Font Management Solution: Bitstream Font Navigator

Just yesterday, out of sheer desperation, I called out for a font management solution for Windows. One that was fast, easy, and supported OpenType. Today, I found the solution, and to my surprise it’s the program I’ve been using all along!

Bitstream Font Navigator 5

I have used Bitstream Font Navigator 4.0 for ages. It’s worked flawlessly. The left pane shows all your fonts, or allows you to browse, the right pane shows installed fonts. You can drag and drop between the two panes. Bottom left holds font groups, and bottom right holds a preview. Fantastic. So much the more pain that Font Navigator 4 didn’t support OpenType.

I looked on Bitstreams website for updates, but the product had been discontinued. I thought that meant the end of using Font Navigator, so I started looking at other solutions. I tried Font Expert 2004 and Typograf, the latter which was the best of the choices. Neither was nowhere near Font Navigator.

While searching, however, I found that Corel had purchased Font Navigator from Bitstream, and to my joy had continued developing it! Only, it was part of their CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, and had been so since Bitstream sold it to them.

Download

It is ironic, that the best font management solution on the Windows platform, ever, can only be obtained as a secondary sub-product of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Such a product deserves a packshot and a price tag.

Fortunately, a trial download of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is available, and Font Navigator 5.0 build 118 is included. Even better, the version of Font Navigator 5 that comes along with this trial seems to have no limitations whatsoever. Once downloaded, Bitstream Font Navigator 5 resides in the “Utilities” section of the installer. On the downside, you have to open a free account at Corel, and download a whopping 186 mb trial version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, only to get 700 K worth of font management. But it is worth it. So go. Go now!

Features of Font Navigator 5

Just to add further incentive to going through this hassle, Bitstream Font Navigator 5 sports the following features.

  • Postscript Type 1 & 3, OpenType and TrueType support
  • The ability to cycle through fonts for quick preview
  • Drag & drop installation / uninstallation of fonts
  • Ability to create font groups
  • “Find-as-you-type” font list search
  • No “Time-Out”—Software will work forever

So is this shebang free? Well, for all I can tell, it certainly seems so. For one, it is officially available in a trial download. Secondly, while the main applications of the trial are definately limited, Font Navigator seems to have no restrictions at all. Too good to be true? Let’s hope not.

64 Responses to “Font Management Solution: Bitstream Font Navigator”

  1. Basil Crow says:

    You don’t have to register, just download:

    CorelDRAWGraphicsSuite12.exe

  2. Kevin Airgid says:

    Actually I fond a free-ware font view that does the same thing. No hassles or registration nessary. You can find it here:

    Ampsoft FontViewer

  3. yoyomaster says:

    You don’t need to run the demo installer. Simply unpack the CorelDRAWGraphicsSuite12.exe to a temporary folder then unpack a few of the necessary font navigator files from the Data1.cab file. These few files are: FontNav.exe, FontNav.hlp, FontNav.cnt, dunzip32.dll, Fn3Res.dll. That’s all you need! Some of the files may have a “6” at the end of the file extension, FontNav.exe6 or dunzip32.dll6 for example. Just rename these few files by taking the “6” off the end of the extension. Put these extracted files into a folder of your choice, make a shortcut to the FontNav.exe and you are done. Once the exe is run the first time it makes a Cache, Data, and Groups folders but that’s no big deal. The whole thing is only 2.4MB, you can compress these and move it to any machine you’d like without the huge demo installer or having to install anything else not needed by actually running the installer.

    Cheers

  4. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I suggest font book of course it means you gotta get a mac.

  5. Dieter says:

    I agree, fontnav is/was the best tool I got to know (although I definitely do not agree on the Corel vs Adobe topic, but that’s an off-topic). But even FontNav is way off what I would like to see, which is:

    • at least three panes in one window (fonts list (font families!), sets list, preview) – this fontnav has, but not many others
    • font sets with more than one levels (sub-sets of sets) – the only one I saw with this feature is Typograf
    • a powerful search function, where you can give the fonts any number of attributes (or tags) and then select one or more attributes and only the fonts with all these attributes are shown (alternatively the attributes is equal to the sets).

    this feature can be found in adobe photoshop album and acdsee for images. for me this feature would be most important and I just do not understand why this does not exist. Maybe it’s just my odd way of organizing the fonts, but I have sets for body text/headings, sans serif/serif, monospaced, ancient/futuristic/etc. with this feature I could quickly find a font which is a futuristic, sans serif font suitable for body text, just by checking all those attributes. I could go crazy how simple this is but I searched forever and could not find this.

