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Letter perfect

Font-management tools for Macintosh.

Font management isn’t the most important thing in life. At least, not usually. But sometimes all a presentation needs is a typeface that springs off the page–and that means it’s time to find the perfect font.

Vizspring Software introduced Typeset 1.6, developed to help designers come up with logos and projects. You can view all contents of a font and even uninstalled fonts as well. Typeset has an easy-to-use interface with character preview and effective font-search capabilities. Vizspring offers the shareware for a trial download, but the real version is cheap for $15.00, and compatible with OS 9 and higher.

FontAgent Pro from Insider Software is a Cocoa-based font management utility. FontAgent gets rid of invalid or partial fonts, detects duplicate font files, point sizes that don’t work, and builds extensive font libraries. It allows for font activation and deactivation, which allows only required typefaces to be used in projects, saving memory. FontAgent runs $90, for OS X or higher.

FontLab recently released TransType 2.1.2, the newest update of its font converter for OS X. TransType converts Type 1 and TrueType fonts between Mac and PC. The program lets you take any Windows font and produce an adequate Mac PostScript font suitcase and bitmap fonts, for example. The interface allows several different modes, including two-way conversion of entire font libraries. TransType, also pays special attention to code pages, encoding, suitcases, and specific features for Mac or PC platforms. The program is free to try and $97 to buy.

For better fonts in fancier design, Extensis released Suitcase 10, which focuses its resources on your creativity-based programs like Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. It makes managing and editing fonts for those programs simple and fast. Suitcase is compatible with Cocoa, Carbon, and Classic applications. It covers all its tracks by using both Apple’s FontSync technology and “Global Auto Activation,” which requires no utilities. The program is $99.95 to buy, free for a trial download, and available on OS X.

The Fontz for OS X from To The Point Software is a fairly simple and cheap font viewer and grouper. It provides manuals and rapid slide show templates for quick selection, allowing the user to change size, shape and color without pausing the show. The Fontz is also part text and style editor. What’s best is that it only costs $10–or if you can’t afford that, a shareware test version is available for download.

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