Wrangling Fonts on Windows

June 7, 2005 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

On April 29, 2005, Adobe quietly stopped selling their font management utility, ATM Deluxe. It went out with a whimper in a TechNote:

Actually, Adobe had already announced back in 2002 that they'd stopped development of ATM Deluxe. The TechNote is the final notice that not only can't you buy it anymore, but you won't be able to get person-to-person tech support for ATM Deluxe issues after December 31, 2005.

By now, most Mac users have already weaned themselves off of ATM Deluxe. It was never compatible with OS X and was unsupported in Classic. But for Windows-based designers, ATM Deluxe was the most popular solution for font management across all their applications.

The TechNote recommends that Windows users try Extensis' Font Reserve or Suitcase. But there's another solution you may want to look at:

FontExpert 2004 (aka FontExpert v6)

FontExpert is a $35 Windows-only program that manages Type 1, TrueType, and OpenType fonts just like the big boys, and it's received great reviews. It can find damaged fonts, print out font samples, and runs on Windows 98, 2000, ME, NT, and XP.

Best of all, Proxima offers a fully-functional 30-day demo of FontExpert, downloadable on their site.

If you're using WindowsXP, do you know about ClearType? It's Microsoft's enhanced font display technology that makes screen type much easier to read in all your Windows apps, especially on laptops and stand-alone LCD displays.

The thing is, if you installed or upgraded to XP yourself, it's probably turned off. (If you bought a new PC running Windows XP, it's probable, though not definite, that the manufacturer enabled it before they shipped it to you.)

To turn it on, right-click on the Desktop and choose Properties. Then in the Appearance tab, press the Effects button, turn on the checkbox next to "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts " and finally choose ClearType from the drop-down menu. Click the OK and Apply buttons as usual.

Alternatively, you can turn it on and fine-tune it for your display via Microsoft's web-based wizard, or by downloading the ClearType "XP Power Toy" from their web site.

ClearType via the web:

ClearType via the Power Toy:


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