker | 38 Comments

Typography is an integral part of designs that use text. There are many tools out there that are available at your disposal for helping you work with type.

In this article, you will find a collection of the best typography tools available on the web. What’s more, they’re all absolutely free! If you’re a web designer or developer, then these tools are going to save you some serious time and effort. Take time to work your way through this extensive list and give everything a go.

1. WhatTheFont

WhatTheFont

This brilliant online tool identifies fonts from anywhere. Simply scan in the font you wish to identify and it (or a close match) will be found on the database. The forum is very helpful too.

2. CSS Typeset

CSS Typeset

Paste text into the box on the left of this online tool, adjust size and colour etc., and wait for the CSS to appear in the box on the right. Couldn’t be simpler.

3. Typetester

Typetester

This great online application allows you to test and compare fonts side-by-side. Enter text into the Sample Text box and modify each column below.

4. Baseline Rhythm Calculator

Baseline Rhythm Calculator

A great tool for web designers who want to figure out baselines for stylesheets, when you enter a base font size and line height, the page changes accordingly and CSS is generated for use.

5. Fontifier

Fontifier

Fontifier turns a scanned sample of your very own handwriting into a font to be used as you wish.

6. Fontstruct

Fontstruct

You can create the perfect font, using geometric shapes in a grid pattern, with this online font-building tool. It generates a high-quality TrueType font from that which you have designed, for use in any Mac or Windows application.

7. Microsoft Typography

Microsoft Typography

By entering the name of any Microsoft product into the left-hand box, you can get a list of all of the fonts that come with that product. By entering the name of any font family into the right-hand box, you can get a list of all the Microsoft programmes that come with that font. Easy!

8. Font Tester

Font Tester

Similar to Typetester, this online font comparison tool allows you to preview a range of fonts with various styles applied. It generates CSS code too.

9. Identifont

Identifont

This huge online typeface directory contains font information gathered from 55 publishers and 147 vendors. You can search for fonts by name or by attribute.

10. Convert TrueType font to sIFR Flash File

Convert TrueType font to sIFR Flash File

Upload a TrueType font and it will be converted into an sIFR flash file and emailed to you.

11. Common Fonts

Common Fonts

This is a list of all "browser-safe fonts" common to Mac and Windows. You can see how these different fonts will appear in different systems and browsers.

12. TTFTitles WordPress Plugin

TTFTitles WordPress Plugin

This plugin lets you replace WordPress title posts with images, so that every end-user sees the same thing, no matter which fonts they have installed.

13. Flipping Typical

Flipping Typical

So easy to use, enter text into the box at the top of the screen to have it displayed in various typefaces below.

14. TypeChart

TypeChart

With this straightforward online tool, you can browse through, preview and compare typographic styles for Windows and Mac, and download the CSS for each.

15. BitFont Maker

BitFont Maker

You can create TrueType fonts online in your browser with this bitmap font editor, suitable for Windows and Mac. You’re going to need to use the help pages though, because most of it’s in Japanese.

16. STC Font Browser

STC Font Browser

With this easy-to-use flash application, you can preview all the fonts active on your system.

17. Font Picker

Font Picker

This simple online tool lists all of the fonts on your computer. It helps you narrow down your font search and choose the ideal one for you.

18. Facelift Image Replacement

Facelift Image Replacement

You can generate image representations of fonts that might not otherwise be viewable to end-users with this free-to-download tool. Generated images are automatically inserted into your web page. Suitable for Windows and Mac.

19. PXtoEM

PXtoEM

This online calculator converts pixels, to EM, to percent, to points.

20. TypeNavigator

TypeNavigator

This interactive online visual font search system finds the perfect font for you, even if all you have is a mental image of what you want. Choose from the basic forms on the left and keep selecting attributes until you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for.

21. Designer Plaything

Designer Plaything

Experiment with typography and choose from millions of colours with this stand-alone testing tool. Suitable for Windows and Mac.

22. CCS Font Sampler

CCS Font Sampler

This is a guide to all common Windows, Mac and Linux fonts. It includes font samples, images and a sampler to help you choose a typeface.

23. Cool Text

Cool Text

This free online graphics generator lets you create logos without the exhaustive design process. Some of the graphics look rather ‘budget’, but there’s plenty to play with here.

24. Font Burner

Font Burner

Font Burner has an archive of every font that works in every browser on every computer. Choose the font you want and you’ll get a chunk of code to insert into the head of your web page.

