font management software

My company wants to sort out font management issues and, after looking at different options, we're considering buying software from either Extensis or Linotype.
But the bigger question than which software maker to go with, however, is should we buy several client licenses or a server license? We couldn't fully understand the exact way font server works, so any explanations (as you'd talk to a child) are welcome.

    Could you recommend the right choice based on the below?
  1. Currently, 6 computers would need constant access to the font library (5 Macs and 1 PC). This number may increase in the future but not drastically.

I hesitate to ask, but do I really need font management software on my computer? I'm running the latest update of OS X Lion. I'm "new" to Macs, having switched in 2008. At that time, I bought Extensis Suitcase Fusion 2 and upgraded to 3 when they released it.

My memory is nothing but a confusion of fearfully trying to move the fonts they said I should by following the suggestions they made. Then, they were never ready after Adobe upgrades. Also, I was constantly finding my files missing or turned off somehow and I spent hours researching and troubleshooting issues and managing the app instead of the transparent effortless font management I expected it to provide.

I have been designing on macs since college and most of my design career.
I have recently started at a firm that uses both mac and pc for design and production. The worst thing about this is that they haven't heard of font management. I have used Font Explorer for mac without fail for all of my other jobs and having tried Extensis with bug after bug and crash after crash I was wondering if there were any experts or just experienced typophiles out there that have used anything better or more reliable than Extensis for the pc! If only there was a FontExplorer for pc!

So this is a dabbler's question: what do y'all use to look at a font, as individual glyphs rather than as sample text? In particular, what do you do if you want an overview of say fleurons or similar odds-and-ends that don't show up easily in a standard sample text?

I am looking for a great and inexpensive font management software that is reliable. I am a mac user. I would love any recommendations from people who have used more than one font manager. If you know of a software that is not great I would love to know that as well.

Sorting and browsing by category would be great.

New FontExplorer X Pro and Server Releases feature Expanded Capabilities and Improved Ease of Use

WOBURN, Mass., & BAD HOMBURG, Germany, Feb. 2, 2010 – Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: TYPE), a leading global provider of text imaging solutions, and its subsidiary, Linotype GmbH, have unveiled version 2.5 of the award-winning Linotype FontExplorer® X Pro font management application for individual users, and version 1.5 of the FontExplorer X Server solution for workgroup administrators.

FontExplorer X Server 1.5

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