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Windows Font Management Just Got a Lot Better

Over a year ago, I posted an article describing my Font Management Woes and my search for the perfect font management application on the Windows platform. For many years, that market has been dominated on the Mac side mostly by Extensis Suitcase Fusion and for good reason. Suitcase is a fantastic font management application with both server and client side components and an interface and features set that is just right.

Extensis has had Windows versions of Suitcase for many years but neither the older version 9 nor the more recent version 11 had the same depth and features as the Mac version. That meant no search and no keywords tagging for example, both of which are absolutely essential features when managing large font libraries. Suitcase for Windows was still a great and pleasant to use application and that’s why I always came back to it even after trying other font management apps like Font Expert and MainType.

Unfortunately, MainType is rarely updated and I never really got to like it so it was out. FontExpert on the other hand really is a very decent and capable font management app but, for me, it lacks the polish and elegance that Suitcase always had. It is very feature rich but has a somewhat confusing interface. When I’m  working on a design and am looking for and am trying fonts, I want my font management app to get out of the way.

So, in the end, it was always a choice between a more powerful but less elegant app like FontExpert and Extensis Suitcase which I would have probably kept using if it wasn’t for the problems I had with it which are detailed in the article above. For the last year and more, I’d been using FontExpert and hoping Suitcase finally got a real upgrade.

Introducing Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows

But last week, everything changed. After years of waiting and requesting a Windows version of Suitcase that was on par with the Mac version, Extensis finally gave Windows users what they needed and released Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows which has feature parity with the Mac version. This means it has a lot of features that are new for Windows users and I upgraded and installed it this weekend.

Gone are the problems I had with Suitcase 11.0.1. The installation went without a hitch and I was able to quickly  import my fonts into Suitcase’s font Vault. I can now tag my fonts, search for them by name and I was happy to get back the Font Sense engine which does the most accurate job of loading missing fonts into Illustrator and InDesign than any other font management app.

The organization of the fonts list has been improved and you can tear a font preview window away from the app and “float” it on top of a design to see how that font would look in context. That alone is worth the upgrade price. Other noteworthy changes include a much more lightweight “core” that is always running, better display, glyphs viewer, etc.

All in all, it finally brings maturity to font management on Windows. If you have not been quite satisfied with your existing font management solution, give Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows a try. I highly recommend it.

Comments

  1. says

    Stal,

    What version of Windows are you running? You should find an entry for "Suitcase Fusion 2 Core" in your control panel. If you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows, that is a sub-item in "View 32-bit Control Panels". The setting to run Core at startup was not enabled for me after install but works great now after changing the setting in that control panel.

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