Mac Apps

Fontcase: Elegant font management

Guest review by George Coghill

I am assuming readers of The Graphic Mac are aware of Apple’s Font Book that ships with OS X (and is pretty robust in 10.5), and are also aware of the limitations of Font Book, as well as the need for a graphics professional to use a third-party font management application. And I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t we already have enough pro font management apps?”. Suitcase Fusion 2, FontAgent Pro 4 and of course the formerly free FontExplorer X Pro have been around for some time and each is pretty well established. So why a new font manager?

CaffeineIf you work on a MacBook or MacBook Pro you probably have the laptop set to sleep after a certain amount of time, and the screen to dim after a certain period of inactivity, in order to save battery life. The problem is that sometimes the dimming or sleep feature activates at an inopportune time - such as reading long documents or Web pages. You could adjust your EnergySaver preference settings, but that's a pain - and if you forget to switch it back, your battery drains even faster.

Enter Caffeine from Lighthead Software. This free piece of software prevents your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers.
Caffeine is easily activated by clicking the menubar icon. Another click deactivates it. You can also tell Caffeine to turn off after a specified number of minutes by Command + clicking on the icon. A checkbox in the preferences sets Caffeine as a startup application, so it's always there when you need it.

I recently started using Caffeine on my MacBook Pro and love it. It's a one-trick pony, but it does the trick very well.

icon_suitcase-fusion2.gifIf you're running Extensis Suitcase Fusion 2 and recently updated to OSX 10.5.6, you may have run into the problem of Fusion not launching.

The cause of the problem appears to be an issue with your Mac's Bonjour name if the name is too long, or contains spaces or special characters. If you are experiencing the problem, here's a quick way to fix it that requires little effort and no special hacks or software tools.

icon_ical.gifIf you have multiple calendars set up in Apple's iCal application and you receive an invite from a friend, family member or client, you can easily decide which calendar you want the invite to be placed in.

Simply hold down the Accept button, rather than just clicking on it, to get a pop-up menu which allows you to choose which iCal calendar it should be placed in.

Linotype has finally released the long-awaited update to it's free font manager FontExplorer X - a favorite among designers everywhere as an alternative to Suitcase Fusion and FontAgent Pro. The features are rich, unfortunately, so is the price.

icon_fontexplorerx.pngFontExplorer X Pro now comes in two flavors, a desktop client and a server version. The desktop client now sells for $39 until February 28th. On March 1, 2009, the app will jump to $79. The server version price is based on the number of seats that you require it to serve.

FontExplorer X Pro supports Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator CS2, CS3 and CS4, as well as Quark XPress versions 6.5 through 8.x, and features auto updater, the ability to clear system and application level font caches, smart sets, application-based sets, font previewing, Spotlight support, conflict resolution, backup support, and of course a built-in online font store.

A demo of FontExplorer X Pro is available and runs on Mac OSX 10.4.x through 10.5.x. I have not tested the application yet, but will be in the near future.

I wrote about the MacUpdate Holiday Bundle last week. Today, as if $49.99 for 10 great apps weren't a good enough deal as it is, MacUpdate added Pangea's Arcade game to the bundle. That's now 11 apps for $49.99.

Because I previously purchased the bundle, which included RapidWeaver, Default Folder X, Drive Genius, LittleSnitch and six other apps, I found the download link and serial number for Pangea Arcade in my download bin.

gen_mu-promo-pangea.jpgPangea Arcade: Warheads

gen_mu-promo-pangea-icon.pngPangea Arcade is a collection of three classic arcade games, Warheads (a remake of Missle Command), Firefall (a remake of Centipede), and Nucleus (a remake of Asteroids). But don't let the idea of retro games fool you. These apps are stunningly cool! The visuals and audio are spectacular, and there's just enough twist to the old games to make it fun again. I've already wasted three hours playing Nucleus this morning... completely addicted! There's even an option to use 3D glasses in one of the games, unfortunately, I don't have a pair to test out.

You can purchase the MacUpdate Holiday Bundle for $49.99 using any major credit card or PayPal. The Holiday Bundle offer ends Thursday at Midnight. A portion of the proceeds of the sale goes to supporting The Graphic Mac, so please buy using the links provided in this article.

