Extensis Suitcase Fusion 4

Reliable Font Management

Although not a major upgrade, Suitcase Fusion 4 is a must-have if you're running any Adobe CS6 software. It has a new, improved panel interface within InDesign, Illustrator, InCopy, and Photoshop (CS5-CS6). (Note: Because of a bug, Photoshop CS6 doesn't yet support the new panel, but an update from Adobe is expected soon.)

As Suitcase Fusion has been available only on Windows for the last two versions, I installed Fusion 4 on both my Windows and Macintosh laptops so I could compare running it on a Mac. Moving between the two was seamless!

Two useful updated features for Web designers are WebINK (the free Development version) and Google Web Fonts, which allow CSS links to fonts stored on the Web, enabling fonts previously converted to graphics. (It would be nice if Suitcase Fusion could include a link to the Adobe Typekit, as well.)

Suitcase Fusion still includes the excellent Font Doctor for inspecting fonts (a $50-70 value if purchased separately). The Find Similar feature is handy when looking for OpenType versions of older Type1 fonts. But, as always, there are too many features to list here. (Keep in mind that Suitcase Fusion isn't a server-based or server-aware product, and isn't compatible with the Extensis Universal Type Server or Client software.)

I'm so impressed with Suitcase Fusion 4 that I'm switching from my previous font manager; however, I'd like to suggest a couple of minor improvements. Finding duplicate fonts is easy, but it would make cleanup much easier to find dupes except for the highest version number. I'd also like an option to move all unnecessary OS fonts to a new Suitcase Fusion Library, because the Mac System Library Fonts folder (and other Library folders) contains many unneeded fonts, as does the Windows Fonts Control Panel.

Company: Celartem, Inc. dba Extensis
Price: $99.95 (Upgrade: $49.95)
Rating: 5
Hot: CS6 support; Font Doctor