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Free Font Manager to Help Organize and Categorize Silhouete Studio Fonts

I get more questions about font management in Silhouette Studio than pretty much anything else.   While Silhouette Studio's font management is rather limited in the current versions of the software, there are third party software programs that can be extremely helpful especially when you're trying to sort commercial fonts and view special font glyphs and characters.

font-management-software

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.

maintype-7-0

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.  

maintype-preview

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.

character-map

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.

character-tools

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.

add-samples

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.

copy-sample

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.

copy-into-studioselect-font

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.

groups-and-tags

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).

create-a-tag

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.

display-all-tagged-fonts

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!


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17 comments

  1. Thank you!!! I've been using the Character Map and this will be so much better!

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  2. I am a Mac User and I just went to the "Nexus Font" link suggested in the post and found that it is also only for PC users. Did I overlook something?

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  3. What a nifty little piece of software! I have been using nexus font for Windows...but I think I will like this one a little more. Thanks for sharing

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  4. Awesome. I wish there was a version for mac.

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  5. I was just wondering if there is another recommended font manager for Mac...NexusFont says it is not available for Mac download :-(

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  6. I tried the link for Nexusfont for Mac, but this is for a PC. Is there different one? I also googled Nexusfont for Mac and there doesn't seem to be one.

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  7. Hello! For Mac Nexusfont not work...please, you can recomment another software for mac?

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  8. For those of us who are Mac users. a tutorial on the Nexus Font would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks.

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  9. Just downloaded the MainType 7.0 software and it looks great! So many fonts look alike; this will allow one to see the differences and so much more! Really appreciate getting this and I'm all for freebie software; my virus program checked it out; it is squeaky clean :) Thank YOU!

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  10. This software is wonderful!!!! thanks!

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  11. Thank you so much, I do machine embroidery and lots of monograms, so this software will help me selecting lettering for embroidery as well as cutting. I have downloaded it and it looks really great and I'm going to read your tutorial right now. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

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  12. For those of us who are Mac users. a tutorial on the Nexus Font would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks

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  13. Disappointed that the link for Mac Nexusfont turned out to be for PC only. Is there a Mac compatible version?

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  14. Can anyone get "Add to Sample" work when looking at glyphs? It only lets me add to sample when it is showing the Characters.

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  15. Is anyone able to "Add to Sample" when looking at glyphs? It is grayed out unless I am looking at characters.

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