Extensis Suitcase Fusion 5

Professional Font Management

Extensis Suitcase has been around for what seems like forever, and it remains one of the first programs that graphic designers think of when deciding on a font manager. The latest version is Fusion 5, and if you've used Suitcase Fusion for a while, you won't find any dramatic new features; but some useful ones, just the same.

First is support for Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) applications and, like the Adobe CC subscription, Suitcase now allows activation on two systems—including cross-platform activation. Another new feature is QuickComp, which lets you use a basic layout with selected fonts that can come from an existing set, or you can create a set from the layout after the fact. More layouts would be nice or, even better, the ability to create custom layouts.

Features still in Fusion 5 include floating previews that you can place over existing layouts to visualize the font in position before committing to it, and WebINK and Google Web Fonts. Sorely missing is support for Adobe's TypeKit. (Is this a technical or political issue?)

As before, Suitcase Fusion 5 includes the excellent Font Doctor ($50-70 if purchased separately). Tip: It's generally best to run the fonts through Font Doctor before adding them to Suitcase. In Suitcase, finding duplicate fonts is easy, but it would be helpful to be able to find older dupes by version number and also remove all nonrequired OS fonts to a library.

One thing I like about Suitcase is how Extensis keeps the Macintosh and Windows versions identical so that you can switch platforms—easier with the dual install—without missing features. Although there are other font managers available, you can't go wrong with Suitcase Fusion 5.

Company: Extensis
Price: $99.95 (Upgrade: $49.95)
Rating: 4.5
Hot: Adobe CC support; cross-platform equivalency; dual activation
Not: No support for TypeKit; doesn't remove unnecessary fonts