Linotype’s FontExplorer X (FEX) is a free font management tool, which includes an integrated font store. Users of FEX may purchase fonts via this store if they so choose (unlike traditional internet font shopping, fonts purchased via FEX will be directly installed in the font manager, for easier activation and deactivation).
As of this writing (April 11, 2006), FontExplorer X is currently available just for MacOS X 10.3.9 and higher. A PC version is in the works.
The Font Store within FontExplorer X (April 11, 2006) only contains Linotype fonts. However, Linotype is currently making agreements with many third party foundries, so that their fonts will soon appear in the store as well.
During the late 1990s, Linotype created a product called the FontExplorer, which was a catalog plus CD. On the CD, customers could sift through Linotype’s font library by using subjective keywords and descriptive terms. FontExplorer was and is an aide for those looking to find specific fonts. In 2004, Linotype placed the contents of the CD online for free download (c. 180 MB). By that time, over 1 million catalogs and CDs had been distributed.
FontExplorer and FontExplorer X are two different products that both aim to help font users find the right fonts for their needs.
The iTunes of Font Management