25. FontXplorer

FontXplorer

This free software, suitable for Windows users only, organises all of your fonts into folders with tags, like media files. Some fonts are even recognised and catalogued automatically.

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About the Author

Tom Walker is an internet and design addict who writes for a leading provider of HP laser toner based in the UK. If you’d like to connect with him, you can follow him on Twitter.

38 Comments

Manz

June 18th, 2009

I want to try out Fontifier!

Can not count the amount of times I scanned handwriting for design work… it would be great to create an archive of my own fonts.

Tim Smith

June 18th, 2009

Fontifier and Fontstruct look like some awesome tools!! Thanks for the round-up; really useful!

Matt S

June 18th, 2009

Nice article, I suspect I’ll be trying out FontStruct quite soon for some projects, followed by Typetester.

Paul Radich

June 18th, 2009

WhatTheFont! it’s at the top of the list for a reason. Thanks for the post.

Colin Wright

June 18th, 2009

Good list!

But since when is FontXplorer only for Windows? I’ve been using it on my Mac for years!

Nikki

June 18th, 2009

I haven’t heard of a lot of these. Definitely adding them to my booklist. Thanks!

T-Law

June 19th, 2009

That’s great I’ll try Fontstruct! Thanks

Marco

June 19th, 2009

Thanks for #10 “Convert TrueType font to sIFR Flash File”. Always hated started up Flash en creating my own sIFR file, but this is much more useful.

Once again a great article, thanks Jacob :) .

Binoj Xavier

June 19th, 2009

This is cool. You guys Rocks.

Chris

June 19th, 2009

there is a nice application for windows that I use to manage my fonts, its freeware and its good:

http://www.ampsoft.net/utilities/FontViewer.php

hvdesigns

June 19th, 2009

great post, il be sure to check some of these out.

Barbara

June 19th, 2009

I’ll definitely check out Convert TrueType font to sIFR Flash File and the TTFTitles WordPress Plugin. Fontifier sounds very promising too, but first I need to get a scanner :)

Rahul Jadhav

June 19th, 2009

Thanks a lot for this great collection

Marcuss Zilgalvis

June 19th, 2009

Interesting post, tho the only one that took my attention was the /PXtoEm.com/.

Alex C.

June 19th, 2009

well written post!
useful resource! Thanks for posting!

Vikas

June 19th, 2009

Thank You.. great resource

qubed

June 19th, 2009

How could you forget http://www.pilo.me? This is a great list of resources, but without http://www.pilo.me it is short of accurate.

Pilo is a private forum for graphic designers that is invitation only. It has about every current and new font one could want without spending hundreds/thousands of dollars.

Jay

June 19th, 2009

For Windows user, try NexusFont 2.. you can use any font in any app without install it first :-D http://xiles.net/

Tim Wright

June 19th, 2009

This is one of the more useful articles I’ve read all year. Thanks for collecting these sites

Dan

June 19th, 2009

Love WhatTheFont! The WordPress plugin looks promising. Thanks for the post!

Kenny

June 19th, 2009

I love this kind of stuff. More top bookmarks! This is a great site for peeps tahat love type. http://typophile.com/

Paula

June 19th, 2009

Excellent list of tools – thanks so much!

Fabryz

June 19th, 2009

Good collection, always using them when i need

Ralph Contreras

June 19th, 2009

I love Typography. These are some great resources! Fontstruct Looks fun and I know I’ll use STC Font Browser.

Thanks! SHAZAM!!

John G

June 19th, 2009

I’ve been using What the Font for years, it really saved my butt on a couple of projects! I know I’m going to make use of a lot of these in the future.

ballwell

June 20th, 2009

greattt!!!!
thanx very much

stephen

June 20th, 2009

Have saved seven of these away for future reference. Thanks.

tom

June 22nd, 2009

This a fantastic list, thank you! I learn a lot always here.

Jenny

June 26th, 2009

this is a great resource. I just started a design biz myself, so this will be great. Thanks.

Nitesh

January 19th, 2010

thanks for a gr8ttt collection!!!!!!!

andee

May 10th, 2010

yeah good theme…very excelent guys…

Newsbuzzy

May 14th, 2010

This a fantastic, thank you!

faza

June 15th, 2010

best typography tools……………..nice……………………….

faza

June 15th, 2010

…….nice

find a collection of the best typography tools available on the web.

Mark Morcom

September 4th, 2010

It would be cool if you could put a post the best typography tutorial.

maviboncuk

August 9th, 2011

Nice article. thanks a lot of

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