capsule review

You Control: Fonts 1.1

Of the colorful names my Macworld coworkers call me, “type geek” is my favorite. So it’s no surprise that I love You Control: Fonts 1.1.1, a utility from You Software that adds a WYSIWYG font menu to the OS X menu bar. But the $30 You Control: Fonts will appeal to all Mac users whose taste for type goes beyond the basic Times Roman.

Even the font menus in programs for graphics professionals, such as QuarkXPress and Adobe Photoshop, use one bland typeface to represent both Housearama-LeagueNight and Gill Sans Ultra Bold. If you have more than a few specialty typefaces, remembering their nuances and choosing the right one for each occasion can be difficult. You Control: Fonts makes your choice easier by displaying the name of every font in its own typeface.

You determine the font menu’s complexity; for example, you can show all available fonts divided by family, recently used fonts, or font format type.

You can control the font preview size— a plus for people who squint at the default 12-point type. You can also set as many as four additional display sizes that appear when you mouse over a fly-out triangle. This size array is helpful when your preview point size is relatively small but you’re searching for typefaces that display well at much larger sizes. You can quickly apply any of those sizes to selected text in a supported program (including QuarkXPress 6.X; Adobe Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, and InDesign CS; Macromedia Flash MX and FreeHand MX; Microsoft Word v. X and Word 2004; Microsoft PowerPoint 2004; and Apple Keynote).

Another feature that cuts down on typing is the ability to choose a hot-key combination that, when pressed, places the You Control: Fonts menu at your cursor.

Because I have a large font library, there was a lag of a few seconds between the moment I clicked on the You Control: Fonts menu and when the WYSIWYG menu appeared. To shorten the delay, You Software suggests that you group fonts in OS X 10.3’s Font Book and then deselect You Control: Fonts’ Show Fonts and Inline options in the program’s preference pane. While this workaround does the job, the time it takes to group fonts is irritating.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

Because Extensis’s Suitcase and Font Reserve type managers have WYSIWYG preview panes, some people may feel that You Control: Fonts 1.1.1 is unnecessary. But I find that its accessible, customizable menu and hot-key shortcut time-savers are worth more than its price.

Regardless of the application you’re in, you access the You Control: Fonts menu from the same location in OS X’s menu bar.
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