    • specifying the location of the font sets folder.

    I have the fonts on my server and would like to access all fonts and sets from different locations. Unfortunately FontNav does not have this feature :-(

    So, I am sorry, that I can not provide any solution, but only share your sad feelings…

  6. afifio says:

    Hi, I haven’t tried FontNav yet (downloading) but here some suggestion for those looking for font software.

    http://www.chez.com/fontograph/utilities.htm

    FontHit

    By the way…. We have long file name but why font file name still cryptic ? Any filename.ttf –> Font Name Bold Italic.ttf converter software ? Why ? Cause I have almost 8 Terminal font with different name and that is wasting space, furthermore isn’t it easy to look at just filename and know whats font is it instead of albr85w.ttf. I’m in the process of converting the filenames. Currently I’m doing it half-manually with FontHit HTML capability.

    Another thing … is there any software that can REALLY can tell OpenType and TrueType font ? Lots of .ttf is actually OpenType (.otf) and I’m grouping it to these types. Even Windows is confused (TTF icons for Opentype but Windows font viewer correctly report OpenType). Just my 2 cents.

  7. domindian says:

    to comment the post of mr.yoyomaster who told us (thank you) which files are required to run font navigator 5 without installation of the corel appz:

    he said the files needed (from the extracted data1.cab) were:

    FontNav.exe, FontNav.hlp, FontNav.cnt, dunzip32.dll and Fn3Res.dll.

    I think there is for certain functions also the Fn3API.dll needed.

    And there is also a helpfile called readme.hlp for the fontmanager.

    lg

    d~

  8. Suzy says:

    I’m using the X-Fonter. (http://www.blacksunsoftware.com)
    The interface is straightforward and easy and the price is pretty good compared to the others I’ve seen.

    I find Font navigator a bit too simple also.

  9. dave says:

    I am having a problem installing the Corel 12 demo.
    The in stall wizard says interupted can ot comeplete, select finish to exit.

    Any help???

  10. OSQ says:

    Dave, just open the data1.cab -file with the file (de)compression app of your choice (winzip, zipgenius…) and unpack the above mentioned files to your hd and run FontNav.exe. That’s it! Unless you WANT to install the whole software and not just Font Navigator. But in that case, i’m afraid i can’t help… :)

    And a HUGE thanks to yoyomaster and domindian for the tip! Cheers! :)

  11. Jill says:

    I’m going to dry this Font Navigator to see if it will work for me too. However , I have an additional question if someone has any advice. I want to be able to divide my fonts into categories (folders), but I don’t want them ‘uninstalled’ in the process. Typograf is the closest thing I’ve run across so far, but it won’t let me put the fonts in folders w/o uninstalling them. I know this may not be clear what I am trying to accomplish, but maybe someone can help anyways? Thanks!

  12. Ken says:

    Interesting that the service pack for Corel 12 doesn’t update font manager to the latest so I am going to be downloading the trial version as well.

    I haven’t liked OpenType fonts as Corel 12 has not been autoinstalling them. Perhaps latest version 118 will fix that? vs 108

    The other issue I have with FontMinder was its preference of installing type 1 instead of TrueType when autoinstalling fonts when opening a file within Corel 12. I’ld love to know a registery switch that would install True Type or Open Type 1st if available and if automatic.

    Ken

  13. kevin says:

    I tried FontNav… it feels like a Windows 3.1 application… and a bit to old-school for me…. Like someone above I’ve tried

    X-Fonter

    and really like it.. thinking about buying a copy… it’s cheap!

    http://www.blacksunsoftware.com/

  14. Ken says:

    Correction;

    I downloaded the trial version of Corel as this thread mentioned the version was 118 but in fact it was the 1.08 I already have so if you already own Corel 12 and have in fact downloaded the latest service pack you have the latest Font Navigator.

    As previously stated I don’t like the fact that it requires manually installing open type fonts in Corel Draw but thats better than nothing. I would recommend anyone upgrading to Corel 12 to not upgrade the fonts if they have version 9. Then you would only have Truetype and ps fonts which would auto install.

