Sometimes a product is so seamless that you take it for granted and don’t bother with updates. In the case of Adobe Type Manager (ATM), that would be a mistake. While not exactly a quantum leap over version 4.0, ATM 4.5 adds a host of small and medium-size features that make it even more indispensable for the typographically inclined.
For many, the biggest selling point will be ATM’s new compatibility with Mac OS 8.5 and 8.6. The previous version usually worked with Mac OS 8.5, but not always; users reported a variety of incompatibilities, including many that led to system freezes with some programs. In our testing, the new version didn’t cause such system hang-ups, although some problems may remain for specific programs.
But what we like most about ATM 4.5 are the improved font-management functions. For example, when ATM finds a damaged font, it highlights that suitcase icon to make it easier to find. And you can now copy all the fonts in a set to a new locationperfect for desktop publishers who need to give their service bureaus copies of fonts for output.
Other handy features include the ability to search for fonts by name and have ATM find and delete duplicate fonts. The new version also offers better compatibility with Adobe Acrobat 4.0, which can now use ATM’s font list when printing. In addition, ATM now includes the updated Adobe Type Reunion 2.5. Less useful is ATM 4.5’s ability to create temporary font sets; it seems just as easy to create a set and then deactivate or delete it if you don’t need it any longer.
There’s still room for improvement; for example, ATM 4.5’s font cache uses three times as much RAM as version 4.0’s did for the same set of fonts on our test system (1MB versus 384K), and the 15 included fonts are ho-hum designs you’re not likely to use. In addition, Adobe Type Reunion won’t work with QuarkXPress 4.0X’s palettes, although it works fine with the Font menu; the company says a fix is in the works.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
Adobe Type Manager 4.5 is a must-have upgrade for current ATM users; publishing-oriented users simply depend on fonts too much not to take advantage of the program’s improved stability and management abilities. With the new version, you’ll once again be able to take ATM for granted.