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Our new Portfolio release adds support for the latest OS X, advanced reporting features, and more

With the explosion of digital assets and media over the past decade, companies are struggling to keep them organized and accessible while ensuring version control. Locating and distributing files has become a major time and productivity killer.

Fortunately, Extensis Portfolio™ makes digital asset management (DAM) affordable for companies of all sizes. Originally released in October 2014, Portfolio transformed the user experience with suggested, guided search capabilities, millisecond results, a sleek new user interface and elegant thumbnail views. It’s used by hundreds of Fortune 5000 companies. And it’s just been updated to make it better than ever.

Get Your Assets in Gear with Portfolio 1.5

Portfolio has added full compatibility with Apple® OS X® Yosemite (v10.10) and advanced reporting options. It’s also faster than ever, with new features that increase the efficiency of importing, copying, updating, converting and exporting assets.

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We were recently awarded three patents that cover font management and web font technologies. These new patents add to the Extensis portfolio of more than 20 patents gained over 20 years, spanning both font management and digital asset management technologies.

The new patents include:

  • Patent No. 8,488,886 for “QuickMatch”, a powerful font comparison technology which can tell designers almost instantaneously which fonts in their collection contain similar glyph traits. QuickMatch is featured in Extensis’ recently released professional-grade font manager, Suitcase Fusion 5.
  • Patent No. 8,413,051 for “Contextually Previewing Fonts,” allows designers to preview fonts from their collection side-by-side using any text, as well as tear-off font previews that hover over all other applications in the Operating System.
  • Patent No. 8,438,648 for “Preventing Unauthorized Font Linking,” a font security and watermarking technology found in the WebINK web font service that prevents piracy. This protects both the work of the designer and Extensis’ foundry partners.

“The number one mission of Extensis is to develop breakthrough technology that fosters the creative process, and enables users to be confident that their creative choices are protected,” said Chad Slater, Director of Extensis Engineering. “The issuance of these patents reinforces this commitment.”

This adds to Extensis’ library of font management patents already awarded, which includes: simultaneous font previews, font activation, font corruption detection, and Font Sense™ for unique font identification.

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As some of you know, we recently went into a Technology Preview for our web fonts service: WebINK.  Slowly, we are unveiling the service as the pieces fall into place.

What is it?

In short: it is a service that enables you to add custom fonts (not just the tired “web safe” ones) into your Web designs. We handle the licensing issues and browser file formats. You simply add short line of code to your website CSS, and our font servers “in the sky” deliver your fonts- instantly- to any browser viewing your site. The service is driven by our Universal Type Server technology (’cause we know how to manage fonts, eh?) At last, your online brand can have as much personality as your offline brand. Say what? Creative freedom AND Brand consistency? That’s crazy talk! 🙂


We just posted some overview info to give you a flavor of what the service will include. (If you are a Suitcase Fusion user, you’ll have even more to be happy about- but we’ll save that for a later post).

Very soon, we’ll open up the font “Playground” (as we affectionately call it) it’s an interactive space where you can sample and play with every typeface from our partner foundries, before committing in any way. (you have to try the shoes on first, right?)

How many fonts? Well, thousands so far, and climbing. There are more in the hopper, but our type geeks (um, I mean “type aficionados”) put them to the test first. (If they don’t render beautifully on screen, then what’s the point?) To see our current partners in the preview- you can take a look here.

Next up: We’ll be attending An Event Apart in Boston this week to hobnob with other Webophiles. And fairly soon after, updates will start flowing from the “guys behind the curtain”- the developers and product managers who are bringing this to life. Keep your eye on this space.

Do you have a website? Blog? Online Portfolio? Join the preview at We’re looking for testers with opinions– and we’re listening.

And for all our current users, thank you!

Are you a foundry? Interested in getting your creations on the Web? Contact us!

PS- if you’re the curious type (ha- get it?), the Manage This blog and the Extensis site are serving up WebINK fonts already. (check the source.)

The Extensis blog is serving up: URW Grotesk Light

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I just became aware of what a momentous day this is- the 20th birthday of Adobe Photoshop- and decided the day could not go by unrecognized. After all, were it not for Photoshop it is very likely Extensis as a company would never have come to be. Our initial software offerings 15 years ago were plug-ins for Photoshop and QuarkXPress (PhotoTools and QX-Tools ring any bells?).

We are a very different company today, and yet we still build products for people who use Photoshop and Adobe apps everyday. So from all of us here at Extensis- a big “Happy Birthday to you”.

20-year-old Photoshop 1.0 box

20-year-old Photoshop 1.0 box

BTW- yes, this is a box shot from our archive. Located via Extensis Portfolio. So, I have to ask- how quickly could YOU find a 20-year-old image?

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Have you ever had a suggestion to make something better and thought, “Oh it won’t matter if I make a suggestion, they’re a huge software company and I’m just one person.” Well, please quit it. Make that call! Sometimes it works!

When we released Suitcase Fusion 2, one of the things it didn’t have (that the old version had) was a method for something we like to call “Temporarily Add and Activate”. This was a good way to knock out the one-off job and if you have a lot of single jobs (a service bureau, for example) this was a HUGE timesaver. Here’s what it did: You drag your fonts to the Dock icon for Suitcase, and the fonts would be added and activated, but ONLY until you restarted. Once you restarted and your computer came back up, those fonts were not just deactivated, they were not still hanging out in your font manager either! When you have to crank through a large number of “single use” fonts, this is of immeasurable use. However, since we don’t have a way to tell how many people are using any particular feature, when it came time to determine features for the new version that happened to be one that for whatever reason didn’t make the cut.

We received a lot of phone calls from people who were trying out the new version of Fusion and missed that feature. Every time you call us and tell us about the feature you love that was in the last version that isn’t in the current version, or you wish there was an easier way for you to do something within our software, we record that. If you aren’t the first person to ask for it, your “vote” gets added to the tally. When features are being considered for new versions of software those votes all get considered. That doesn’t always mean things will change, but your vote is counted and enough of them usually get a feature implemented.

So as of the new update to Suitcase Fusion 2, the Temporarily Add and Activate feature has made a triumphant return! So if you were disappointed you couldn’t update because you need this feature as part of your workflow, don’t let that stop you any longer. And next time you think about calling or emailing your feature request to a company that makes software you use, don’t just think about it, do it! You never know if your vote will be the vote that puts that request over the top.

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Not much introduction necessary, except to say that we are getting very excited about opening night.

Take a quick peak behind the curtain.

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2nd installment here. Mike Bacus- our VP of all things Development- tells you a bit about why the previews in Fusion 2 are so darn good. Take it away, Mike…

Having great font previewing has always been a hallmark of our font management products; in Suitcase Fusion 2 we set out to create a previewing subsystem that would allow creative professionals to more intimately use font previewing and comparisons in their workflow.

We started out by adding a lot of niceties to previewing:

Previewing fonts is faster and more stable; The first thing you’ll notice is that entire previewing subsystem is faster, you can work with much larger font lists more efficiently. We have rewritten the preview rendering and used system routines that are safer and more stable than in prior releases; additionally we do a better job identifying and preventing corrupt fonts from being added to the system.

Previewing controls are more useful; we have a slider control for more efficient resizing. We also moved the editing of preview text inline into the preview control group in the main user interface from the preferences panel.

Previews are smarter; the previewing subsystem is encoding aware and will dynamically change preview text selection to avoid situations where certain fonts would display blank previews. We now render the point size in waterfall view, so it’s obvious what point size the fonts were rendered in.

We also are including a glyph palette that allows review of font code pages, previews of individual glyphs with bounding box metrics, includes code point displays with Unicode character names and nomenclature for individual glyphs and will even indicate what keystrokes to press to access arcane font glyphs, with the ability to copy those glyphs into quicktype previews.

The glyph palette is pretty sweet, and all of the other previewing refinements are great appetizers. However; the main course and my personal favorite feature in the entire release is floating previews.

In Suitcase Fusion 2 we have created a new previewing feature that will allow individual font previews to be dragged from the preview pane and dropped onto the desktop of the computer as free floating separate UI elements. These single font previewing windows have a transparent background that will display as semi-transparent on mouse over (for window repositioning/resizing, font activation, etc.), and are programmed to always be on top of any other applications in the display. They will never get lost and this allows them to be placed on top of a document that a creative pro is working on. This will allow the font to be seamlessly previewed in the context of the document being created!

If that wasn’t cool enough, multiple floating font previews can be aggregated into a single floating preview. By positioning the aggregated floating preview over the appropriate portion of the document being created, several font preview samples can be looked at in rapid succession in the context of the document being created without altering the document.

The previewing controls in the main UI control the floating previews; combining the floating previews with QuickType and the ability to use a slider control to vary the point size allows for rapid preview text and size adjustments.

Floating previews persist on the desktop – they aren’t tied to the preview pane display, the user can switch from set to set in the font manager and hand pick fonts that they’d like to use together in a project from any set or collection that they are managing.

Floating previews can be dismissed individually or all at once, merged into an aggregated floating preview or exploded back into individual floating previews at will, allowing varying selection of contextual previews and fine grained control over font previewing.

New floating previews can be added quickly to a working preview set to establish exactly the right font that would be useful for a project. Font previews are no longer confined to font management application and are set free to be used like a professional photographer reviews photographs on a light box except the fonts are the photos and the lightbox is the desktop of your computer.

It all sounds complicated but the feature is elegant and really easy to use, much easier to use than it is to explain how it works. 🙂

The synergistic inter relation of all previewing elements combine into an innovative, powerful yet flexible feature that is addictively fun to use.

Suitcase Fusion 2 premieres Fall 2008. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for the ‘preview’.

I want my QuarkXPress 8

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QuarkXPress 8 Box

We know it is key to many of your jobs. Whether you’ve upgraded yet or not, you want to know if Quark 8 will be supported. Yes. Of course, yes.

QuarkXPress 8 auto-activation plug-ins are coming in the next releases of both Universal Type Server and Suitcase Fusion. I can’t tell you precisely when, but I can say “Coming to a theater near you- Fall 2008”.

We’re working fast. I’ll keep you updated.

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Some people resist change.

We’re not those guys.

In June we launched Universal Type Server- built from the ground up: all new architecture, all new open source technology, all new UI. Now we’ve taken that same backend technology to the desktop. What you get is a better, faster, funner (?) Suitcase Fusion. Think of the first time you saw a 3D movie. It’s still a movie- but a totally different experience at the same time.

The new back-end means this is not just your average upgrade with some new features. The SQL-database makes it very stable with (much) faster searching, browsing and activation. In addition, a new component- the “core”- is always running in the background- ensuring consistent font management even if you don’t launch the UI. This saves you a LOT of system resources.

Plus, it was built specifically for Leopard and as a result can take advantage of all the whiz-bang capabilities of Leopard: smoother display and high-quality rendering makes the previews truly awesome.

The all-new auto-activation plug-ins are the stars of the production. These are completely re-built as well. Yes, they still leverage FontSense for precise matching and yes, they will auto-activate fonts in linked and embedded objects. But they now also communicate with the core meaning you are have 24/7 activation AND deactivation (why would you not put away your toys to keep the room available for others?).

Suitcase Fusion 2 is planned to ship with the following auto-activation plug-ins:

  • Illustrator and InDesign for Adobe CS3 (and beyond)
  • QuarkXPress 7 and 8

There’s a lot more- this does not even touch the new UI and whizzy features. So I’ll save that for the next post.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for the ‘preview’.

Suitcase Fusion 2 premieres Fall 2008.

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There are many ways to give a company feedback, but when companies get as large as Adobe, at times it can be difficult to get someone’s attention.

The “Dear Adobe” site created by Adam Meisel & Erik Frick allows you to post your gripes and rate those of others. Those that are rated most highly by other users bubble up to the top of their Top 25 Gripes list.

Got a complaint with no answer? Shoot it over to Dear Adobe.

So what does this all get you? Well, apparently those over at Adobe are watching the top gripes on the list, and who knows, one of your top gripes could help steer future product development.

I would never recommend that this replace the support that you can get through their standard technical support channels. I can tell you from experience that I’ve had many of my questions answered by reading the documentation or visiting one of the many Adobe Forums. More often than I’d like it’s merely a case of “user error.”

Of course, if you’re having “issues” with a piece of Extensis software, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, read our knowledge base, visit our forums, or shoot me an email. We’ll do our best to answer your questions.

[Thanks to Extensis Software Engineer, Jock Murphy for the headsup.]

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