I installed FontExplorer X (herein referred to as “FEX” ’cause I don’t wanna type it out) almost two years ago.
I did like the program while I was using it. FEX just doesn’t fit into my current computer environment right now.
Pros: I guess programs opened up a microsecond faster than usual. I don’t have many fonts, just a few hundred, nowhere near the thousands that professional designers have.
It sure made looking for fonts in my system much easier. Even though it would slow down when I wanted to view font sizes in 300 pt (don’t ask). I could see the whole alphabet (upper case or lower case) in one go while scrolling through all of them. (Even though my typography teacher would be horrified to hear that sometimes that’s how I choose my typefaces.)
Cons: First and foremost, at the moment I hate having to open up an additional program to get access to typefaces. If I were working in a design environment, which I was last year, I absolutely would not mind. But now I open Adobe design programs only once in a while, and when I do I don’t like having to remember to open another program to use, say, PetitaMedium (something I use in my resume).
Secondly, I’m working on a Windows-based computer. There is currently no version of FEX outside of beta for Windows. That’s not too terrible, but for some reason something in FEX makes Windows snitty about opening system programs like Volume Control or Spider Solitaire or Calculator. In other words, very important programs! *snicker*
Last year I was okay with it and would just do all of that on my laptop, calculations, listen to music, or take a Spider Solitaire break. But right now I’m not settling in for long stretches to design things. I’m just opening a file here or there to edit while I’m on the computer. So I don’t turn my laptop on since I’m planning to not be here long or I plan to watch Youtube vidoes.
(Yes, my laptop, my retarded baby, is gradually becoming only a mobile entertainment center. Sad times, let me tell you. But wow, going from 384 MB RAM to 2 gigs … it’s a miracle!!)
A third reason that FEX is not so helpful is the fact that there are no tags in the program. I think I’ve become spoiled by Windows Media Player and online journals. I’m used to finding things through tags.
I know there are groups or sets or whatever in FEX, but I have to manually add fonts to each one. Every time I install a new font, I have to remember to categorize it, or else I’ll probably never remember to use it again. Since I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet (I did it on my laptop but I uninstalled FEX to make it run faster), I am forever scrolling through 400+ fonts trying to find all the serif typefaces and trying to figure out which one I’d like to use.
If I were working on a Mac, I would definitely pay for and install the newest version of FEX. (Mostly because I hate the Mac’s way of scrolling so slowly through the list of typefaces on Adobe programs.)
But since I am running Windows, I’ve decided that FEX has run its course on my computer and really must go. I’m saving the install file though just in case.
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