Will FontBook auto-activate fonts?

selfbuildtype's picture

Will Apple FontBook have a font auto-activation feature? I'm planning to upgrade to Panther in the coming months and plan to use FontBook instead of Suitcase. If FontBook does have auto-activation is there any reason I would want to use Suitcase?

meredithalix's picture

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
That's me being happy about the Oct.24 release of Panther, and with it the release from servitude to crappy 3rd-party OS X font-management apps. (ATM Deluxe, I pine for thee. *sob*)

Uh, what was the question? Oh yes... The nearest answer I could find was this: "Font Book enables and disables fonts dynamically, allowing you to switch between different font sets without restarting applications." Granted, that's not necessarily auto-activation -- depends what they mean by "dynamically."

A recent post asked about font-previewing utilities for OS X. Looks like Font Book does have that feature: "Double-clicking a font file (or a group of them) in the Finder opens a preview of the font, with the option to install it in just one click."

There's a decent PDF showing the features of FontBook here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/fontbook/. (Click on "Fonts in Mac OS X Technology Brief.")

Grant Hutchinson's picture

> *bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
> That's me being happy about the Oct. 24 release of Panther

Oh, I thought that was an icon in your dock taking forever to open in Jaguar. :-)

Dynamically does not mean automatically. Too bad, really. It means clicking to activate and deactivate fonts and sets.

meredithalix's picture

I agree (about 3rd-party font-mgmt apps needing to catch up). After sulking for a few months about the loss of ATM Deluxe, I bore down and test-drove Suitcase, Font Reserve, and Font Agent Pro. I didn't like any of them, but found Font Agent Pro the least bad of the bunch. Actually, it's pretty good, except that for some reason it makes Photoshop incredibly slow -- so much so that I never run the two at the same time, which is a major inconvenience.

So I'm really hoping Apple will give us something that's truly competitive with the other guys.

.00's picture

Master Juggler is not bad. I've tried them all, and it works for me. It supports Unicode, and they say they are planning an auto-activation feature in the next release. No demo though.

Dan Weaver's picture

Meredith, I was at an Adobe seminar yesterday and got a look at the Beta Adobe CS, but I degress. There was a represenative form Suitcase and he told me they bought Font Reserve and Font Reserve's president has joined Suitcase the goal is to take the best of both applications and roll it into one. So there is hope. Dan

lettertiep's picture

A build-in Jaguar feature,
It's called 'Lettertekenpalet'
But only with Unicode-apps you can insert all the glyphs.
Is Quack Unicode already?

alternative is the Glyph palette in InDesign & Illustrator


Thomas Phinney's picture

QuarkXPress 6 does not support Unicode.

In direct conversation, Juergen Kurz says that QuarkXPress 7 will support Unicode (as well as OpenType layout features). He claims they're allocating 18 engineers for 9 months to add Unicode support, which seems like a plausible amount of work.

(Of course, among our applications, InDesign has been Unicode based since 1.0., Photoshop since 5.5 or so, and the about-to-ship Illustrator CS speaks Unicode as well. Current versions of Premiere and AfterEffects also have Unicode text engines.)



nov3mber's picture

i am using font book now in 10.3 it is great, but i know that in the next few months there will be upgrades to it.

-tomas, you know you stuff, but do you really want to wait another 3 years before quark come out with unicode supported update. indesign cs is amazing. quark is already so far behind i dont see them coming back from this. please respond to this i would like to hear some comints on this.

kakaze's picture

Hey Thomas, how come it's taken Illustrator so long to go Unicode?

Thomas Phinney's picture

I wasn't suggesting anybody should wait for QuarkXPress 7 for anything. I just thought it was interesting news, and that people would want to know.

It's an interesting question as to how long it will take them to get QXP 7 to the market. They managed version 6 in 18 months (standard for the industry, but lighting-fast for Quark). But they've also just transitioned their development to India. they now have much less experienced but perhaps many more engineers to throw at the application.

I have no idea how long it will take, but my guess is that the engineering changeover will significantly increase the bugs in the application.

Anyway, regardless, I am of course not encouraging anybody to wait. InDesign is a wonderful application and everyone should buy it.
The new CS version shows all the signs of an increasingly mature application, with increasing attention to workflow issues and performance as well as continuing to add innovative new features like nested styles.