    In fact Corel 9 with service pack 2 is more stable for me. Corel 12 seems to have the color manager switch on its own amongst other things. Better to work in Corel 9 and only use 12 when you want to save a customers file back to 9. Of course if you try opening a 12 file with 9 the file woulld appear blank.

    Ken

  15. Jim W says:

    The font manager I miss is FontMinder. It was introduced by a company called Ares Software in 1990. They were also responsible for some other well-regarded typographic software now long gone: FontStudio, FontMonger, FontHopper, FontFiddler, and the most unique software of them all, FontChameleon. In 1997, Adobe bought the company in order to kill all that creativity. For a very short while they supported FontMinder, only to merge some pieces of it int ATM. In terms of functionality and appearance, Font Navigator mirrors it somewhat. I have been using FN for some time now and find that it feels somewhat kludgey compared to FM. However, when you’re not near the one you love, love the one you’re near. I am glad to hear about this way of getting FN updated.

    Thanks for the link to Corel.

  16. George says:

    Hi Folks,

    at one time I had the perfect Font manager, unfortunately I do not remember which one was it. It did everything in the background on the fly. Had to uninstall all but the system fonts, and then anything you picked was installed by the time you hit a key. At the time I had to stop using it because WP had nonconforming font handling, and I had to have fonts installed anyway. Now I am not using WP because my RICOH printer is incompatible with it… … so at least would want to get back the font manager. Anybody knows which one was it

  17. Stanley says:

    I was looking for a font manager software recently. Have tried Font Navigator and X-Fonter mentioned above. Basically they do the preview job. But I found some Korean and Chinese fonts on my font CDs cannot be recognized, and no character map for them. The interface of X-Fonter is a bit complicated, too.

    After tryout of dozens of font programs, I picked Font Fitting Room developed by ApoliSoft . It has all the features I want : simple and modern interface, fast preview speed, supporting all font types(ttf, otf, open type,etc.), even for the 2-bytes code page fonts, character map in Unicode range. The navigation bars are straightforwards for easily switching between installed, uninstalled font folder and grouped font sets. Now it becomes one of my on hand tools.

  18. Dot_desig says:

    I’ve tryed them all Mac and Pc…

    So, on Apple there is no choice the only one that does the job is suitcase don’t bother try ather products…

    On Pc best so far really is BT Font Navigator, it lacs some on functionalities of Mac OS – as auto font activation- but is way better than Suit case pc version, another one that I tried was font expert 2005 that as some interesting features like detecting damaged fonts but be careful it’s buggy test all your fonts before sending them to recycle.

    If any PC programmer read this do something about this font managing problems bring us close to MAC OS develope some kind of auto activation…. please… there were future is…

  19. Just download and extracted the files from the trial EXE. It worked! I have been looking for an update to Font Navigator 4 for OpenType support for some time now. Thanks to Google for bring up this page. And, of course, thanks to you folks here as well!

  20. Kim says:

    Although not free I recommend MainType from High-Logic.

    MainType is the most advanced font manager I’ve ever seen. It has an awesome user interface and it supports all font formats. The thing I love the most is the character grid that shows all characters available in your fonts.

    Although I’m still using the trial version, I’ll definitely buy it before the 40-day trial period expires.

  21. Mike says:

    FYI Fontminder was developed into Font Navigator, I believe.

    Font Navigator did have a setting to choose which of duplicate fonts shd get priority. Can’t check as I’m now trying MainType, which looks to be the best yet…

  22. Gareth says:

    i am in the middle building a very simple font viewer in flash.. i will post it here when i am done.

  23. Gareth says:

    i am in the middle building a very simple font viewer in flash.. i will post it here when i am done.

  24. filip says:

    Having poblems with Font Navigator (every now and then corrupting fonts, especially arial) and searching for alternatives, i found this site and tried the few suggested progamms.

    i can only subscribe to the comment from Kim (see above). The best font manager for me seems to be MainType from High-Logic. It’s far better than font navigator and the others mentioned here.

  25. Kevin Airgid says:

    I recently purchased X-Fonter 5.4 (for $25 bucks) … it’s well worth it and does everything you need. Font-sets, visual browsing of un-installed fonts etc. I found messing with “free” or other stuff… isn’t worth it. For $25 bucks you can’t go wrong!

    http://www.blacksunsoftware.com/xfonter.html

    cheers!

