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When I chose a font for a project, I always spend way too much time. I'd like to type the copy in a program, and it would be displayed in each font installed on my computer so I can compare which font is the best (in terms of kerning, etc). This is a work-intensive alternative - I don't have time to do this, and my installed fonts change often.

I remember I used to be able to do that with free apps a long time ago under Mac OS 9 (Font Image Library, Font Gander, etc), and commercial font websites let you type custom text, but I cannot find any apps that do it for installed fonts under Mac OS X.

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    There are really a few font management apps for either OS - FontXplorer, Suitcase, FontAgentPro.. just search for "font manger" you can view installed or uninstalled fonts easily. I voted to close this because A) it's not really graphic design based (maybe SuperUser.com) and B) which is "best" is really just opinion. Also, see here. – Scott Jun 25 at 20:04
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    I disagree with Ⓐ and Ⓑ but not with Ⓒ! (See what I did there?) Fonts are absolutely designs, whether they represent letters, dingbats, hieroglyphs... and 100% of designers chose fonts regularly in their workflow. And I'm not asking what's "best" - just what it's called and whether it exists. BUT you're right, this question was asked, I just didn't see it. – MicroMachine Jun 25 at 20:35
  • Viewing fonts on an OS is an OS question.. not a design question. But, that's merely my opinion. Fr what it's worth, I've used FontAgent Pro for a decade on the Mac without any complaints. – Scott Jun 25 at 20:37
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    @GerardFalla but be sure to look at the instructions for auto-activation in InDesign.... ugh :) I too thought it looked nice (although I have no interest right now in replacing FontAgent). But then, I saw there were "special" options for InDesign. I wonder how it fairs with Illustrator. – Scott Jun 25 at 20:58
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    @Scott: Comparing fonts is something that designers do more than other people. Hence designers tend to have the most experience about how to best do this. Hence it is a good question for designers, i.e., this community. Please see this Meta discussion. – Wrzlprmft Jun 26 at 8:14
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You can use the free version of FontBase, I've tried it on Windows and it works great, but I never tried on Mac.

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I have been using Font Preview for several years, and quite like it - allows multi font comparative previews of custom sample text quite easily - here's a screengrab from off my main graphics & 3D modeling machine:

enter image description here

Cheap, fast, lower system overhead than native Font Book, and easy to use.

Hope that helps.

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