Google Maps plugin for OSX Address Book

The Google Maps Plugin, by Brian Toth, is the easiest way to find your Address Book contacts using Google Maps and Google Earth. The plugin for Apple's Address Book application easily installs and adds the ability to right click on a contact address and choose to get directions or view a map of the location.
Google Maps Plugin, version 2.6.3, is a 291 KB download and requires OSX 10.3.9 or higher, including 10.5.5. The plugin is old, but still works perfectly!

10 very cool apps at nearly 90% off!

Macupdate is offering a fantastic Holiday Bundle of ten popular OSX apps for only $49.99 (regularly $447.69), now through December 19th.

The Holiday Bundle includes:

  1. Drive Genius - Optimize/repair/test/resize and clean up your Mac's drives.

  2. DefaultFolder X - Enhance your Save and Open dialog boxes. This is one of the first things I install on any new Mac!
  3. RapidWeaver - Create beautiful template-based Web sites rapidly.
  4. Little Snitch - Alerts you to outgoing network connections.
  5. Virus Barrier - You can't get infected, but you can spread them. Kill the latest viruses.
  6. MacGourmet Deluxe - Easily create, build, and share your recipe collection.
  7. iVolume - Improves the built-in "Sound Check" function of iTunes.
  8. KeyCue - Displays all the menu shortcut commands.
  9. MacPilot - Enable over 700 hidden features in Mac OSX & other popular apps!
  10. WhatSize - Helps you find out what's taking up all the space on your hard drive.

At just $49.99, this bundle is a bargain just for having Drive Genius, Default Folder and RapidWeaver. But when your throw in Little Snitch, MacPilot, and the other apps, it's simply a no-brainer!

Perhaps you read my review of Extensis Suitcase Fusion 2 and just haven't got around to upgrading. Or maybe you've been considering cataloging and archiving all your digital assets, but don't have the software. Or maybe, just maybe, you have a Windows-using friend who needs a font manager.

Well, it's a good thing you waited, because Extensis is now offering a FREE $10 iTunes gift card for anyone who purchases a full version or upgrade of Suitcase Fusion 2, Suitcase for Windows, or Portfolio 8.5 through December 24, 2008.

Trial downloads of the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product family are available now on, allowing users to test out the software before purchasing. Delivering radical breakthroughs in workflow efficiency – and packed with hundreds of innovative, time saving features – the new Creative Suite 4 product line advances the creative process across print, Web, interactive, film, video and mobile.
Adobe Creative Suite
Visit the Adobe Downloads page to access the fully-functional, 30-day trials for Mac and Windows, localized for various languages. Users can easily convert their product trial for unrestricted use without reinstalling the software in most cases.

I recently downloaded the entire Master Collection in about 30 minutes. The ISO disc images can be burned with Apple's Disk Utility, or most 3rd-party CD burning apps like Roxio Toast Titanium.

Safari 3.2 update adds security features

SafariApple released Safari 3.2, a recommended update for all Safari users that delivers protection from fraudulent phishing websites and better identification of online businesses. The update also includes the latest security fixes.

Safari for Leopard, or Tiger. If you're unfortunate enough to be using Windows, you can get the XP/Vista update as well.

Save time with Firefox 3 keyboard shortcuts

Firefox 3 has a lot of timesaving shortcuts if you just get used to using them. Below is a collection of standard keyboard shortcuts for the Mac OSX version of Firefox 3.

Back Cmd + [
Cmd + Left Arrow
Forward Cmd + ]
Cmd + Right Arrow
Shift + Delete
Home Option + Home
Reload Page Cmd + R
Reload (override cache) Cmd + Shift + R
Stop Loading Page Cmd + .
Current Page
Go to Bottom of Page End
Cmd + Down Arrow
Go to Top of Page Home
Cmd + Up Arrow
Move to Next Frame F6
Move to Previous Frame Shift + F6
Page Info Cmd + I
Page Source Cmd + U
Print Cmd + P
Save Page As Cmd + S
Zoom In Cmd + + (plus key)
Zoom Out Cmd + - (minus key)
Zoom Reset to 100% Cmd + 0 (zero key)
Find Cmd + F
Find Again Cmd + G
Find as You Type Link ' (apostrophe key)
Find as You Type Text /
Find Previous Shift + F3
Web Search Cmd + K
Windows & Tabs
Close Tab Cmd + W
Close Window Cmd + Shift + W
Move Tab Left
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + Left Arrow
Cmd + Up Arrow
Move Tab Right
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + Right Arrow
Cmd + Down Arrow
Move Tab to Beginning
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + Home
Move Tab to End
(when tab is focused)
Cmd + End
New Tab Cmd + T
New Window Cmd + N
Next Tab Ctrl + Tab
Cmd + Opt + Right Arrow
Cmd + }
Ctrl + Page Down
Previous Tab Ctrl + Shift + Tab
Cmd + Opt + Left Arrow
Cmd + {
Ctrl + Page Up
Open Address in New Tab
(from Location Bar or Search Bar)
Opt + Return
Undo Close Tab Cmd + Shift + T
Select Tab (1 to 8) Cmd + # (1 to 8)
Select Last Tab Cmd + 9
Bookmark All Tabs Cmd + Shift + D
Bookmark This Page Cmd + D
Bookmarks Cmd + B
Downloads Cmd + J
History Cmd + Shift + H
Clear Private Data Cmd + Shift + Del
Select Location Bar Cmd + L
Select or Manage Search Engines
(when Search Bar is focused)
Opt + Up Arrow
Opt + Down Arrow
Full Screen Browsing F11
Delete Selected Autocomplete Entry Shift + Delete
Mouse Shortcuts
Back Opt + Scroll Down
Forward Opt + Scroll Up
Scroll Line-by-Line Cmd + Scroll
New Tab Double Click on Tab Bar