  26. Sherm says:

    One font manager that seems to be forgotten is Extensis Suitcase (www.extensis.com). They’ve been around for years on the Mac, and have had a Windows version for about 10 years. They’re a little pricier ($79) than the other font managers listed here, but a solid program. I particularly like the drag and drop capabilities (vs. the Find Fonts menu command in Font Nav).

    I also was a big fan of Ares FontMinder. Adobe had included features from FM in Adobe Type Manager for awhile, until Windows and Mac systems no longer REQUIRED a font rendering program for viewing Postscript Type 1 fonts.

    Sherm

  27. For inquiring minds, there is no update to FontNav in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3. It’s identical down to the build number.

  28. g says:

    Hi, I visited this page ages ago, and been very happy using FN, and now I’d like to add this other software:

    FontHit.

    It’s such an amazing app, it has a recursive folders view, it will list and show a preview of all the fonts inside a folder and it’s subfolders. This single feature made me fall in love with it.

    Another great feature is that it creates categories ON THE FLY. For example go to a fonts directory, and it will automatically create an alfabethical category, a styles category (show only Bold, or only SansSerif), and a filetype category (show only OTF, TTF, PS, etc). Oh, and a character sets category.

    You must think: “Damn, this will cost $300 dollars”. No, you’re wrong. It’s freeware.

    It’s like a best kept secret.

    bye!

  29. thinsoldier says:

    I’ve been up all night going through the links in the comments.

    I think x-fonter has potential bu there’s just something about it I don’t like…cant find the right words…just something… and when load/unload fonts in it the change doesnt happen immidiately in other programs.

    The-font-thing crashes when I try to load a font temporarily without copying it to the windows font folder.

    Have decided to go with High-logic’s Main Type. Font activation/deactivation seems instant (at least with MS Word), interface is quick and responsive, can perform actions on multiple fonts and not have to wait, It sees all types of fonts I have including post script, raster, etc…(just have to set the filter to stop hiding them)

  30. david says:

    hi i’m trying to get font Navigator 5

    is there anyway anyone can email me font navigator 5. i would download the trial but my connection is slow. it’s only a couple of small files. please help.

    versuviusx [at] yahoo [dot] com

  31. g says:

    Hi David, check your mail!

    bye

  32. JR says:

    I am trying FontHit right now, and it is pretty nifty for freeware.

    I dont see an on/off switch, though. Maybe I’m missing it.

    But otherwise, the auto-categories within styles is awesome.

    I like the preview of a bunhc of fonts at once, and the ability to choose a preview text, with wildcards for font name.

    Nice freeware.

  33. CharlieT says:

    Msg to g

    Couple of weeks ago you did a favor for david re font navigator 5. Would you please do me the favor also?

    charlietango[at]gmail[dot]com

    Thank you.

  34. g says:

    done Charlie! sent at the address above

    bye

  35. Joen says:

    A small bug report for those of you using Font Navigator:

    • If you use a multi-screen setup and need to update your font database (i.e. search for new fonts), make sure Font Navigator is located on your primary screen.

      Otherwise, you won’t be able to click in the checkboxes next to the drives you want to search.

  36. g says:

    Hi, FontNavigator is crashing everytime I try to install a font :(

    me so sad

    Any tips or ideas?

    thanks

  37. Joen says:

    g said:

    Hi, FontNavigator is crashing everytime I try to install a font :(

    Try uninstalling your font navigator, reinstalling, and then update your font database by clicking File > Find Fonts.

    If that doesn’t work, then I don’t know what will… has Font Navigator worked for you before ?

  38. JR said:

    I am trying FontHit right now, and it is pretty nifty for freeware.

    I dont see an on/off switch, though. Maybe I?m missing it.

    But otherwise, the auto-categories within styles is awesome.

    I like the preview of a bunhc of fonts at once, and the ability to choose a preview text, with wildcards for font name.

    Nice freeware.

    What a piece of crap. It can’t even delete or move selected fonts! I don’t recomend.

    • komakaze says:

      Alexandre Roberto Pereira,

      I also tried FontHit and was not impressed. It seems slow to view large font folders and lacks features. FontHit also requires .Net1.1.4322 which has known compatibility issues with Win 7 if you use IIS (wasn’t a problem for me).

