We love our fonts as much as we love our scrapbooking goodies, but did you know that each time you install a font, it takes resources away from other parts of your machine? Each system comes with a set of basic fonts installed on it, but too many fonts above those, will cause some slow-down. Sometimes, it is very noticeable, but sometimes it’s just the time it takes to start up your machine after a shutdown, or maybe Photoshop taking a long time to load because it has to read through all of those fonts and load them (as does every program that uses fonts). A great solution for this problem is a font management program. A font management program allows you to leave your fonts uninstalled, but be able see a preview of them as well as easily install and uninstall them when you want to use them, with just one mouse click. By having less fonts installed at any given time, your machine will run more smoothly.
Here is a screenshot of my font manager to give you an idea of what it looks like:
There are many font management programs out there to choose from and weighing all of the different features can be daunting. I have been researching and considering which management tool to use for a few months now. I wanted a program that could:
1) look in mulitple folders at one time
2) not crash my system or be slow
3) view True Type Fonts (TTF) and Open Type Fonts (OTF)
4) be able to temporarily load the font (so I don’t have to install and then uninstall).
5) be able to customize the text in the preview window
During my search, I found this indepth article and this more simple article. I have tried a few different font managers during my search, some mangers were pay and some free. For one reason or another, I stopped using them. They were too slow, too much of a pain. After revisiting the latest versions for Mac and Windows, here are a few of our recommendations:
I really like the interface on AMP Font Viewer and I like that it gives you some technical information about the font there as well. I like that you can change the preview to bold, italics, as well as changing the color. In Font Xplorer, uninstalling fonts and moving them to a new folder was very easy, I just highlighted the font, right clicked and selected uninstall and then the program gave me a window with choices to uninstall and move it to a folder of my choosing (along with a few other options).
Once you install your font management software, you will need to go through your fonts folder and weed out the non-system fonts. (DO NOT DELETE YOUR SYSTEM FONTS, OR YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM WILL NOT LOAD AND YOUR COMPUTER WILL NOT RESTART.) You can find a list of standard Windows system fonts HERE and a list of standard Mac system fonts HERE. If your chosen font manager doesn’t allow you to move the fonts from within it, then you can go to c:>windows>fonts, select the non-system fonts and copy them to a new folder. When the fonts are safe in a new folder of your choosing, then you can delete those fonts from your system font folder. It only takes a few minutes, but your computer will thank you for it! 🙂