Monday, January 05, 2009

Linotype FontExplorer updated

Linotype FontExplorer X for the Macintosh has been a free download for a long while. Like many other users, I switched to it awhile back and have been pleased with it, especially considering the price. LinoType has now revised FontExplorer X, giving it a new name (FontExplorer X Pro), adding a server version, offering support and documentation...and deciding to charge for the product. I can't blame them for charging. It's awfully hard to make money on a free product! Linotype is selling the "Pro" version for an introductory price of $39 through 2/28/2009.

You can still download the free version, but it will not be developed further, and at some point I assume an OS X system update will come along that will make this version no longer function properly.

Font management for the Macintosh has come a long way in the last couple of years, with capable font managers available from Linotype, Insider Software (FontAgent Pro 4) and Extensis (Suitcase Fusion 2). You really can't go wrong using the latest versions of any of these products. Each one has a slightly different focus and strengths and weaknesses. All three companies offer a server version to help manage fonts in workgroup settings also.


Julie Oakley said...

I don't know, if you redirect people to the linotype site to buy missing fonts every time they open a document they don't own the font for, you probably make a tidy income

Keith Gilbert said...

Julie, true, but I've always suspected that many people simply turn that option off.

Guillermo Velasco said...

I allways wonder how a great app like FontExplorer was free of charge. It's normal that they went to Pro. I like it very much.
Thank you for the post.

concrete said...

Thanks for the tip on the FEX Pro (did you have insider knowledge or were just watching that site very closely?, I saw your blog entry on the day and only commenting now.

I purchased a few licences of FEX Pro on the day, and loving it!!! The only thing I can say it does not find all duplicates!! Had a weird duplicate thing going after the update to Pro. Apart from that all great.

Would like for you to compare the top 3 font managers that being FEX Pro vs Fusion vs FAP if you are up for it.

I think Master Juggler is out of the running... though a few are still holding on for Adobe to re-make ATM.

I see a another font manager on the horizon
will it be a viewing toy or the real mccoy?

cheer Paul

Keith Gilbert said...

Concrete: Thanks for the link to Fontcase...I wasn't aware of that one. I'll have to keep my eye on it. Another interesting font manager to watch is

concrete said...

TypeDNA!!.. wow it looks like it is a Adobe Air build? Will keep an eye on that too, thanks

Anonymous said...

Linotype was OK as a free app, but now that we've got to pay for it... I don't know if it's worth switching from what I use at work.

opeter said...


what font manager do you use at work?

I would also like to see/read about a comparison between FontAgent 4 Pro, Suitcase Fusion 2 and the new Lintotype FontExplorer 2 Pro...

Keith Gilbert said...

Ted Locascio has an in-depth comparison of Suitecase Fusion 2, Font Agent Pro 4 and FontExplorer X Pro in issue 28 of InDesign Magazine (