      Font Navigator is the best font management software I’ve used on Windows and it’s free.
      Pros – make font groups, filtering options for serif / san-serif / PostScript / TrueType etc, only needs to catalogue all your fonts once then performs quite quickly (pity NexusFont doesn’t seem to do the same)
      Cons – requires you to click through the UAC dialogue on Win7 every time you run it. Solution: set it up in TaskScheduler with “full privileges” and then create a shortcut. Search “Bypass UAC for Standard Users” for instructions how to do this on VistaForums.

      NexusFont is free and still being developed so I think it has potential for the future, just currently too slow for large font libraries.

      AmpFontViewer also seems to slow for browsing large font libraries.

  39. g says:

    Hi mr Joen, sorry for the late post. I uninstalled font navigator 5, re-installed it and nothing, nada, zero, still crashed. Tried to get it working uninstalling corel but still nothing. The strangest thing is that it worked great for the past year, so I don’t know what happened.

    Now I’m trying Extensis Suitcase, and so far so good.

  40. nicholas says:

    was looking for this old program! thanks for the reminder and sleuthing

  41. victor says:

    i just bought a mac and im trying to use both in my mac and pc only open type fonts to be able to work in one or another the same file, do you have any suggestion on what font manager i’d use.

  42. Kevin Airgid says:

    I have used this tool to convert mac > pc and pc > mac fonts… works very well:

    http://fontlab.com/Font-tools/TransType/

    Also for the past few months I’ve been using this tool, works very, very well on the PC:

    http://www.blacksunsoftware.com/xfonterg.html

  43. katharine says:

    Thank you so much for explaining what was going on! I was going through the same thing with wanting to use FN but being frustrated by the lack of Open Type Support. I was trying to find the latest version of it, and luckily stumbled across this article, which explained it all.

    And also thanks tebo for uploading the files!!

  44. […] Bitstream Font Navigator 5 This is merely a weblog entry about this guy’s favorite Font Manager. Apparently it’s a bit complicated to get hold of this program, unless you already have Corel Draw installed. If not you’ll need to d/l a trial version, which comes with a free version of Bitstream Font Navigator 5. […]

  45. FYI Font Navigator IS available for purchase from Bitstream. Here is a reply to an email I sent yesterday:

    “Although it is not currently advertised on our website, you can purchase a single-user copy of Font Navigator 5.0 (the most current version) for $49.95. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance. If you would like to call and place an order, the toll-free number for the Bitstream Retail Sales Department is 1-800-522-3668.”

  46. Annonymous says:

    Very impressed with the instructions to get Bitstream Font Navigator working without going through the installation process for CorelDraw.

    Fantastic stuff, as I have wanted to have this program working like this for ages.

    Many thanks.

  47. Deborah Taylor-Pearce says:

    As a long time CorelDRAW user, I’ve been using Bitstream Font Navigator for many years, and was thrilled when support for OpenType fonts was added. However, BT Font Navigator still doesn’t work perfectly (at least, not on my system).

    I’m running Font Navigator version 5.0.0, build 108, which is the version that shipped with CorelDRAW 12 and CorelDRAW X3 (and I’ve since updated my Corel Suite X3 — which is what I run at the moment — to Service Pack 2, version 13.0.0, build 739).

    So I should have the latest version of Font Navigator on my system.

    The only problem I’ve encountered with managing OT fonts is that I can’t delete them from a font suitcase (aka font group). I can delete TT and T1 fonts just fine, but the only way I know to delete an OT font from one of my font groups is to delete the entire font group, and build it anew, without the unwanted OT fonts.

    I’m in the throes of upgrading my OS from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, reinstalling Font Navigator 5, encountering the exact same problems with deleting OT fonts from a font group, and looking for a better solution.

    My present work-around is tedious, and since so many others are raving about Font Navigator, I’m wondering if I’m the only one having this problem???

    • Holgi says:

      Deborah Taylor-Pearce,

      Well, two years later than your post: Yes, have the same problem that OTF fonts can’t be deleted from a font group… This seems to be a bug…

      Tried Font Navigator 5 Build 108
      and Font Navigator 2006 Bild 108
      (well, this seems so be basically the same old version just renamed…)

      Any solution known to this?
      Regards, Holgi

  48. mo says:

    i should always do a search on your blog before going to google haha

  49. Kathy says:

    Hi, I can see I’m a long way behind the other posters here but thanks for your information on Bitstream Font Navigator. I tried the instructions a long way into the comments to extract just the Font Navigator bit but I’m afraid it hasn’t worked. I wondered if you’d be able to do as you had for others who posted here, and send the file to my email please?

