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Suitcase Fusion Font Management for WindowsNo matter what application you use or the kind of documents you are creating, fonts are a huge part of that process. When all your fonts exist in the Microsoft Windows font folder, the first thing you will notice is it is hard to find the font you need! A professional font management solution can help you overcome this challenge and put a lot of valuable design time back in your hands.

With Extensis’ font manager – Suitcase Fusion – you can organize, tag, and keep track of all the great typefaces available to you on Windows.

Here are just a few of the things Suitcase Fusion can do to help you tame your fonts on Windows:

  1. Allows you to control what appears in the font menu. Sick of seeing Comic Sans in there? Simply use Suitcase Fusion to deactivate the font and it will no longer appear as an option in the menu. This can make it much easier to find the fonts you need when creating great designs or developing a new web site.
  2. You get to decide how to organize your font collection in a way that makes sense to you and your workflow. Instead of placing all your fonts in the Windows Font directory, you can instead add those fonts to Suitcase Fusion. This lets you organize the fonts into libraries and sets to be able group them in a way that makes sense to you. Only need a font for a single project? You can add that font temporarily to Suitcase Fusion so that it is automatically removed when you reboot your computer.
  3. By trimming out the non-required fonts installed in the Windows Font directory, you will be reducing the time it takes for your system to startup and speed up the launching of applications.

If you’re interested in giving Suitcase Fusion a closer look, we’ve got a fully functional 30-Day Free Trial so you can give it a test run.

When trying out Suitcase Fusion, here are 5 things you should be sure to check out:

Continue Reading »


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You’re no girl scout. You aren’t designing bake sale fliers anymore. And even if you were, the font list in your favorite pro design software is an endless black pit of scrolling, turning a simple font selection task into a pull-your-hair-out, existential crisis sort of situation. Have you seen that thing lately? Go ahead, open it up and take a look. That list is a behemoth!

You could choose to get lazy and make a “James Cameron” decision (i.e. opt into an overly-trodden and dare I say disgusting font like Papyrus for your high-profile project and thus make every designer that presses ‘play’ nauseous). OR, you could check out the wide world of font management, tame your font game and take control of your workflow while improving your final products.extensis-avatar-movie-papyrus-font

 

 

If you’re hearing church bells in your head, but are a Macintosh user, reroute over this way; if you use Windows, swerve this way to download the PDF booklet, or tread on for an abbreviated version in this post.

So, here are some highlights of our Windows Font Management Best Practices Guide. Increasing workflow and getting more organized with your typography starts here:

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UPDATED September 9, 2015

Microsoft Windows 10 officially became available today.

The following is the current support for Extensis products and Windows 10.


Font Management Products

Suitcase Fusion

The current version of Suitcase Fusion 6, v17.2 is compatible with Windows 10. Use the Check for Updates feature to download the update, or download the newest installer from the Support page.

Universal Type Server

Universal Type Client

The current version of the Universal Type Client 5, v 5.2.1 is is compatible with Windows 10. Download and run the newest installer from the Support page.

Server

The Server requires a server-class operating system and hardware. It is not supported for use on Windows 10. See this page for supported configurations.

Try Universal Type Server for Free


Digital Asset Management Products

Portfolio

Portfolio Web, Express & NetPublish

Windows 10 includes an entirely new browser, Edge. We have tested Portfolio Web, Portfolio Administration and Portfolio NetPublish sites using Edge and have not found any issues. Windows 10 is now an officially supported operating system for use with these applications.

Server

The Server requires a server-class operating system and hardware. It is not supported for use on Windows 10. See this page for supported configurations.


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With Windows 8 recently released, many of you are probably itching to test out the new operating system from the fine folks in Redmond, Washington.

Font Management compatibility

For our font management applications, the single-user and client applications do not have any known issues and are compatible. Universal Type Server was designed to run using server hardware and software, so should not be run on Windows 8.

Digital Asset Management compatibility

Our digital asset management applications are not currently compatible with with Windows 8, though accessing assets using the Portfolio Server 10 Web Client using IE10 is supported.

WebINK compatibility

WebINK web fonts are supported across all major browser manufacturers, and there are no known issues with browsers running on Windows 8, including the newest browser Internet Explorer 10. We continually test with pre-release versions of all browsers to ensure maximum compatibility with each update.


Max Kerning, now on Windows

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Wait, doesn’t Max look a bit like a favorite former head of a major software company?


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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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Universal Type Server 2 font manager for groupsOne of the enhancements in the upcoming Universal Type Server 2.0 is the new Directory Integration Module (DIM to its friends), which we’re giving away at no additional charge for the first six months. I’m excited about it because it dramatically simplifies user management, and offers the option of Single Sign-on (SSO), which makes lives easier for users while enhancing network security.

