FontAgent Pro (FAP) is
a complete font manager that optimizes and organizes your font files, and lets you
activate and deactivate fonts in both Mac OS X and Classic environments. This software
provides font management in pre-press publishing environments using InDesign, Quark
XPress, Illustrator, and Photoshop, and plug-ins are included for these apps. There
is an export capability to print out font libraries to append to jobs going to print
bureaus. Creative individuals could benefit from this software; especially, if you
do your own greeting cards, brochures, etc.. You could easily keep track of your
font sets for future recall. FAP runs native in Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, but this review
addresses the Mac OS X environment only.
$89.95 - Single User
$99.95 - Single User CD-ROM
$49.95 - Upgrade
- Mac OS X 10.2 or
- 7MB RAM
- 5MB disk space
Panther Note: FontAgent
Pro 1.3.1 is fully compatible with Mac OS 10.3.2 (Panther).
Pismo G3 powerbook
Mac OS X 10.2.8 (Jaguar)
NOTE: FontAgent 8.7.1
is included in the FAP OS X download, and installs into Applications (OS 9); therefore,
this software supports both OS 9 and OS X. OS 9 Classic users are probably familiar
with Adobe ATM which doesn't use font libraries.
Installation & Setup
I downloaded FAP 1.3.1 from Insider's software website. I had some initial difficulty
getting the proper registration key, but once it was emailed to me, I was able to
unlock the application and begin using it. The current protection method locks the
application to the computer, so if you wanted to install it on another computer,
you would need to buy another copy of FAP, as each installation requires a registration
key. If you needed to reinstall FAP, you would have to contact the company for a
FAP 1.4 update was released on December 23, 2003. This update fixes a problem in
Mac OS 10.3 Panther where multiple PostScript fonts from the same family are disabled
at the same time. I did not update to version 1.4 since I am reviewing version 1.3.1
under Mac OS 10.2.8 (Jaguar).
I setup FAP to load during start up (which is recommended, especially if you chose
to have FAP manage your System fonts). The FAP window consists of 3 empty adjustable
panes; All Fonts Pane located left side, Sets Pane located top right, & Font
Player Pane located bottom right. These panes have tabs, which are similar to Microsoft
Internet Explorer's tabs. The panes are empty until you import your fonts.
FAP supports all the font formats supported by OS X, including Mac TrueType, Type
1 Postscript, Windows TrueType, OpenType fonts, and dfont. It does not support double-byte
fonts (i.e. Asian character fonts).
In order for FontAgent Pro to manage your fonts, you must select a location for the
folder. All fonts you import will go into this folder. Important: if you want other
users on your computer to use your fonts, place the fonts folder in the /Users/Shared
and don't move it or you'll have to create it again. Also make sure all applications
are closed before optimizing or organizing fonts.
The instructions say to start by dragging your hard drive icon into the All Fonts
Pane located on the left. I would recommend breaking up your fonts into libraries
and not just dump them all as recommended, or it could slow the system down. FAP
will verify all your fonts, checking them for corruption or damage, and it will remove
them if it finds a problem. It will also look for orphaned and duplicate fonts.
If you use fonts from
different clients, create multiple font libraries. This allows you to keep track
of similar but different fonts and not cross-pollinate multiple font folders.
After dropping a folder
onto the Libraries Pane, FPA imports the fonts into a new library, which you can
rename. If you delete a library, you delete the fonts within it, which means that
the fonts have to be re-installed if you need them later. If you quit FAP, all your
fonts remain active as long as your computer is on or until you deactivate them via
The Font Player allows you to preview your font selection in a customizable text
string located in the lower right pane. You can record a font to a Set while it is
being played. Font Player only allows you to view one font at a time, but you can
select as many fonts as you like, and then save the Set of displayed fonts as a PDF
document, which you can print.
FontAgent Pro is a native Cocoa application designed to manage your fonts. Fonts
can be a constant source of corruption resulting in application crashes, font substitution,
and unexpected output between screen & printer. FAP only activates the fonts
required, thus preserving system resources. The interface is simple enough a novice
can use. If you need help, you will find it in Secrets under the Tools menu.
I like the Font Player preview windowpane and the ability to print out my font book
of projects. I would recommend this software to the regular computer user as a utility
for house keeping against font corruption. Pre-press professionals would definitely
appreciate the auto-activation feature which automatically loads the fonts when opening
InDesign, XPress, Photoshop or Illustrator. I felt uncomfortable about handing over
control of my System fonts to FAP, though the original system fonts are moved into
a new folder for retrieval if necessary. I would like to see a multiple-font preview
pane added for the future.
- Friendly pane/tab
- Auto-activation feature
- FAP will optimize
without importing fonts
- User fonts load first
- Displays font size,
color, and type
- Doesn't work with
- Lacks multiple-font
- Annoying copy protection
4 out of 5 Mice