My Review of Free Font Management Programs for Windows 7
A review of three free font programs for Windows 7.
Three Free Font Management Programs:
- The Font Thing (not for Windows 7, but a workaround can make it useable).
- Amp Font Viewer
- Nexus Font Manager
- Cutting with SCAL (Sure Cuts a Lot) and my Cricut personal cutting system.
- View uninstalled fonts
- Temporary Font installation
- View File Categories of Fonts I Have Previously Set Up (not in Windows/Font folder)
- View multiple fonts in the folders at a time for comparison
- Run on Windows 7
- Ease of use
I have Windows 7 set up on two new computers and don’t want to bog down my Windows and Photoshop Elements programs with fonts I only use Occasionally. I would like to find a way to have fonts available for temporary use. Windows recommends no more than 500 fonts for smooth sailing. I had 800 on my last computer. No real glitches, but PSE took forever to load. I have not yet tested how all this impacts PSE, but will do so and add to this at a later time.
I researched free font programs and felt these three were the top contenders for my first installation.
I also am not sure how this will work with Sure Cuts a Lot, but I do not appreciate the small size of their internal font viewer, nor that I cannot sort fonts by type for cutting. I am hoping this will assist me in scrolling through a list of 900 fonts in that program.
I have always used TFT, but was reading about incompatability with Windows 7. Upon further research, I found that the installation is actually the only incompatible part, so if you are willing to just download the .exe file and not the installation (installing the program each time you want to use it (your font information is preserve), it will work for you. It takes no longer to instal than it did to start the program before. So, you are working around the auto instal by running the .exe file when :you want to use it instead of having the program actually installed in “my programs”.
Limitations of this program:
- it hasn’t been updated since 1999
- it won’t read Open Source fonts (my cutting program, SCAL, won’t cut them anyway, so not a huge drawback for my use)
- it won’t locate uninstalled font folders–a biggie for me because I don’t want to install all my fonts this go-round. I just want them on hand for temporary installation when I need them to keep from bogging down systems and programs.
So, on to the next download to experiment…
This program automatically detects folders within a folder when the main folder where the fonts are loaded is found. It keeps those folders shown as “categories” of fonts for me without having to install each subfolder.
It offers the ability to temporarily install fonts when you have the file, or entire category open. You can uninstall them later, or simply close the program to have them uninstall.
AMP has a great preview page where you can view three rows of fonts simultaneously. Handy feature.
This program looks nice on the screen, not that it matters to me as long as it’s functional, but a nice perk.
I found it tricky to figure out how to get my uninstalled font folder “categories” , but it’s do-able. (Under View, deselect “include all subfolders”). Enter a title for your category (I used My Fonts), then import each individual sub folder one at a time. This method of font file preserves your file heirarchy so in the even the font software crashes requiring a reinstall, you don’t risk having to recategorize 800 fonts. Similar to AMPs process.
This program shows all fonts in my folder in a pane, which is very nice.
Currently, I cannot see my full list of categories without scrolling due to the program wanting to give me font foundry information I don’t need. If I can figure out how to customize my screen to allow that, it will be nice.
Like AMP, it allows temporary installation of fonts, and uninstallation when the program is closed.
This is a very sharp program, well presented.
So far, I like both programs for different reasons. I’ll have to use them both a while to see which one works best for me. Stay tuned!