Fonts come in all shapes and sizes; Big and small, tall and short, round and rigid, whatever the style you’re looking for, there’s usually a font that fits your needs.
As a graphic designer I often find myself hoarding hundreds or thousands of typefaces on my computer, many of which I never use. Sure, it’s cool to brag to other designers when I discover the perfect font for a logo design but 99% of time they’re just there taking up space on my hard drive.
I tried manually cleaning up the unused typefaces but double-clicking, previewing, closing and deleting a thousand fonts was exhausting. I needed a better solution. So, I did what any modern day researcher would do and searched Stack Overflow for answers. This was where I found out about font managers.
The hunt for the best font manager
So, what is a font manager? A font manager is a software application used to install, activate and organise font files from a centralised dashboard.
You might have heard of Font Book which is the default font manager for macOS, but considering that 74% of the PC market is Windows users, I needed alternatives.
I spent several days looking online for a font manager that offered four simple features:
- Font previews
- The ability to install and uninstall fonts
- Font categorisation/folders
- Syncing with Adobe Creative Cloud
The font managers that I could I find online at the time were either outdated (Nexus fonts), expensive (FontExplorer X Pro) or just plain ugly (Fontsuit). I was about to give up until I came across this amazing little tool called FontBase.
What is FontBase?
According to the developer, Dominik Levitsky Studio, ‘FontBase is the font manager of the new generation, built by designers, for designers.’ And I honestly believe them.
FontBase is a beautiful, modern take on something as boring as font management. The tool is fast, feature-rich, cross-platform and best of all? It’s free.
FontBase is a beautiful, modern take on something as boring as font management.
There’s also a paid subscription called FontBase Awesome that adds some extra features but we’ll touch on that shortly.
Font management. Perfected.
Installing FontBase is a simple process. First, visit their website at https://fontba.se, next, click the download button and it will serve the correct file depending on your operating system.
Once installed, you will be presented with an application window with two sections. This is your font manager dashboard. On the left you will see several tabs, ‘all’, ‘collections’ and ‘providers’.
- All – View all fonts or refine your collection by favourites, active and inactive fonts
- Collections – Group typefaces or fonts into custom folders
- Providers – Download and activate fonts from different repositories and type foundries. Currently supports Google fonts.
- Folders – Allows you to access local fonts in their native folders.
How to install fonts
To install a font, click the icon (circle or square) to toggle its active state. Circles represent fonts on your computer while squares represent fonts from font repositories (Google fonts).
Tired of scrolling through hundreds of typefaces just to find what you’re looking for? FontBase allows you to search for the font you want by typing in a portion of or the font’s full name. Additionally, you can search for a font weight e.g., bold, italic and extra bold.
Still not impressed? Well, did you know that FontBase allows you to test how your typefaces will look in a real-life page layout? You can play around with font weights, line heights and padding for different headings before deciding to implement a typeface in your project.
Everything you need in a font manager (features)
FontBase’s free version comes with several useful functions that any designer or developer would appreciate:
- Preview and test fonts
- Install and Uninstall fonts with a click
- Permanently delete fonts
- Font categorisation
- Auto starts with your computer
- Compatible with popular Adobe apps
- OpenType Features
- View or copy glyphs
- Adjust text properties like colour and size
- Font experimenting
- Nested folders support
- Automatic updates
FontBase's premium version, FontBase Awesome adds some new features that are sure to improve your font management workflow.
- Find fonts based on advanced properties like x-height, contrast, weight, and more.
- Automatically activate missing fonts in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign documents.
- View and copy all of your fonts glyphs in a single click on the specimen page.
- Change your fonts in multiple grid layouts
- Autosync font collections between PCs using Dropbox
Currently, FontBase Awesome is only $3 per month but you can also pay $29 per year or $180 for a lifetime subscription which includes all updates.
Is FontBase Safe?
Yes. FontBase is 100% safe. There is no malware in this program.
Here are several screenshots from VirusTotal proving that it is.
FontBase is the best font manager for Windows, MacOS and Linux. It has every feature you would need from a modern font manager and the premium version is a no-brainer considering what you get with it. I highly recommend it.
Have you tried FontBase yet? What do you think? Let me know on LinkedIn.
Download the latest version of FontBase for free: