Sampler – See What Your Fonts Will Look Like Before Committing Them To A Design [OS X Tips]

Sampler – See What Your Fonts Will Look Like Before Committing Them To A Design [OS X Tips]

A veritable waterfall of letters and numbers.

Doing any design work? Creating an office newsletter, classroom report, or client brochure? Chances are you’ll be needing some fonts. The Mac may have ushered in the era of desktop publishing many moons ago, but we’re still at the mercy of our own (or our clients’) good taste or lack thereof.

If you’re trying to decide between different fonts for a particular project, you might want to print out a font sampler, which contains all the different fonts you are looking at in a nice, easily shared format. Font Book, the app that handles fonts on your Mac, can do this for you easily, at least in Mac OS X 10.7.3. Here’s how to make that happen.

First, find Font Book in the Applications folder and launch it with a double click. Once in Font Book, Command-click on all the fonts you want to print out in your font sampler. Then select Print from the File menu.

Once the print dialog appears, make sure Details are being shown, so your window looks like the screenshot above. You may need to click on “Show Details” near the bottom of the dialog. Once the details are being shown, click on the popup menu just under the Orientation toggle. The menu has Layout, Color Matching, Paper Handling, etc. One of these options is Font Book. Choose that one if it isn’t already.

You now have three different options: Catalog, Repertoire, and Waterfall. Catalog will show you upper and lower case characters, Repertoire will show a chart of every character that font can print, and Waterfall (shown above) gives you a list of the same font repeated at increasingly larger sizes.

Pick the style you want, then hit Print. If you want to save paper, you can also Save as PDF, in the lower left. Font Book will print or save a nice little set of pages with the fonts you chose, allowing you to show them off to clients, bosses, and the like.

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  • Jonathan Ober

    Problem with just a font book is that the fonts are in their intended context so it’s hard to know how the font will look against colors, images and other fonts used in the layout…good idea for finding a font maybe, 100% practical not for use in final design not so much.

  • fontpanda

    Sounds like a really useful tool. Thanks for this!

    Nic
    http://www.fontpanda.com

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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