Of course, seeing as I work at Adobe, you may not expect me to be unbiased in this matter. :-)



Dan Weaver's picture

Thomas the PDF intergration in CS is amazing. I also loved you could bring your InDesign doc into GoLive and use it as a resource for creating a web page based on the InDesign page going to print, Cool!

hrant's picture

Bangalore all the way.


meredithalix's picture

Found this today on MacInTouch:

Julian Hearne writes:
I saw no mention in the new Panther Font Management description that indicates it supports auto-activation.

It does not. Apple representatives at Seybold and other venues have been quite upfront that, for professional design/prepress/print work, Font Book will probably not cut it for many users.

This is OK, as Font Book does many things that average users will appreciate, and one thing that pros will REALLY appreciate: it lets us deactivate those pesky system dfonts (Helvetica, Times, etc.) easily and without any dire consequences, unlike in Jaguar.

Certainly in a prepress environment Julian will still need a font manager. I think the combination of Suitcase and Font Reserve will yield a very functional and robust product, as both approaches have their merits. And there are other font managers around if you don't like that approach. But for auto-activation, Font Book will not do the job.

Chuck Wege

jfp's picture

I don't like auto-activation. I prefer to see what happen myself, I never trust any computer and software by experience.

FontBook seems adapted to my use, thanks Apple.

FontReserve seems good, but impossible to get any answer from the support for a simple email change to be able to get the update. Merde alors! (I suppose that Typophile engine don't understood nastly french words?)

meredithalix's picture

Merde indeed: it looks like FontBook won't be my savior after all. I can live without auto-activation (like Jean, I prefer to know what's happening behind the scenes), but this report showed up this morning on MacInTouch:

Font Book warning

I was eagerly looking forward to replacing Extensis' Suitcase 10 with Panther's built-in Font Book to manage my 9000 fonts. Tonight I installed Panther and immediately started importing type.

I dragged a folder of about 2000 fonts into the sets pane as I would in Suitcase 10. What took Suitcase 30 seconds to process took Font Book about 10 minutes. When it was done, I realized it had activated all 2000 fonts. There does not appear to be a way to disable this activate at addition behavior, which would make the job of importing 9000 fonts extremely unpleasant.

Fortunately, it was instantly clear that Font Book was not going to work for me. Activating and deactivating was very slow, and opening the application with just 500 fonts took a very long time. I began removing my fonts from Font Book.

Here's where I discovered the worst of Font Book's bad behavior: it had added each of the fonts to a single Fonts folder, DELETING them without warning from the alphabetical and foundry-sorted folders that they have lived in for years. Had I installed all of my fonts, fixing this would have taken much longer than the half hour I just spent on it. Again, there's no obvious way to disable this default behavior.

I wanted to love Font Book, but it has miles to go before it's any competition for Suitcase or Font Reserve. I have a hard time understanding why Apple hyped this application; getting designers excited about built-in font management software and delivering a tool that definitely won't address their needs is counter-productive. The upside is that it convinced me to download the Suitcase X1 demo; and I'm extremely impressed with the progress Extensis has made with this application.

Dan Weaver's picture

Meredith, thanks for posting this article. Apple over hypes there products almost as well as Adobe. Dan

Joe Pemberton's picture

If you follow Suitcase's response to Apple's FontBook, of
course you'll still need Suitcase.

My initial take (prediction) is FontBook will negate the need
for regular users to have a font management app, but that
people managing thousands of fonts will still benefit from
something like Suitcase. It really depends on how far Apple
wants to take FontBook, but I'm not expecting it to replace
anything in its first release.

That said, I think Suitcase, et al, have some catching up to
do in terms of ease of use and overall stability.

Bald Condensed's picture

Sorry if this might seem slightly off-topic, but does
anyone know something that could replace John Wind's
wonderful shareware application ASCII-Chart in MacOSX?
Big overview of all the glyphs in a font with their key
stroke combinations, possibility to copy and paste
characters into your page lay-out et al.

Bald Condensed's picture

InDesign all the way baby. :-)

THX Lettertiep, I'm upgrading straight away!

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