icon_preview.gifIf you need to send a copy of your Adobe Illustrator .eps logo to a client or someone without the ability to use .eps files, you probably want to send them a PDF. Don't waste time firing-up Adobe Illustrator, Apple has made it easy with Preview (check your application folder). Preview is obscenely fast at opening PDFs, .jpgs, .eps and even .ai files.

Open your .eps or .ai file in Preview and save the file. Preview will automatically choose PDF as the file format. The great thing about doing this is that the resulting PDF file can still be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator.

aps_stuffit-box.jpgYears ago, back in the days before OSX, file compression on the Mac meant using applications like DiskDoubler and Aladdin Stuffit. Stuffit was a staple of every Mac computer. Many applications required the Expander app just to install, and virtually any file you downloaded off the Internet for the Mac was compressed using the Stuffit format. You could make the argument that it was the single most popular non-Apple application on the Mac for years. Aladdin (later known as Allume) sold Stuffit to Smith Micro Software in 2005, at which time it was still the dominant file compression method on the Mac OS.

Flash-forward to present day and we now have file compression built-in to the OS, via BOMArchiveHelper's .zip format. So you might be wondering why you would need anything more. Read on to find out why.

Extensis releases Suitcase Fusion 2

Extensis has released the newest version of our single-user font manager for Mac OS X, Suitcase Fusion 2. This release contains a whole slew of new features that we’re sure that you’ll find helpful and fun to use. Fusion 2 is compatible with the recently released Adobe Creative Suite 4 and Quark XPress 8.
The following are the most prominent new features in Suitcase Fusion 2.

Modern technology

  • Built for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
  • Based on the Universal Type Client code base.
  • The Suitcase Fusion Core™ keeps fonts active even when the Suitcase Fusion 2 is not running.


  • Auto-activation plug-in installation is now a breeze with the Plug-in install options built into Suitcase Fusion 2.
  • To ensure a trouble-free workflow, the auto-activation plug-ins contain new features, including the ability to create document sets as well as check document fonts.
  • Selective global auto-activation allows you to select which applications to have Suitcase Fusion 2 automatically activate fonts.
  • Updated auto-activation plug-ins now include an XTension for QuarkXPress 8 and plug-ins for Adobe InDesign and Illustrator CS4.

Font organization

  • Improved search options allow you to quickly locate fonts using very granular font information.
  • Smart Sets dynamically filter and display fonts based on your own custom settings.
  • Font libraries allow you to organize fonts the way that you want.
  • A portable Font Vault allows you to quickly backup your entire font collection, easily switch to an entirely different database, and even move your Font Vault to another drive.

System font management

  • Improved system font management features help you avoid font conflicts and other problems with system fonts.
  • Easy identification helps you disable unnecessary fonts in your system folders.


Previewing fonts

  • Enhanced font preview options, including automatic encoding detection for most Roman and non-Roman languages.
  • Floating previews allow you to preview fonts as transparent document overlays.
  • Easily customized previews allow you to quickly display preview text as you want it.
  • Glyph View Window allows you to inspect the glyphs of a selected font and compare them to any other font in Suitcase Fusion 2.

Font corruption checking and repair

  • Enhanced font corruption detection and repair.

For more info, check out the Extensis website.