PROS / FontExpert includes a plugin for Adobe Indesign versions 2, 3, 4 and 5.
CONS / It doesn't manage font licenses and doesn't include additional plugins.
VERDICT / FontExpert does the job effectively but doesn't include more advanced features.
Font manager software includes a number of powerful features to assist you in managing the extra fonts you keep on your computer. FontExpert wins the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award for its extensive feature set including InDesign plugins. The program does lack some advanced viewing and web functions, but it performs all the essential functions you will need in software packages like this.
FontExpert has all the most important features in font manager software. One particularly useful feature is the plugin for InDesign available for versions 2, 3, 4 and 5. The plugin allows you to autoactivate that you only need for particular InDesign files. The fonts will activate when a file is open and will deactivate when you close the file again. However, FontExpert's competitors also offer plugins for Photoshop and Illustrator.
This font software also protects your fonts by not allowing you to delete system fonts that are required in order for Windows to work properly. When we tried to delete a system font, Windows 7 gave us the following prompt, "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes on this computer?" Whether we answered yes or no, the program still gave us the message, "Cannot delete file C:\Windows\Fonts\...." Some system fonts are included in the programming for the operating system, so they are important to maintain.
FontExpert allows you to uninstall fonts without deleting them. Uninstalling, or deactivating, fonts means that the fonts are not included in the font folder on the control panel. Fonts that are located on the control panel are available for use in all your applications. Instead, the font manager stores uninstalled fonts on a centralized inactive folder for later use. The ability to activate or deactivate fonts when needed is essential for any font management software, as it helps to reduce the drag on your system that often happens when you have lots of extra fonts activated. Computers take longer to process multiple font files because they include special hinting instructions so that fonts will appear uniformly in any color or point size.
In this font software package, fonts can be placed in groups for easy activation or deactivation. The Worklist within the font manager allows you to make a copy of all the fonts on your computer so that you can easily view and compare them when you need to select fonts for a project you're working on. The software allows you to adjust the point size of fonts, to view different sample texts and to insert your own custom sample text.
FontExpert's search engine function searches for the terms within the font names themselves as well as tags you assign them. Although no tags have been installed with each font, the software allows you to assign tags to each of your fonts to facilitate more productive searches. These tags are particularly useful when you work with hundreds, even thousands, of fonts. The search engine function in this font manager also identifies duplicates.
The font software allows you to back up your fonts on one computer or external hard drive and restore them on another computer for disaster recovery purposes. FontExpert also allows you to collect fonts for output, a function that really helps when you need to send fonts associated with an InDesign file to your colleagues or to a professional printer. The font manager will place selected fonts in a folder on your desktop which can easily be compressed for easy transmittal.
The software allows you to view different kinds of fonts, including PostScript, TrueType and OpenType fonts and allows you to print font samples. However, it doesn't include features to help you manage the licenses of the fonts you have purchased, nor does it include access to an online font store.
Ease of Use
FontExpert, like most font managers, has a lot to offer but only when you understand what the software can do for you. Windows provides basic font management functions, such as installing and uninstalling fonts off the control panel, so font management software should provide this function, serve as a font viewer and more.
Although FontExpert is well-equipped with powerful features, some of the functions that occur automatically in other font managers have to be performed manually, which means that you have to really know what you're doing.
During our tests, the software package carried through on performing tasks we asked it to do.
Help & Support
FontExpert's website includes contact information for a customer service agent or technical support specialist. It also includes tutorials and frequently asked questions. The software comes with an electronic user manual. The font manager is designed for Windows operating systems and is compatible with 7, Vista and XP.
FontExpert is a well designed program that includes all the essential features of a font manager, including the ability to install and uninstall fonts, search and compare fonts, and export fonts for easy transmittal with Adobe files. It also includes InDesign plugins for versions 2, 3, 4 and 5. We are impressed with this program but note that is lacks more advanced features held by its competitors.