Font Book vs Suitcase Fusion 5

Xacto's picture

I have been very frustrated with Suitcase (Fusion 5) for years and was wondering what people think about the latest version of Font Book from Apple.

Just curious if anyone who is serious about type actually uses Font Book? Does the new auto-activation work as well as Suitcase? What font management would you recommend?

Thanks!

dmc3's picture

I have experienced the same frustration with both Suitcase and Font Book. No matter what software you use, it's good to keep in mind that fonts can be very volatile to operating systems, especially in large numbers.

That being said, you may want to test drive Font Explorer by Monotype.

I've had to stress test and implement font management to a large team of artists in the past, and everywhere that Suitcase came up short, Font Explorer excelled. It seemed to handle large numbers of activated fonts a little better than Suitcase, and they have auto-activation plug-ins for many of the common Adobe products. As well, you really can't beat the depth of the program. It can even show you broken down character maps by language and the kerning pairs of different fonts. I think they just released the PC version about a year or two ago, so it's for either platform now, and it's well supported/updated (by Monotype).

Best of luck in your search!

seanglenn's picture

I personally don't like the UI on Font Explorer, and I do like Suitcase. I find that there's not enough real "management" options with FontBook.

I tend to activate groups of fonts temporarily, or on a per-project basis, and Suitcase is well-suited to my way of working (it helps that I've used it for many years and it has nearly always worked this way).

We use Universal Type Server at my current job, and it's basically Suitcase Lite (from the user's POV).

Fournier's picture

I have been very frustrated with Suitcase (Fusion 5) for years and
was wondering what people think about the latest version of Font Book from Apple.

Keep your Suitcase Fusion and stay way from Apple's Font Book which only has limitations.
Font Book is not professional and the smart sets are terrible and fail to do their task.
It's a bland software for Microsoft users who type résumés and lessons on Word.
Suitcase Fusion has a powerful search fonction through QuickFind and QuickMatch and other options.
It's a treat to classify your library with it.

What font management would you recommend?

You have two choices: Suitcase Fusion or Font Explorer.
I use Suitcase Fusion from the first version and I'm satisfied with its version 5.
I used to move from Adobe ATM de Luxe to Suitcase Fusion.
Font Explorer has some 'terrific' OpenType features preview including ligatures (common, rare) activation, letterspacing, kerning, tracking. I wish they could include them on Suitcase Fusion.

Thomas Phinney's picture

When I was preparing to leave Extensis a few weeks ago, I test drove font Explorer for a couple of weeks, to decide if I wanted to switch. I had a brand new laptop to configure.

I liked Font Explorer's OpenType support, language info, and character map showings. Both it and Suitcase Fusion have plug-ins for current and recent Creative Suite/Cloud apps. Font Explorer supports more antique versions, though.

In the end, what drove me nuts about Font Explorer was that its “family groupings” were only the style-linked groupings. No more than four members to a family. So a mega-family like Kepler would show up as 40+ families in Font Explorer, but I could show it as just one in Suitcase Fusion.

So Font Explorer was just too unwieldy for me, based on that. I switched back to Suitcase Fusion. I may occasionally miss some FEX features, but at least I am not going crazy every single day.

ralf h.'s picture

in the end, what drove me nuts about Font Explorer was that its “family groupings” were only the style-linked groupings.

That's just an optional view mode. Of course you can group all styles from a family under its font family name.

Fournier's picture

I tend to agree that the interface is too messy.

ralf h.'s picture

I tend to agree that the interface is too messy.

You can configure everything — really everything. If you like it more simple, set it this way.

iRouge's picture

That's just an optional view mode. Of course you can group all styles from a family under its font family name.

Well I must be doing something wrong because when choosing family grouping instead of style linking many font families are not properly grouped. For exemple :
Avenir {Avenir Roman, Avenir Oblique},
Avenir Black {Avenir Black},
Avenir Black Oblique {Avenir Black Oblique},
Avenir Book {Avenir Book Roman, Avenir Book Oblique},
etc.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Yes, that's what I saw as well. But I've uninstalled it since, so perhaps I was missing something.

Note however that if the font producer doesn't set up the fonts correctly, the font management app can't really work around that. I have certainly seen fonts from some foundries that did not behave well in this regard, in any font manager.

Fournier's picture

Find the rival of FontExplorer: Suitcase Fusion 5.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

I like (and use) FontAgentPro, but I may be not the hippest of designers/users…

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