    PS, I see you’re fractal lover too. I’ve tinkered with fractal art programs for years.

  50. Kenzie says:

    Thank you so very much for this discussion about Bitstream Font Navigator.

    I’m setting up my new Win 7 machine and Bitstream Font Navigator ver. 2 (which shipped with Word Perfect) would not allow me to install fonts. I couldn’t find version 3, which I have somewhere on another machine.

    I downloaded Corel Draw trial version from the link you provided in this thread and the auto-installer allowed me to choose what I wanted to install ( Bitstream Font Navigator only) AND it’s Verson 6.0!

    It’s slick and it works fine with my WIN 7 machine. It allows me to install and un-install fonts.

    I’d looked all day for an answer to the problem I was having and finally asked Google the right question and came up with your page. Thanks so very much.

    I just wanted to let you know that you made a difference!!

  51. Fabrice says:

    Problem with Bitstream Font Navigator.

    Hi. I’ve been using Bitstream Font Navigator for years and never had problems with it.

    Today, I just can’t get it to work properly. There is a mismatch between the font catalog and the font sample. For example, WetPaint shows Geometr706 BlkCn BT in the font sample panel (lower right window). This starts hapening at the middle of the “Contents catalog list”. What could be the reason. Is my font catalog list too big (~14000 fonts). Is my font source corrupted? Anyone have an opinion on this matter?

    Note: I am using Windows7. I had the same problem with Vista.

    Thanks in advance for your input on this one…

    Fabrice

  52. HoaiPhai says:

    Sorry to say but I downloaded the CorelDraw trial and after the thirty days, when I tried to use FontNav I got a “your 30 days are up” message.

    If only Corel would offer FontNav as a stand-alone utility, I’d buy it. I used to have the free version but I could not find a back-up when my hard drive crashed.

  53. Tim says:

    I can not see the contents of my font catalog in Bitstream Font Navigator 2006. This came with the Corel Draw program I purchased and worked fine for a couple years and now I can not add or delete, or even see what is stored in there. any ideas?

  54. Deborah Taylor-Pearce says:

    Holgi asked:

    > Any solution known to this?

    No. You just have to re-build the font group from scratch, without the OT font(s)….

    However, having just spent the past month or so in font management hell, I am happy to report that Font Navigator 6.0.0 (Build 108) no longer has this bug. It handles OT fonts just fine.

    I upgraded to CorelDRAW X5, though, in order to get this version of Font Navigator, because I knew it would work with Windows 7. I’ve had nothing but problems (as far as fonts are concerned) since I upgraded to Windows 7 from XP (which I think handles fonts, in general, much better).

    For those who are thinking of switching from XP to Windows 7, be aware that Windows 7 is NOT compatible with Adobe Type Manager (I’ve long used ATM Lite 4.1 with XP), making any Multiple Master fonts you may have completely useless (Bitstream Font Manager will catalog, install and uninstall MM “instances”, but you need ATM in order to dynamically generate the instances in the first place).

    I’ve tried everything, but even FontLab’s TransType font conversion program — which I bought specifically for this purpose — won’t work properly with Windows 7. And buying OpenType versions of my Multiple Master typefaces isn’t an option, either, since key characters I was using for 2 online branding projects are not available in the OpenType version.

    So, I have just spent the past week converting all of the artwork for 2 websites currently in development to an entirely different typeface, because Windows 7 can’t handle MM fonts. :(

    Nor does the Windows 7 font controller produce decent specimens for PostScript fonts, which lack ALL header information.

    Unfortunately, my new Font Navigator 6.0.0 won’t print specimens of any fonts (PostScript, OpenType, or TrueType) at all, right now. (I keep getting the message: “A printer error has occurred. Cannot print.”)

    But since printing type specimens is not a high priority for me at the moment, I’m putting off dealing with it for a while, so that I can attend to other more pressing problems.

  55. heather says:

    I keep having problems with BS Font Navigator. It crashes when it starts up on my XP machine and the system fonts on my Windows 7 laptop disappear. I’m afraid I’ll need to reinstall the OS. Uggghhh…

    Is anyone else running into these problems?

    I’m thinking about shelling out the money for Suitcase Fusion 3. I hear it’s solid on Windows and they have a free trial.

