Review: Macware FontLibrary

A robust collection of fonts at a great price. (August 27th, 2007)

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Product Manufacturer: Macware, Inc.

Price: $59.99 US

The Good

  • TrueType and OpenType formats. 100 families with over 600 fonts. A great variety of faces. A printed font catalog. Designed for Commercial use. Includes a font manager. Reasonable price.

The Bad

  • FontManager isn’t much better than Apple’s Font Book. Printed font catalog type is small and difficult to use. More dingbat fonts might be nice.

FontLibrary is a well-priced collection of 100 font families. It comes with a license to use the fonts on five Macs, a printout of all of the fonts, and a font manager.

Font Manager Included

FontManager Version 3.5 installs and organizes your fonts. This is not a font manager like Suitcase or FontAgent Pro, but it does have some helpful properties. It lists all of the fonts on the FontLibrary CD in one panel and all of the installed fonts on your Mac in another panel. With the CD in your Mac, you can select fonts from FontLibrary that you want to install permanently or temporarily. For those fonts you expect to use on a regular basis, you want to permanently install them. If you want to temporarily use a font for a project and then delete it, you can have your Mac uninstall the font when you shut down your machine.

To install a font from the FontLibrary CD, go to the Fonts Available for Installation panel of the FontManager and place a check mark next to the font you want to install. Below this panel is a display area that shows you what the font looks like. If you would rather, you can use your Mac's Font Book or another third party font manager to install or remove your fonts.

TrueType and OpenType Fonts

The fonts on the CD include identical True Type and OpenType fonts in different folders. The True Type fonts print and display on your Mac. OpenType fonts are designed for cross-platform use, so they work well on both the PC and Mac. The FontManager software does not support the management of OpenType fonts.

Macware has organized the TrueType fonts into four categories, Classic, Creative, Designer, and Refined. If you click on a font icon, a window opens and a dialog shows you the style of the font, images of all of the upper and lower case letters, plus the numbers. There is also a button to install the font. This is a helpful way to see and install your fonts.

Complete Families

Fonts come in families and some may have a large number of styles. A font family includes the normal or Roman version of the font along with Bold, Italic, and BoldItalic. For many fonts, Macware also include additional members of the font family. Some of the fonts have an extended version, which gives each letter a little more space left to right, while some fonts are condensed. The Chisel Font Family comes in a variety of bold and italic typefaces and is made up of twenty font faces, but most of fonts do not have this many members.

There are 100 families that include over 600 fonts. The extensive variety of fonts work well in newsletters, comic strips, and flyers. There is even a keyboard font that may be helpful when you create tutorials. If want a project printed at a commercial printer or service bureau, you can include the fonts you used in the project. You may embed the fonts in an Adobe PDF file for printing and viewing by others.

Small Reference Guide

The Quick Reference Guide is a catalog of all the fonts on the CD. It lists the name of each font and displays upper and lower case samples of all letters of that font. The guide is a booklet with very small type and is a bit hard to read.

Overall, there is a very nice variety of professional fonts in this collection. These fonts, along with those already installed on your Mac, should take care of any project you want to create. There are plenty of fancy and display fonts as well as the classics. The ability to install the fonts on five machines and the included license to send your fonts with a project to your printer or service bureau is convenient.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Rick Curran


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