Best way to sort, categorize, and manage fonts?

grod's picture

Your collection of digital typefaces has grown to the point where you can't remember what fonts you have or if you have fonts that will fit your need. Bummer. Does an application exist to do the following:

Scan the system for fonts, active and inactive
Create a database:
catalog the metadata in the font (type, foundry, date, weight, family)
download keywords from a site like

The purpose of this would be to make classifying, sorting, and searching your font collection painless. It should exist. ATM lets you create sets, but that has to be done manually for each family and there is no searching. No program I am aware of automates all these activities. None that I am aware of even creates a searchable database by keyword.
However, it is an obvious idea... so where can I find it?

boon's picture

Noah : : Try using Font Book within OSX. I don't believe you can create a database for your type, but you can easily see what is enabled or disabled, and you can organize your type however you see fit, by foundry, family, client, etc. It has a search function built in as well, and you can resolve duplicate issues.

Also try to get your hands on a document that was provided by Apple at this summer's TypeCon in SF, entitled "Advanced Typography with Mac OSX." This would be a great resource for download from the Typophile site (hint). This doc must exist as a pdf from Apple, try searching there first.

Good luck.

grod's picture

err... Good suggestions but I don't have a mac. Oh well.

steve_p's picture

Have you tried Bitstream's Font Navigator?

You can sort fonts by type (according to the metadata tag, I assume). Then you can easily move them into folders for each type.
Its still a manual solution, but at least you speed up the process by sorting into types. You can then install & uninstall folders at a click.

I think a fully automated solution would be impossible because many faces fall into more than one type category, and some are on the border of two or more. Type classification is a very subjective thing.

Personally, I have:
Serif 1
Sans 1
Slab 1
Script 1
Display 1
Client 1
Symbol 1

always installed, with

Serif 2 & 3
Sans 2 & 3
Slab 2
Script 2
Display 2,3 & 4
Client 2

waiting to be browsed and/or installed if necessary. Anything I use often is in the first set.

Font Navigator was bundled with Corel from about version 7, so you should be able to get it for next to nothing on e-bay.

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