The Best Font Manager for Mac (We Actually Tested Them)
Utilities • May 24, 2018
As a designer, it is worthy enough to have as many fonts as possible, you know. You can create a variety of content by simply choosing the right font.
But, wait, how do you find the right font when you have thousands of them?
Well, trusting your memory doesn’t always work. Suppose you’re a busy graphic designer who does multiple projects a day. It doesn’t sound practical to keep all the fonts’ names in your mind.
And, that’s where font managers come in.
What is a font management app?
It’s an app that lets you manage all the fonts you’ve installed on your Mac and PC. A font management app should let you manage the fonts, not just show them. They would also have some of advanced features you need. For instance, you should be able to compare two fonts easily so that you can choose the best.
By default, both Windows and Mac come packed with a font management app. But, in the Mac, it’s not really that good. In this article, however, we are going to find the best font manager for Mac.
Who should get it
A font manager app would be a central place for all your font collections. If you are someone who uses many fonts on a day, you need such an app. We’d recommend this to any designer who uses typography. Well, a font manager app is useful for other people as well.
Even if you aren’t a professional designer, there are times you use tools like Photoshop. Be it a simple poster or a long-enough content, the font you select matters. For instance, don’t even try to use Comic Sans on an academic presentation.
If you ask us, everyone who creates content on a Mac should have a font manager app. Because, every single time, you need the RIGHT font.
And, no, you don’t randomly select a font manager — you do not.
What makes a good font manager?
Of course, there are a lot of things, but User Interface is the most important one. See, you are going to use this tool to manage hundreds or thousands of fonts. So, you should be able to find the font that you need at this moment.
Nothing beats a well-organized collection of fonts, you know. It’s much better than scrolling through 100s of fonts every day. So, a good font manager should let you create categories and labels to keep your fonts quite organized.
We also considered some other factors like Viewing option. The app must have an interface that makes font-by-font comparison easier. In addition, third-party software integration is a cool feature to consider in your list.
Last but not the least, a good font manager should be able to manage a huge number of fonts. This is where Font Book — the official macOS app — fails pathetically. So, obviously, we are looking for the professional-quality ones over starters’.
Now that you have an idea how we selected the best font manager apps out there, shall we actually get into the list?
It does not matter who you are — a professional designer charging $1000 per design or an upcoming one —, Typeface 2 is the best font manager for Mac. Instead of focusing on fancy features and cyborg interfaces, the app goes for something minimal. The result? You can manage all your fonts perfectly, no matter how big the collection becomes.
Despite its wonderful performance, Typeface 2 has a smaller footprint and a simple installation process. You can get started with the program in a few minutes, once installed. As soon as you open Typeface 2, it shows you an awesome list of all the fonts you have installed on your Mac. Now, it varies according to the person, but we had more than 700 fonts installed.
And, boom. Typeface 2 works without a glitch. It does not even take a second to preview the font when you are scrolling down. Getting a quick look on all your fonts is an easy thing when using Typeface 2. Simply click on a font and the app will show you detailed information and character list. Installing and getting started with Typeface 2 is easy as a piece of cake.
The whole User Interface of Typeface 2 is powered by minimalism. The UI is split into two sections — one to preview fonts and one for organization. From the left side, you can select the category of the fonts that you are looking for. What’s so fun is that you can select two categories is at once. For instance, if you want fonts that are both Modern and Fun, Typeface 2 has got it for you.
The Viewing modes are so customizable that you can decide how many fonts are shown on a page. This helps when you need a deeper look at the font instead of quick look — and vice versa. There is also a Dark Mode, in case you wanted to give your eyes less strain.
And, if you want to have more details on a single font, just give it a click. Typeface 2 will show you not only each and every character of the font but also details like language support and other specifications.
Altogether, the User Interface of Typeface 2 is designed for streamlined workflow. And, folks, it works.
Typeface 2 has focused on features that make font management easier. You can also have a good experience if you want to pick a font quickly.
Font Compare is perhaps the best feature you’d find in Typeface 2. It lets you compare two fonts like a Pro. You can multiple-select two fonts and choose Compare from right-click menu. It puts a font over another so that you can tell even the slightest differences.
Now, this is a feature you’d love: you don’t have to preview fonts with some random phrase or word. Using Typeface 2, you can input the word/phrase that you want to preview. This works best if you want to find a great for branding or logos.
Coming to font management, importing fonts is as easy as it can get. Instead of dragging-and-dropping your fonts — duh, Apple —, Typeface 2 lets you select a directory. Once everything is imported, Typeface 2 would actually create a different folder.
The controls are much better when you have to activate or deactivate font(s). We are sure that advanced features like these will make your life easier.
Availability and pricing
As of now, Typeface 2 is available for macOS only. If you have a device running macOS 10.11 or higher, you can download and install this program. As far as the pricing is concerned, Typeface 2 is $19.99 from the Mac App Store, or $9.99/mo on Setapp. We think the price-tag is completely reasonable, compared to the features you get. If you are still unsure, you can check out the free trial before purchasing.
After testing Typeface 2 for quite some time and comparing it with competition, we still believe that it’s the best font manager for everyone. It has design and features that work for newbies and professionals alike.
While our top pick is for everyone, Suitcase Fusion is not. This is a professional upgrade if you are looking for some cool features. You may not get all the benefits of having Typeface 2 in Suitcase Fusion, but an upgrade is still an upgrade. Let’s start with the UI.
