FONT Management on a MAC

Hi guys,

haven’t found a better category for this absolutely “Off topic” one.

With Catalina, my Suitcase Fusion 5 will be obsolete.

I’m standing here, purchasing a new one. Or not?
I’d call my criteria’s pretty low: Google Fonts should be manageable.

So that’ll be my question.

What would you guys recommend or what is your strategy for management your FONTs?



Depending on the version of OSX I’m on I use Suitcase, Font Explorer or Font Book all offer different strengths and weaknesses. I like Font Book for its simplicity.

Funnily enough < I was just looking at this day

as Im looking for some nice traditional showman fonts
Or circus

for my up and coming horsey blog :slight_smile:

Hi Guys,

thanks for coming back to this (pretty) unrelated topic.

@schpengle Hi Ian,

nice wrap.

Quick question: What makes these apps kind of “Free Apps”? It’s a list containing the most expensive one - up to my understanding.

But don’t mind mate, I think I’ll go with Typeface (part of the list). Waiting for Black Friday though - even spending the enormous amount of approximately 20 bucks.



Yes! exactly @Thomas, I was pondering the free aspect of these too.
However I am now exploring the first option, FontBase

very pretty, but not yet found how it excels over the Mac’s native Font Book - which I again like.
But, I think it lays in its ability do deactivate fonts as well as managing Google fonts I think.
We shall see


just had a look into my Mailbox this morning, finding an offer for FontExplorer X Pro.

Now, gentlemen - I simply wonder, from where the Chinese know that I have a small dick and Linotype knows, that I’m looking for a FONT manager?

That’s weird.




Not sure how much they’re updating this these days, but back about 8 years ago, this thing generated a lot of buzz.

Catalina will not support any 32 bit applications, I am still using Suitcase 3 which just about manages to work for older InDesign projects. From now on I will simply use system fonts or purchase the odd font if required. Extensis now want $84 per annum for their app, so I guess £84 as exchange rates don’t seem to function for US software in the UK.

Hi @atilla

thanks for this - I wasn’t aware of they changed their payment-system to subscription (must be pretty new). A no-go (to me) anyway.


I tried FontBase but it refused to accept some specific FONT-file formats (Font-suitcase from LT e.g) - so I skipped that.

One thing for sure - I’ll take my time. I don’t update to Catalina the next 6 or 7 months anyway. So enough time to think about it.



Yes, well, still on High Sierra here, may dabble a little further, but we shall see.
what with current hardware being not supported, end of 32bit apps, it’s not terribly appealing to go to Catalina.
I may play with Mojave on an external disk install in a bit, see what apps dont work anymore.
It looks as radical a jump as leaving Snow leopard and its Rosetta Stone - good bye PPC apps.

And I had Suitcase fusion 4 running on that. My friend was a publisher…so LOTS of fonts were floating about!

Just checking out some font things so that’s good to know about FontBase @Thomas, cheers

Just my input:
I’m a one man Communications department during the day and freelance at night. Background in Pre-press. Looking to ditch Adobe in all things - but its not always easy.
I’m not updating to Catalina (at least not soon) for several reasons, but mostly because I want to still use my CS6 suite if needed. Hence - Moving to Pinegrow.

For Fonts: I am using Suitcase Fusion, and won’t go past version 9. (Like Adobe they are going all subscription for my benefit.) It is by far the most robust for general print work.
I have worked with FontExplorer X Pro and it is equally good. It is also no subscription.
FontBase is not bad, but does not support PostScript fonts, and in chatting with the developer, won’t any time soon. The free version is usable, but the lifetime license is more than FontBase.

QUESTION: Besides Google Fonts, does anybody use any web basic fonts? (Arial, Georgia etc?) Why?
Pinegrow does not include anyway to manage these, so maybe just using Google ensures that your site is consistent to all…

I use Arial in quite a few of my sites. I also use Suitcase Fusion (still on V5) and while I don’t especially like it, it does get the job done, and the auto-activation is worth any gripes I have with the program.

I used to use Corel’s Bitstream Font Navigator which worked well for what it did. I also briefly tried a program called TypeDNA which looked promising back in 2011, but kept choking when trying to build my font database (I have over 30,000 fonts) so I eventually gave up on it. It doesn’t look like the program is really being actively developed, although it’s still for sale on their website.

I also came from prepress, but I’m not too worried about support for Postscript fonts as I was ten years ago. Nowadays, everything is a PDF workflow and fonts are embedded, plus opentype seems to have rendered Type1 obsolete.

