Windows users can now have the same thing Mac users have: the best font manager on the market, Linotype's FontExplorer X Pro, was released today for Windows.
By Bevi Chagnon, PubCom
Oh, happy day! I now can turn off “Hobo,” my favorite font to hate in Windows.
Starting today, Windows users now have the best font manager available to turn off, turn on, and install fonts on their systems. Linotype-Monotype just released Font Explorer X Pro for Windows (FEX), the sibling of the Macintosh version that helps designers manage their font libraries and perform other tasks.
Download a free 30-day trial of FEX and take it for a test drive: www.fontexplorerx.com
I’ve been holding my breath and waiting to tell my clients and subscribers about it for quite some time — and now I can spill the beans. Here’s my review of FEX and why it should be on your computer.
Windows and MS Office install more than 400 fonts on your computer system, and if you install an Adobe CS product, you’ll have an additional 200+ fonts. And many of them you‘ll never ever use. (Or shouldn't use, like Hobo. Bleah! My students know how “fond” I am of the typeface Hobo that is installed on Windows computers by Microsoft’s products.)
See Microsoft's list of fonts installed with Windows 7 and with Office 2010. Here's Adobe's list of fonts installed with CS5.5.
The total: 110 basic Windows and ClearType fonts, 139 non-Latin language fonts, 187 Office fonts, and 200+ from Adobe's CS, depending on which suite you installed. That's more than 600 fonts ... including 2 versions of Hobo, one from Microsoft, and the other from Adobe!
Each font that’s loaded on your computer eats up a small portion of RAM. When you have just a few fonts active on your computer, you don’t notice the drag, but when it’s several hundred fonts — or a thousand or more — they add up to a sizable chunk of power that should be going to your software applications rather than to fonts you don’t use.
Regardless of how much RAM you have, you’re still slowed down by Hobo and all those other unused fonts because each and every font has to be loaded one by one into memory.
That’s each individual weight, such as Garamond Regular and Garamond Bold and Garamond Italic and Garamond Bold Italic and Garamond Bold Extra Condensed and … you get the idea.
Plus you're also loading a ton of foreign language fonts on your system that you might not need, such as Sylfaen (Armenian), Vinjala (Tamil), Plantagenet (Cherokee), Baiti (Mongolian), and MoolBoran (Khmer).
I'm grateful that our world's cultures have these foreign language fonts. But I don't need them because I publish for English-speaking audiences and I want the choice to deactivate them on my computer.
With all of these fonts loaded, it takes longer for your computer to boot up in the morning and launch each software program.
And wait some more.
No wonder you thought you needed a newer, faster computer after upgrading your version of Windows or Adobe's Creative Suite!
If you have a thousand or more fonts that are active (and I find many of my clients’ systems do), it takes an hour-and-a-half to scroll down a long font list to Zapf Dingbats at the end.
OK, I exaggerated. But good grief, your mouse finger will develop a cramp scrolling all the way down to the Zs as in this example from InDesign. Those long lists of fonts are unwieldy and they reduce your productivity, especially when you're working on a tight deadline.
If you like Hobo, this is a free country and you can keep Hobo if you like. Comic Sans, too!
And if you write or publish in Cherokee, Tamil, Lao, Khmer, Thaana, Mongolian, Armenian, Ethiopian, or any of the dozens of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, and Indian dialects that use the default foreign language fonts installed with Windows, M.S. Office, and Adobe Creative Suite, then you're in luck. Use the fonts you need.
But do you use ALL 600+ fonts in any project?
Gosh I hope not! (Maybe it’s time to dig out my old lecture notes from when I taught design and typography!)
Font management utilities like FEX let you temporarily turn off (deactivate) fonts that you aren’t using right now and later turn them back on (activate) when you need to use them.
With one click, you can activate or deactivate a font.
Font management keeps your computer running lean and mean and lets its power be dedicated to your software and projects rather than to fonts you’re not using at the moment.
Font managers let you see which fonts are active and which are not and also view critical technical details about each font. Some of the features I look for include:
Here are some of FontExplorer X Pro's features that make it my top-rated font management program:
Server version is available, too.
A workgroup server version of FontExplorer X Pro is available for design studios and large organizations that must manage fonts and legal licenses among many users or across Mac and Windows platforms. Visit www.fontexplorerx.com for more information.
If you're an IT administrator, contact Bevi directly for guidance on deploying any of the FontExplorer products in your enterprise.
Summary: Linotype's FontExplorer X Pro for Windows gives you a complete solution to take control of the fonts on your computer. Easy to install, convenient to use, and helpful for anyone designing with fonts.
Purchase directly from Linotype at www.fontexplorerx.com or from other resellers. Retail price: $79 U.S.
— Bevi Chagnon
Founding Honcho, PubCom
These are my comments about Linotype's FontExplorer X Pro for Windows and font management.
Any from you? Leave a comment on our Facebook page.
If not, deactivate them and others with FontExplorer X Pro and improve your computer's throughput.
This short tour from FEX will get you up and running in no time.
Please note that the tour demonstrates the Macintosh version and there might be slight differences with the Windows version.