Suitcase Fusion does not have the most minimal UI, but it keeps everything in good position. For instance, it cannot automatically arrange your fonts based on width or style. You will have to set up different folders all by yourself. This is a big loss, if you need quick selection.
However, Suitcase Fusion rocks the stage when it comes to third-party integration. Its plugins are available for tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and After Effects. Depending on the tool you use, you’d be able to install the plugins.
Another impressive feature we found was Google Fonts sync. Suitcase Fusion can download Google fonts to your Mac and keep them in sync. This actually brings more than 2500 fonts into your Mac without a hassle. You can also count in TypeSync, an in-built cloud sync for keeping your fonts secure.
Although Suitcase Fusion offers a detailed Font Preview option, it’s not as intuitive as that of Typeface 2. But you are getting a lot of professional features like, glyph-based details. It also packs a tool called DoctorFont to make sure that your fonts are not corrupted.
We’d recommend Suitcase Fusion to professionals who need more features and third-party integration. It’s priced at $119.95, using which you can register on three Macs. The price seems quite high, but you can get industry-level support and compatibility.
RightFont 4 was one of the biggest competitors in the list, since it’s quite popular. However, we found that the tool has an oversimplified design. Because of this, you may not have proper access to the font previews. That having said, RightFont 4 focuses on some productive features and options.
For instance, just like Typeface 2, you can categorize fonts based on the type and writing style. In addition to that, RightFont supports multiple lists as well. There is even a pre-built search function that lets you find the fonts you’re looking for, using tags.
Syncing might be another area where RightFont can excel, since it lets you sync font data via platforms like Google Drive, Box, Amazon Drive, Dropbox and more. You can count in one-click activation and program-based activation into its notable features.
Despite all these, RightFont does not give the Pro feel that we found in Typeface. The filtering system is kind of smart, but not smart enough to make your life productive. But, if you think you need syncing and external features, you should give it a try.
RightFont has been designed for macOS, and there is even a remote app for iOS. A single RightFont license is available for $39, which is quite a practical price tag. The program offers a fully-functional free trial for 7 days as well.
FontAgent 8 may check out the basic requirements of a font manager for Mac. However, compared to our top pick and upgrade pick, the app seemed quite old-school. It comes with the basic options like different viewing modes and easy loading, though.
The thing about FontAgent 8 is that it focuses more on font metadata, rather than giving more importance to preview. Of course, you can preview the content using the same old ‘Quick brown fox’ text, but individual comparison of glyphs doesn’t come right.
Coming to other features, FontAgent 8 leaves enough space for organization part. You can use the complete sidebar for creating different folders and getting all your fonts in one place. While the performance seemed quite okay, it doesn’t perform well with a huge number of fonts.
Some other features include Adobe TypeKit integration, auto-activation feature for Adobe products, a better font search engine and additional features like FontAgent Sync. Most of these need to be additionally paid for, but we can count them in.
As far as the pricing goes, FontAgent 8 for Mac is available for $99 and you will have to pay another $59 for FontAgent Sync subscription that lasts 12 months. Compared to the other programs we listed here, we found FontAgent 8 as something unreasonably expensive.
FontBase is in the competition list for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s the one and only free software in this list of Mac font managers. Despite being free to use, FontBase can compete with most of the apps we have mentioned above.
It in fact brings a lot features like Google Fonts support, Nested Folders and Styling support to enhance the overall font management experience. It actually works smoothly when it comes to bringing Google Fonts for local use.
Coming to the User Interface, FontBase has kept it as simple as it can. However, we thought its Preview part could have been better. Still, the app does a great job when it comes to importing and managing fonts. You can simply drag and drop font files/folders to import them.
FontBase also leaves some space for customization, in the UI department. For instance, you can decide how many fonts are shown in a page and how you like to preview the content. That having said, Grid View — a basic feature — is restricted to the Pro version.
As we said, FontBase is completely free to use, and it’s available for Mac, Windows and Linux. It would have been our choice if the program had better viewing options and did not restrict Multiple Views. However, if the lack of viewing options isn’t a problem, free feel to go for FontBase.
Compared to the abovementioned apps, FontExplorer X Pro is a different kind of font manager app for Mac. It focuses more on the metadata of a font, rather than previewing a lot of versions. If you are that kind of a designer who chooses fonts based on common opinion, FontExplorer X Pro is for you.
As far as the UI is concerned, FontExplorer X Pro has kept everything old-school. You can have a huge list of all your fonts and double-click on them to launch more info. Of course, there are detailed preview options in the individual view, along with organization options.
The problem here is that you cannot use FontExplorer X Pro for a quick-view of your fonts. You will have to open individual fonts and see how they look like. However, compared to other tools, FontExplorer X Pro can offer some enterprise-level features.
For instance, you can sync all your fonts and back them up for better security. If you are in a serious business where fonts matter than the content, you should consider getting FontExplorer X Pro. It might be the most feature-rich font manager app for Mac.
FontExplorer X Pro is macOS-only and it comes at a price of 89 Euros. We have a middle stand here, since the features are more enterprise-oriented. It’s hard to decide whether individual designers would need one tool like this.
We hope now you know why we picked Typeface as the best font manager for Mac. It packs almost all the features every designer wants, with incredible speed and performance. So, the next time you have too many fonts to take care of, go for Typeface 2. Make sure that you share this post so your designer friends don’t end up using a crappy font manager.