  56. Barry says:

    After searching around for a Windows 7 compatible font manager I found the freeware “California Font Manager 2.2″. I just downloaded it so can’t comment on how good it is. But the information on it said that you can activate and inactivate all fonts.Please read below the link for the info that describes it:
    http://www.techrepublic.com/software/california-font-manager-22-windows/2574115/post?tag=mantle_skin;content
    I don’t know if links are allowed here. If not then simply go to Tech Republic’s website. You do need to sign-up (free) to download the freeware. Here is the description:
    California Fonts Manager is the latest and fastest growing free font manager. This easy to use tool has an explorer-like interface that quickly shows you fonts currently installed on your computer (and ones that aren’t). If you’re looking to install a new font, you can easily do with the California Fonts Manager. Download our custom font bundles from within the program to quickly and easily grow your font collection. California Font manager supports all major font types; TrueType, OpenType, Type 1 fonts, and many more. With version 2.0 we now support in-application font browsing of many free sites, and download and installation directly from within California Fonts. No need to download and unzip each font anymore, just select a bunch of fonts, and install them all in one go with California Fonts. This feature is unique, and make font managing easier than ever.

    The version I downloaded is Ver. 2.2 not 2.0
    Good luck with your “fonting” around :-)

    • Peteo says:

      Don’t know whether the post above mentioning “California Font Manager” is astroturfing or not, but that program is not a good choice.

      Has a 2/5 star rating on Softpedia.com, along with the warning that: “Users are advised to pay attention while installing this ad-supported application…”. And on the great review site techsupportalert.com, its also not recommended. In the post called “Best Free Font Manager”, one of the commenters writes:
      . You must agree to install it on only one computer, which, to me, is a ridiculous limitation for a piece of freeware.
      . Installer will install an unrelated piece of software if you don’t read it carefully and tell it not to.
      . Created a shortcut on my desktop without asking.
      . Phones home at startup.
      . Help menu contains the link to an ad.

      and so on. Looks pretty much like less of a program than spyware (with a couple of features thrown in) to earn the authors money.

      In terms of actual good free font managers, take a look at the entire post on that site, there are a few decent recommended

      • Peteo says:

        Oh, a second followup here too in case you don’t want to hit that review site mentioned :).

        The “top rated” free font manager on the site (last updated June 4/2012) was Nexus Font (8/10 stars), with AMP Font Manager, Font Runner & CFontPro all tied for second place with 6/10 stars.

        Among those rated on that site, my personal favorite is AMP Font Manager. It can deal with and display bitmap (including Windows ones you can’t see in the Fonts folder) & Type 1 fonts, along with TrueType & OpenType easily. One of the only free programs I’ve tried that can handle all font types those without issue. It also allows you to automatically backup fonts to a folder of your choice when you uninstall them out of the Fonts folder.

        CFontPro “sort of” handles all those types, but for some reason it only displays a small fraction of bitmap fonts you have either manually installed or come with Windows. For example, when I tell it to list “raster” fonts (another name for bitmap ones), it fails to list the Terminus, BorlandTE, Raize, Sheldon & BSU_Kermit bitmap fonts I installed that show up properly in the Fonts folder. And its backup capability I never got to work properly. So I don’t like it as much as AMP.

        If you don’t have to/want to deal with bitmap (or Type 1) fonts, there are other good choices recommended there as well.

  57. Peteo says:

    Just a follow up in 2012 for those people still thinking about this option to obtain Bitstream Font Navigator out of CorelDraw (nice informative post, by the way). Its no longer possible.

    The current CorelDraw trial version available as of this date is “X6″. The Bitstream Font Navigator version included with it is “16.0.0.707”. Installed with only Font Navigator selected, the trial X6 download also installs a Windows service called “Protexis”. The apparent purpose of that service is to make sure you only use the trial for 30 days.

    The good news is that you can disable that service easily through the Control Panel. The bad news: after disabling the service, Font Navigator no longer starts up. At all. Click it (FontNav.exe) as often as you want, it will never start unless you re-enable the Protexis service and are still within the 30-day trial period.

    I tried a number of different tricky things (am an advanced user). But in no circumstance could Font Navigator be started unless that service was active and/or you pay for CorelDraw X6.

    Oh well. The older trial versions (including 12 as described in this blog post) do not appear to be available from Corel’s home site any longer, even off their FTP server. One option may be to check Corel’s UK site, however.

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