Let’s talk font managing systems, their use and how they can help you. This post may contain affiliate links. These links support this blog but never costs you anything extra to purchase thru. By using these links this helps us keep all of our information free for your use!
(All artwork in the above photo excluding the background and the cloud were all created using typed text, from fonts to graphics all ready to use in your cutting software)
Why do I need a font manager? What benefit is it for me?
- Why not utilize a free software?
- Organize your fonts by company, by commercial/personal use, or even by job
- Preview your text in the fonts you have available
- Use a large character map to see the extra glyphs or swirly characters in a PUA coded font
- Install/uninstall fonts for specific projects without slowing down the performance of your software.
Let’s start off with my favorite font manager Nexus Font. It is free, no limitations on its usage and easy to use. Download it on this site here: http://www.xiles.net/ currently it is the second software on the page. Download and install this software and let’s get started.
(As an alternative MainType available here: http://www.maintype.com/ is also a great software but is only good for 2500 fonts before having to purchase it. At $49 to $79 it’s a little pricey when you can get the same service for free)
How much fun do we have downloading tons of fonts both commercial and personal use thinking it’s just for this one project and I’m not selling so it just gets downloaded, installed and never thought about again. Now 2 months later someone has requested a design using that font and you can’t remember where you got it, did it come with a license? With a font managing system when you file away your fonts you can quickly see what fonts you have what permissions to use. You can build folders for many different reasons. I strongly suggest if you are going to use both commercial and personal use fonts you make folders for each. I also keep folders by company name, and then some by the style of the font. This cuts down on the amount of work looking for a certain style or type of font.
How do you make a new folder? Right click in your library area and make a new folder. Now when you download your fonts to your computer you can drag and drop those files into the folder you want them to land in. I keep a backup of all of my fonts and even graphics on my hard drive by the company. It makes it easier to locate if I am ever asked where I purchased the rights to use the font or graphic, it helps keep things in order. This was talked about more in a previous post about how to download and install fonts. Please visit here for more information: https://bloggingwithcherrytreedigitaldesigns.com/2017/01/13/how-to-download-and-install-a-font-to-use-in-your-silhouette-software/ Another great resource Nexus Font has is the ability to make collections. This allows you to create a place to make a list of fonts you have used in specific types of projects. You can use this for a specific customer or maybe a specific type of project like building invitations. Simply right click on collections and add a collection. When viewing your fonts you can right click on the font you want to add to a collection this will make it available under that folder. So the next time you are working on invitations or whatever collection you have made you can click on that collection and bring up all of the fonts you have stored in that location for ease of use. This will make your work faster with a click of a button.
How to add a folder to your library:
How to add a new collection folder:
A favorite thing I use my font manager system for on a regular basis is to be able to see what my typed text will look like in the fonts I have on my computer. Do you ever have a phrase you want to use but not sure what font you will want or like? Instead of seeing the full alphabet of what the font has to offer you can type in your name or phrase so you can see what it will look like in the base font.
Or you can see what each letter looks like in your fonts:
Now what I think is the most used feature is the character map. It can be enlarged so you can truly see the characters and glyphs of all of your fonts. Examples of the usage would be for accented letters, the heart in MF I Love glitter font, or even all the special characters in PUA coded fonts like Samantha. This character map unlike the windows character map installed on your computer it allows you to make the screen much larger and easier to view when picking the glyphs you would like to use. This can be especially helpful when using fonts called dingbats (dafont.com is full of them please click the blue words to follow the links to the products) these fonts instead of having letters are actually images. These images are typed on your computer just like a font, is ready to cut in your cutting software, are scaleable without becoming grainy and are a great resource for add on’s to your designs as long as their permissions are within your usage.
This will bring up this box that you can size as small or large as you would like by grabbing the corner and stretching it:
Another great feature of the software is to be able to quickly and easily install or uninstall a font on your computer with a simple click of the mouse. The fewer fonts you have installed on your computer the faster your software will load. When I start a project I start with my font manager and start seeing what fonts I would like my project to end up in. I will use the feature to see what my typed text will look like in several fonts, put them into a collection, and then install them. At that time I will open up my software of choice be it, Silhouette Cameo, Cricut Design Space, Adobe Illustrator or any others I will be working with for that project. When I’m finished I can go back into that collection and uninstall them till next time. This helps greatly to keep your software running quickly and smoothly. On average you should keep around 500 fonts installed at any given time unless you have 16 gigs of ram or better high-end end processor. These things will help you open up software quicker and not bog down your system. So using the font manager system you free up your resources for enjoying creating!
One last feature of the software has a place to where you can see the embedded metadata that is inserted into font when it is created. This information is useful for seeing who the maker is, a possible website to go to in order to see other products the designer may have, file name, and size.
To see some of this in action while I work with the software please check out this video:
To add your fonts to your newly made folders in your library check out this short video!