Now using a font manager. Love letter to NexusFont. Six things I've learned.

Dear NexusFont,

Thank you. While I won't be so bold as to say - yet - that you have changed my life, it's clear that you're already making a honkin impact on my workday efficiency. For that, I am elated. Thank you for being free. Thank you for providing a donate button, too, because while the zero price tag is appreciated, a donation was a must. I'm sorry it wasn't more. Love, Me.

No matter how large my font collection has grown, I've usually been able to find what I needed with a fair amount of efficiency. Until recently, that is. Then I began noticing that when I was looking for a font - especially while working in Photoshop and most especially when I was perusing titles at the latter end of the alphabet (so many fun fonts begun with S, I've recently discovered!) my work would pause, hang up, or just take way longer than I generally have the patience to deal with.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Ahem. Or research.

So I spent a bit of time over the course of several days researching my options. That's when I discovered NexusFont. Created by Seoul-based JungHoon Noh, the free windows-based program has gotten a lot of acclaim. This is the one program that seemed to come up in reviews, lists, videos and just-plain-kudos web-based mentioned. After skimming a slew of said resources, I was sold.

The download was quick and irritation-free, and within minutes I was using it, elated while intermittently kicking myself that it took me so long to locate such a resource.

You know I'm in love with something when I take the time to bother telling you about it!

It Works Like This

Load the program, make sure "Installed" is selected in the top left panel, and to the right, every font loaded on your computer will appear in a scrollable list on the right. But not only is the name of the font visible, the sample text (which you can change at any time to suit your needs,) appears in each font, showing you how all your fonts compare. You'll quickly want to start breaking down your fonts so that certain kinds will be more easily-accessible. That's where the real fun begins...

After you've explored as far as you like, comparing and narrowing, you can then go into the program needed for your work, quickly type in the name of your chosen font and proceed without getting bogged down in viewing long, tiny lists of names.

Give Back!

I mentioned in my love letter at the beginning that Noh included a prominent Donate button on his website. I'm not proud to admit that I don't always donate when I've been given something freely such as in this case. Still, I try to remember, and particularly when the freebie proves to be such a useful resource. This was definitely one of those times.

Screenshot of NexusFont in action with numbers near key sections I've included in my blog. Click to enlarge.

6Things I've Learned about NexusFont So Far

For those readers who don't know me: my process is organic. (Also for those who don't know me: I'm only half a geek. This site is not for you if you're looking for careful and thorough technical analysis. Seriously. Those sites exist. This just isn't one of them.) I don't sit down and study a book or tutorial from beginning to end. No laboring over the ins-and-outs and teaching myself a start-to-finish list of important details. Jumping in and trying it on the fly is my way. I'll go back and learn more as time, interest, and attention span dictate. Still, I'm happy to share a few key perks of using this tool, because I think I know a few people who would appreciate it the way I do.

  1. At a glance, it tells me the number of fonts I have installed on my computer. This could be misleading; I don't have 1034 unique fonts installed. This number, best I can tell, reflects a total including every version (bold, semibold, italics, bold italics, etc.,) of every font. Handy.
  2. You can create sets of fonts. And name them what you want! So I might create a set for handwritten fonts, calligraphy, serif, sans-serif, heavy, fun... I haven't found any limits. I created a set just for the illustration in this blog post!
  3. There is a space for typing any text I like, which allows me to compare a phrase or sentence when it is rendered in all the fonts I'm considering for a project. This morning I discovered that clicking a down arrow to the right brings up past sample text, in case I need to toggle back and forth for different projects!
  4. Formatting options allow me to render fonts in various colors, sizes, and styles.
  5. In the right column you see that "Whiteboard" has a subtle gray highlight, and once this font was selected from the list, available information about this font appears in the lower left panel.
  6. See that tiny plus sign in the bottom left corner of the screen? Click it and you can add sets and groups. This was not immediately obvious to me so I had to be sure and mention it here. I haven't explored groups yet, but I'm considering (though not researching yet, because today is about efficiency and today I'm not curious enough to make the time, though you're welcome to add your own discoveries in the comments if you like!) that it's a way to include all the variations of a particular font. Time will tell. No doubt using the drop-down menu at the top will lead me to far more shortcuts and benefits.

Looking over my image now, it's evident that there's much more I could have shared with you. The designer's website link is in the lower right corner of the NexusFont panel, you can quickly see what fonts are considerably smaller than "average" (if there's an average size in font-creation... my studies haven't been thorough, though writing this makes me curious,) and the fact that there is a print button at the top that will allow you to print out (or save to PDF,) a quick-and-handy reference concerning a set of fonts, for goodness sake! So much I keep discovering. I have some additional curiosities, too. I'm looking forward to learning more.

And there you have it! My new favorite tech goodie. Outrageous to have never discovered such a tool before now, but I'm beyond thrilled that I have now. Perhaps you'll try it out too, and see if it helps with your own efficiency. I'd love to learn what you think!