Managing fonts on your Macintosh can be confusing and tedious, even if you use a suitcase-based font-management program such as Symantec's Suitcase or Alsoft's Master Juggler. Font Reserve 2.0 takes a different approach by eliminating the suitcase metaphor and letting you manage your fonts in a database. Whether you work with dozens of fonts or just a few, it's the most comprehensive and easy-to-use font-management software available today.
The heart of Font Reserve is a database browser that lets you view and manage the fonts in your system. The program automatically scans any local or remote hard drive for fonts and then stores information about each located typeface in a database. You can also load fonts without opening the browserjust drag them into a desktop applet.
Once you've loaded the fonts, you can designate each one as temporarily or permanently open. Font Reserve also supports font activation, which speeds your workflow by automatically activating a font when you open a document that contains it. The package includes a free QuarkXTension that enables automatic font activation in QuarkXPress, but Font Reserve can also activate fonts in many other programs, including Microsoft Word, Macromedia FreeHand, and FileMaker.
Font Reserve's power is not limited to accessing fonts. Once inside the browser, you can use filters to display fonts that meet certain parametersfor example, TrueType faces that begin with the letter Q. You can sort fonts by a wide range of criteria, including type foundry and design class. You can also view and print type samples of selected fonts.
In addition to offering a font browser, Font Reserve ships with a control panel that lets you toggle the application on and off with no restarts, and hence no downtime in your workflow. The package also includes 40 Bitstream fonts. Font Reserve 2.0 is Mac OS 8.5-compatible, andthanks to the new version's support for AppleScriptit can be fully automated.
Some of Font Reserve's capabilities, such as sorting typefaces by foundry, may seem like overkill. But they show how DiamondSoft has taken a bottom-up approach to font management. Font Reserve 2.0 is more expensive than other font managers, but it is a must-have application for anyone who uses more than the standard set of Mac-resident fonts. You can also give it a trial: DiamondSoft offers a free, fully functional demo on its Web site, limited only in the number of fonts you can open.
RATING: PROS: Comprehensive, easy font management. CONS: Expensive. COMPANY: DiamondSoft (415/381-3303, http://www.fontreserve.com ). LIST PRICE: $119.95.
April 1999 page: 54