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5 of the Best Free Linux Font Tools

5 of the Best Free Linux Font Tools

In the days when Linux was a fledgling operating system, font handling was often identified as a major weakness. It was true that Linux then had problems with dealing with TrueType fonts, its font subsystem was prehistoric compared to its competitors, there was a dearth of decent fonts, difficulties in adding and configuring fonts made it almost impossible for beginners to improve matters for themselves, and jagged fonts with no anti-aliasing just added to a rather amateurish looking desktop.

Fortunately, the situation is considerably better these days, with a better quality of user interface typography. With the continuing improving FreeType font engine producing high quality output, natively supporting scalable font formats like TrueType, Linux is making great strides. The recent expiry of the patent behind Apple's TrueType Bytecode Interpreter has meant that FreeType can now render beautiful fonts. Furthermore, the development of the Ubuntu font family, an open-type TrueType font, offers a further enhancement in screen readability.

Another factor that has contributed to Linux becoming more font friendly is improvements made in font management and editing software. Font management software lets users browse and preview fonts, to organise them by groups, to activate and deactivate fonts, make comparisons between fonts, find fonts suitable for a specific purpose, as well as generating font samples and font books. Many distributions have hundreds of fonts pre-installed. This type of software makes it simple to manage and evaluate these fonts. In this article, we have highlighted the best font management software available for Linux, as well as identifying our favorite font editor.

To provide an insight into the software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 of our favorite font software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for users who want to mange the fonts on their computer. We give our highest recommendation to Fontmatrix and FontForge.

So, let's explore the 5 font software utilities at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Font Tools
Fontmatrix Featureful personal font manager
FontForge Font editor and converter
Fonty Python Find, view and manage font files of all kinds
Font Manager Simple tool suitable for the needs of most desktop users
Opcion Font Viewer Java based font viewer

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Last Updated Monday, May 26 2014 @ 12:18 PM EDT


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