I agree with you that PDF has changed everything work-flow wise. In my case I too have a large font collection and I just want a manager that handles whatever I have. At my day job I use AdobeGarramond Pro; Adobe HelveticaNeue and Avant Garde, all of which are PS.

  • One paid version that I think looks good is RightFont 5. Inexpensive ($35), auto activates without plugins, does all font formats, and has dark mode. Probably my next choice when I finally leave Suitcase.

  • For Free? Apple’s Font Book, while clunky, works. I’d like hear what others use.


I’m using FontBook, which is, as you say, clunky. Great for viewing fonts though.

But my needs are simple nowadays. Once upon a time - 15 years ago - in making magazines, I kept a ton of fonts around and still have a CD (somewhere in a box) of the entire Adobe font library (1600 bucks in its day). That’s when Suitcase was an absolute necessity. (And what’s that you say? The print world has gone to a PDF workflow now? Well, ain’t that something. My has the world improved while I’ve been out hiding in the hinterlands. Eh? He said all this as he lifted his listening horn up to his aging ears.)

But in recent years, I don’t want to clog up my Mac with too many fonts to choke on. So I just keep a few loaded for basic choices. Would be nice to be able to hide the fonts I NEVER use (some are System fonts and CAN’T be got rid of). But I’ve not been able to figure out how to make groups in FontBook, so I can have more control. (Haven’t tried hard, though.) Can that even be done? Can you use FontBook to pick and choose which fonts are open? (A simple yes or no would be great - if yes, I’ll go look it up for a “how-to”.)

Since I can’t make groups in FontBook, I found a kluge way to do it. I figured out that there are “favorites” in Affinity Photo, so I’ve been using that feature to cull down the list of available fonts.

I recently discovered the wonder of Google Fonts, so have downloaded to my hard drive about a hundred of those. Been fun to play with them again. Fonts are a beautimus thing.

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hi @SilverT, yeah collections are pretty easy to do.
hit the plus sign (+) bottom left
or right click on the left hand menu bar and select
Make new Collection

I hope that is what you are after

Thanks schpengle, that answers it perfectly.

You answered just what I asked. But I should have asked different. Now that I’m looking at FontBook (instead of typing off the top of my head like in the first post) I guess what I really needed to know was about USING those collections.

  1. Do they actually affect which fonts are loaded in the system at the time? They don’t seem to do ANYTHING to the fonts that show up as available when choosing fonts in other programs. I still see ALL the fonts loaded in the system. (Suitcase used to let me see just the fonts I wanted.)
  2. I can only pick one collection at a time. (I would have thought a command-click on other collections would open up several at one time, but no dice.)

Like the earlier poster, SteveH, said about FontBook: Clunky.

So, while FontBook is great for viewing font collections on their own, it doesn’t appear to control which fonts are loaded into the system. (Of course, maybe it’s just me, not knowing what I’m doing.)

But isn’t that what a font program is supposed to do? - Let you have control over your fonts.

ok, Basic version


bit more glitz

written by humans

Thanks schpengle. Super helpful, as is your usual. Above and beyond . . .

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I started out with maybe two or three hundred fonts back in the late 80’s early 90’s on my Amiga. For a time, in the late 90’s, I was obsessed with getting ahold of every font there was, but soon enough it became apparent that there were new fonts being developed and added to the web by the hundreds, and I eventually realized that there are hundreds of thousands of fonts out in the world, and I gave up on my obsession.

At my peak, I had close to 40,000 fonts. I used to be able to name hundreds of them on site, but my memory has long since faded. About two years ago, I exhaustively went through my entire collection, deleted thousands of duplicates that had similar names but were clearly the same font, and I categorized the entire collection into folders based on the type of font (serif, san-serif, graffiti, Halloween, handwriting, brush style, etc, etc.) I have about 50 or so categories. Now I have about 25,000 fonts, and I’ve probably used less than 200 of them.

Collecting fonts is kind of a sickness… an addiction. Avoid it at all costs if you can.

Ha ha ha!! I sort of started that some time ago.
My now ex mate…is a publisher…my god,
SO MANY FONTS!.. I couldn’t help myself.
But then… HOW do you find the type your are after?

Jesus! SO I get your idea of the classification sort of thing,
But I dont actually operate in the sort of theatre where I need so many.
So…I now have a few, was looking for chalkboard type for a while, currently looking for nice
Circus or carnival sort of fonts, that split the letters horizontally , with a flourish…

…its a bit full on isn’t it?