What the heck is “directory integration,” you may ask? Basically, some organizations, and virtually all large ones, manage users and groups on their network with a centralized LDAP directory service such as Microsoft’s Active Directory, or Apple’s Open Directory. Type Server 2.0 can integrate with these services so as to automatically populate the Type Server database with network user accounts from the LDAP directory.

How does it actually work? You (or the person setting up your Universal Type Server) simply enter the DIM serial number to unlock the functionality which is already there in your Type Server. Then you connect to your Active Directory or Open Directory domain from the Universal Type Server User Management web interface, and set up workgroup mappings which permit users on the network to use Type Server. The web interface makes it easy to browse your directory tree, browse just groups or users, or search by name. You can put individual network user accounts into Type Server workgroups, or map directory groups (such as Active Directory security or distribution groups) to Type Server workgroups.

Once you set this up, it isn’t just a one-time import; Type Server will regularly check for changes to your directory service and update itself! So your IT administrator can add a network user to a directory service group, and they will automatically show up in the appropriate Type Server workgroup; or if users are removed from the mapped directory service group, they will be removed from the corresponding Type Server workgroup. Also, mappings can be associated with Type Server roles; members of one security group in your AD server can be mapped to a workgroup as Font Administrators, while members in another are mapped to the same Type Server workgroup as regular users.

If you take advantage of the option to use Kerberos technology to allow Single Sign-on (SSO), the Directory Integration Module makes things simpler for users, too. Instead of having a separate log-in for Type Server clients, users simply log into the network, and their Type Server client automatically gets logged in for them. That’s one less password to remember and login to deal with.

Kerberos is the industry-standard secure network authentication protocol, preferred by both Apple (Open Directory) and Microsoft (Active Directory). It’s highly secure in part because passwords are never sent over the wire to Type Server; users establish their identity when they log into their client machines.

Secure, always in sync, easier to administer, easier to use: Four good reasons for people doing server-based font management to check out the Directory Integration Module in Universal Type Server 2.0.

(Thanks are due to my colleague Chris Corbell, who led the programming of this module, for his contributions to my little write-up.)


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Today we released an update to Universal Type Server, which adds auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator and InDesign CS4 (both Mac and Windows, yeah!). This release also includes 64-bit Windows Vista compatibility for the Universal Type Client.

If you’re a current user, you can take advantage of this added functionality by downloading this free update here.

Universal Type Server is developed using the most modern technology available. This allows us to be very flexible and efficient when delivering updates for our customers.

If you’re not using Universal Type Server yet, give it a try. It’s the only truly cross-platform solution out there that serves the needs of network administrators with a server that runs on Mac or Windows, as well as flexibility for creative users with cross-platform Mac and Windows clients.


Extensis on Twitter

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Extensis is on Twitter - it\'s an inconsistent service, but we\'re here nonethelessAs communication methods continue to evolve, we’re moving forward to stay right there with you.

About a year and a half ago, we started this blog as a different method to share what’s happening at Extensis. Shortly prior to that, we also relaunched the Extensis forums as a place where you can discuss Extensis products and how to implement and use them with other customers.

Well, now we’re up and running with the newest method of communication, Twitter (our username is what else, “extensis”). This “tweet” stream will contain interesting items, yet things that might not be worthy of a full post on the blog, as well as links to all of our blog posts (via Twitterfeed).

We also want to know what’s going on in the world of our customers and friends, so if you’re following me, I’ll definitely want to follow you. I promise that we’ll keep it interesting and informative. So you won’t be hearing every time we have leftover pizza in the main kitchen, but you will get intersting news about fonts, font management, graphic design, digital archives and digital asset management.

To sign up for a twitter account and follow us, hop on over to Twitter.


Extensis user forums

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Extensis Forums - user to user conversations about Extensis Products

Everyone gets themselves into a jam from time to time. Heck, I’m the guy that’s constantly trying to make my software do things that it just wasn’t initially designed to do. And thus, we all run into problems. Lucky for you, we provide free technical support for all of our registered users. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you.

If you’re like me, and you occasionally push the limits of your software, or if you like to chat about Extensis software, take a moment to check out our user-to-user forums. We’ve set this place for you to talk about each of our products, including the brand-spanking new Universal Type Server.

We also monitor the forums, so if we see that a topic is coming up over and over, it may be something that we’ll consider adding or changing in new versions of the software. No guarantees, but we definitely do listen and care about the needs and feature requests from our users.


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