A Quick Look at your fonts

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 in apple, type | No Comments

Apple’s site, apple.com has a page where new features of Mac OsX 10.5, Leopard are explained.

I’ve just started to gaze through this stuff. 300+ new or changed features is more than enough to justify the upgrade. It is, by the way, much cheaper to upgrade from Tiger to Leopard than lets say from Windows XP to Windows Vista.

In this wast overview of Leopard there is amazingly enough no mention of how it has become one of the best font viewers available and certainly the fastest one.

Quick Look is an impressive new tool in Leopard. With it you can preview in a very fast way all kinds of documents, pictures, movies and so on. Quick Look looks into the files so to speak for information to make the previews. And so it does too for fonts. Clean crisp previews from either the screen font or the print font, if we are talking about postscript fonts or simply from the OpenType fonts or what have you. As it says there: Opening files is so 2006!

There are few ways to view a file in Quick Look:

  • Right click to find Quick Look in a Contexutal Menu, or
  • Go: File > Quick Look in the Finder menu, or
  • Command + Y on the keyboard, or the fastest manner:
  • Use the Spacbar

Having selected a font, hit the Spacebar and get a preview of a font like this. To flip over to the next font use the Up and Down Arrows to move arround. The window can be resized at will depending on your screen of course. All with a beautiful crisp preview.

quicklook

You close the window again by either clicking with the mouse at the x button in the upper left corner or hit the Spacebar again. If someone finds out how one can change what portion of the alphabet is shown I sure would like to know how to hack that.

iconpreviewfontBesides Quick Look Leopard now has new kind of icons, preview icons. Icons of photographs change if you change the picture. For fonts we now have the letters Ag as preset preview icons. This is extremely handy for those who do not know their fonts that well and are only looking for some serif font or a decorative one for a birthday card. Here I really would like to be able to hack this to seclect what characters are shown in the icons. It would be nice to see at glance what fonts are missing the Icelandic eth’s and thorn’s. And don’t forget that you can resize your icons in the Icon View.

Of course fonts can also be viewed with Cover Flow, the new Finder viewing tool (Command + 4). This is fine for viewing fonts that are inside the Library/Fonts folders but for viewing font collections buried in endless number of folders it can be a bit of a drag. But it’s worth the try if you are quick with your fingers opening and closing folders with Command + Right/Left Arrows and moving up and down your list of fonts with the Up and Down Arrows. Cover Flow previewing is also limited to the Ag glyphs which makes it usable only for quick searching.

dalkaviewfonts

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