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Today we released an update to the Mac version of FontDoctor to support OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion.

The new version can be downloaded from the FontDoctor support page.



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Today we released FontDoctor version 8 for Mac OS X.

If you purchased Suitcase Fusion 3 for Mac OS X, you are eligible to receive a free update from FontDoctor 7. You will be notified by email within the next ten working days with your download information and new serial number.

Font Doctor 8 includes all of the same font organization and corruption checking features, as well as a new feature that allows you to do detailed font comparisons.

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FontDoctor7_7FontDoctor diagnoses, repairs, and helps organize problem fonts. FontDoctor helps locate and eliminate hard-to-find font problems that wreak havoc on the Macintosh system performance and applications.

FontDoctor for Mac OS X has been updated to include support for Snow Leopard. This release also includes a number of other upgrades, including:

  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  • Updated font cache cleaning. Now cleans Adobe CS4, Microsoft Office 2008, and QuarkXPress 8 caches.
  • Supports True Type Collection (TTC) fonts.

FontDoctor is included with every purchase of Suitcase Fusion 2. This upgrade is free for all users of FontDoctor 7.0 and higher.

Download FontDoctor 7.7 here.

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Suitcase Fusion 2 for WindowsI’m excited to see Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows come out as the second new Extensis font management product since I joined the company back in April. After all, it was almost two years ago that I wrote about how and why “Windows font management has sucked” for my Adobe blog.

The main thing is that finally, the Windows version of Extensis’ flagship font management application has parity with the Mac version. That’s huge, and the list of features is as long as your arm. The one feature I still can’t get over is the tear-off previews (check it out here, or see the Quicktime version).

Now, if you want to get picky, there are a tiny handful of differences between the Mac and Windows versions of the application, mostly related to differences between the operating system capabilities themselves. There are a couple of things the Mac version has which are lacking on the Windows version (export fonts by dragging to the desktop, and instantly activate with over-rides by dragging fonts onto the Dock icon), and there are a couple of things the Windows version has that the Mac version does not yet have (auto-activation plug-ins for CS2 apps in addition to CS3 and 4, recognizes and previews .TTC fonts in the system fonts folder). But it really is the same application for two different platforms, with general overall feature parity.

I’ve occasionally heard complaints about the stability/reliability of (older versions of) Suitcase. I’ll say right now that I take quality very seriously, and I am not going to ship a product I expect to be embarrassed by. I feel very lucky in that the underlying code for the Suitcase Fusion 2 products is shared with the Universal Type Server product line. This code was written from scratch a couple of years ago, to be stable and scalable enough for a client/server environment. Now we’ve had two versions of Universal Type Server out the door, so that code is fairly mature… without being antique.

In other news, with Windows 7 just around the corner, you might be wondering what the chances are that the app will run properly on Windows 7? After all, font management hooks into the operating system at a pretty low level, and there is new font-related functionality in Windows 7.

Well, since Windows 7 isn’t shipping to end users yet, we don’t list it as a supported operating system. But we (okay, actually Clint—thanks, man!) did a lot of testing on Windows 7, including on the version that went GM and is supposed to ship. We did just as much testing on Windows 7 as on Vista, in fact! We didn’t find any issues specific to Windows 7 that were left un-fixed, either. So unless something quite surprising happens, we’ll add “Windows 7” to the list of supporting operating systems when it ships.

Anyway, I’ve been running Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows on a day-to-day basis for weeks now on my laptop, and I’m very happy with it. I hope you enjoy it, too. You can try out the Windows or Mac version for free for up to 30 days, so why not give it a whirl?

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It starts off really innocently. “Oh this document looks a little off,” you think. “Maybe I just need to ratchet the point size down one. That’ll fix it.” Or a very generic looking error appears when you’re in the middle of something and it doesn’t sound serious so you dismiss it and move on.

Next thing you know nothing looks right, documents are reflowing all over the place, and some of what you’re looking at doesn’t even look like English! Welcome to the land of Corrupted Fonts. You will not enjoy your stay.

How do you resolve this? Your best bet is to restore from backup (you DO have your fonts backed up, don’t you?) and then re-open documents that were affected and make sure they are displaying properly. Your next question is probably “OK I know how to fix it, but how do I keep it from happening in the first place?” That answer is a bit trickier. Font corruption can be caused by a myriad of issues – from orphaned PostScript pairs, to issues resulting from the font’s construction or system crashes or any of a whole stack of other contributing factors.

It’s hard to determine if your issues are caused by a corrupt font because there’s no way to tell just by looking at it if the font is bad or not-there isn’t a checkbox in the Get Info dialog box that says “Corrupt” so you can tell! And to further complicate things, there isn’t just one particular behavior that tells you a font is bad. You could have a weird document, or an application crashing every time you try to open a document that uses the problematic font, or even just applications randomly crashing as they come across activated-and bad-fonts they don’t know how to handle.

One way to help keep this from happening is to use FontDoctor to diagnose and repair your fonts. To start, do this on your existing font collection, and if you are a person who deals with fonts from a lot of external sources you might even want to make FontDoctor part of your standard workflow. (I have talked to a lot of customers who have already done this and say that it saves them lots of trouble down the line.)

Also if you don’t use a font manager already, that is another layer of “protection” from corruption. First of all, if you use Suitcase Fusion 2, Universal Type Server, or Suitcase for Windows, you get font checking automatically. When you add fonts to professional font managers like ours, fonts are automatically scanned for corruption before being added. Since Extensis font mangers check for corruption and will also attempt to repair common problems right at the start, just by using a font manager you’re ahead of the curve.

While there’s no easy or clear-cut way to tell how font corruption happens, we try to help you keep corrupt fonts out of your workflow.