Silhouette School weekly contributor Becky Dykes is here today to introduce you to one free font management software she's found extremely helpful!
Of course, we've talked about using glyphs and other extra characters with the Character Map for PC, and in Font Book for MAC users, so using glyphs and special font characters is nothing new to us seasoned Silhouette School followers (wink wink). I was chatting with another Silhouette friend of mine the other day, fussing about how small the Character Map is for PC users, that I can't hardly see the preview of the glyphs Sound familiar? We all know the frustration, and today I may have an answer for you! My friend introduced me to a free font management software, available for download, that turned my font world upside-down!
So, where can you find this free font management software? I'm glad you asked. Here is the direct link, the software is MainType 7.0 This is a software that you download to your computer, so as always, be sure you are aware of what is being downloaded. It's always good to have a nice anti-virus software in place and take other precautions to protect yourself.
There is a free version and a paid version, which unlocks a few more benefits Depending on what you use it for, the paid benefits may or may not benefit you
For today's purposes, we are using the free version. It's also important to note that this particular software is PC only.
Many MAC users swear by NexusFont for a similar type font organization and management.
Once you go through the process of downloading and installing MainType on your PC, this is what you'll see. You should see, in the middle, a list of all your active fonts - those are the ones that are both downloaded and installed on your computer.
Don't be overwhelmed by the dashboard - to start we are just going to look at two of the features to help you organized and categorize your fonts.
So to pick back up with my story, remember everyone's favorite Character Map (for PC)? It looks like this, in case you need a reminder. I've been skating by with it, but it's kind of steered me away from using glyphs unless I have to.
With MainType, you can now preview all your glyphs in a size that you can actually see! Just click on what you want to see, and it will appear in the bottom right of the screen.
Working on putting a word together? It's got that covered to! If you right-click on the glyph, you can choose Add to Sample. Whatever glyph or letter you selected will now appear in the Sample area. This is great for previewing how the letters work together before moving them into Silhouette Studio.
Once you've collected all your "sample" letters, simply highlight them, right-click and choose Copy. This will add them to your clipboard and allow you to paste them into Silhouette Studio.
Don't forget that when you paste the letters into Silhouette Studio, you'll see the rectangle shapes until you go in and choose the original font you were working with.
Another great option of the font management software is being able to tag your fonts with certain characteristics or create groups of fonts (such as holidays?). I'll use this to go back and tag all my Commercial Use and Personal Use fonts, for sure.
To tag a font, you will first select the desired font from the main list in the middle of the screen. Then go to the bottom (where it says Font Tags) and select the desire tag (or create a new one).
When you're ready to view your desired tag, such as Commercial Use, simply go the left side of the screen where it says Tag Search and click. In this case, I've tagged two of my fonts for Commercial Use, and they are displayed in the new menu.
Remember, Silhouette Studio isn't picking up the tags you've assigned though so you'll need to keep both programs running so you can cross check.
So the moral of the story is that font management software (free and paid) really adds some benefits that you may not be getting with your regular font folder or Character Map. While we haven't covered each and every aspect, be sure to go in and explore! Fonts are such an integral part of designing in Silhouette Studio, you'll definitely thank yourself later for investing this time in yourself!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!
Get Silhouette School lessons delivered to your email inbox! Select Once Daily or Weekly.