• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

How do you manage your fonts?

How do you manage your fonts? Are they all installed on your machine as standard or do you keep a folder with 'special' fonts that only get installed when you need them?

Reason I ask is I have 100+ .otf and .ttf files that I have downladed, each in a seperate .zip file, and it is a pain in the backside to open the .zip files and instal each font individually - is there any eay I can extract and install them automatically? Or should I simply install them as and when they are needed?

So then - what do you do?!


Active Member
What platform are you on PC or Mac?
I know there's various software options available to both to help you manage a large number of fonts more easily...


Active Member
On a Mac I would strongly recommend suitcase fusion (by extensis) that way fonts are only activated when needed, and thanks to its plug-ins for indesign & illustrator when you open a new document it will automatically activate the needed fonts! I made the massive school boy error years ago of installing about 2,000 fonts directly into fontbook... needless to say I had to rebuild the computer....


Senior Member
try linotypes Font Explorer X, that app has saved my life! its free to download, nice and easy to use. I have like 10000+ fonts so i have the system fonts safe and sounds in the default install locations and all the rest of my fonts in on big ol folder. Then i just use font explorer to activate/deactivate what i need, it also has plugins for cs2/3 and seems to work quite well on cs4 (i havent had much time to test it) so it'lactivate any needed fonts if you open a file with a deactivated font.


Active Member
Eagle said:
I just chuck 'em all in the Fonts folder. I've about 1400 core fonts in there.
Hey Mark, you're on a PC right?
What's your memory/RAM spec, as I'm guessing that could be a drain on your systems loading that many fonts!?

With Mac, we used to use Suitcase Fusion too (at my old work) but still had a few problems with particular tyepfaces, usually ones that clients or other design companies would supply us, so might have been issues with the files themselves, never did find out for sure.
Suitcase Fusion. All the way.

Also get Font Doctor (also by Extensis), throw all your font files into one folder and put it through Font Doctor, it'll sort them all out for you, repairing any damaged or corrupt fonts (or throwing them away if they're totally f**ked) and leave you with a neat alphabetised folder. I promise, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.


Junior Member
Other than the usual suspect (Univers, Helvetica, Futura, etc.) I try to keep the fonts outside, upload into the font folder for the project that needs them, and after it's done, delete the fonts from the font folder.
Otherwise, Adobe Illustrator will take forever to start. I even delete the none-useful one that comes with the computer. Keeping only Arial, Century Gothic, Comic Sans (they say there's never an occasion for it, but who knows), Garamond, Times New Roman, and not much else.

I've never tried any font software, may be I should.


Senior Member
I've got 600 fonts currently installed in the Fonts folder on my PC. It's a definite drain on resources, but worth it, as whenever I'm designing, I go through all of them in Illustrator/Photoshop to find ones that are suitable. Having to activate and deactivate them would be far too annoying.


Active Member
Activating/Deactivating fonts seems to be more of a Mac thing, as I remember using various software to manage fonts on the Mac at my old agency job. Where as PC seems to handle them better in my experience... as it allows many, many fonts to be installed and available before any system performance issues.
I use font book on a mac, as well as a folder of all the fonts I have in a folder in alphabet folders A to Z, and I also have a folder of printed pages for every font I have on file. I only use fonts I have a genuine license for that I have purchased, as I have had corruptions from free fonts downloaded from the net that has cost me weeks of work, not to mention the money. Most fonts are so reasonable these days, that for a job is easy to bill in.



Senior Member
i used to use font book on the mac, but i found it t be a bit slow and clunky especially when you start getting a large collection of fonts. My friend tried to activate hundreds of fonts at once, needless to say font book stopped loading up and illustrator took 5 - 10 mins to load up. Anagoge some of th font management programs (fontexplorer, extensis suitcase) have an auto feature that when a font is needed it is automatically activated. You do get used to activating fonts you need, it just makes illustrator and all the rest a bit faster.
Yeah I know, but at what point do you actually need that many fonts? Most times I know in advance which font I'll need to use. I guess I am trying, as I get older, to use less fonts more effectively. I had a job where I could only use Avenir. It sucked, but it was really good for me.


Senior Member
Well im a bit of a hoarder, and i know the minute i trash a font, i'll want it for something.

With regards to knowing what fonts i need, i seem to have the most indecisive clients ever. Forever changing between helvetica, futura and half a dozen other sans serifs. I just like to have a large collection then i can just pick it out straight away without having to look around for one.

That said i am planning some mass font cull on my HD
I don't trash fonts, I pop them into a folder called extra fonts, and do a print out in case I need it later. I still have my Fuse fonts (remember Blur?) and Democratica?? Mmm they are all in that folder. It's like a museum of dodgy jobs past.

Ocassionally I'll have a need to find one of them and dig the poor fellow up and decide that they are really just too dated. It's generally only subtle, but I do like my classics and true retro's and the nineties are not quite retro.