FontBase Is A Beautiful Font Manager For Designers With Mac, Linux And Windows Support

FontBase is a beautiful font manager for designers, available on Windows, macOS and Linux. The application features built-in Google fonts, with the ability to preview and easily use them in desktop applications like GIMP, Photoshop, Sketch, etc.

Advertised as "the font manager of the new generation, built by designers, for designers", the tool uses Electron, and is free to use but not free and open source software. A subscription is available ($3 / month, $29 / year or $180 as a one time payment) which adds a few extra features like full glyphs preview (and copy), multiple views, and font auto-activation for Creative Cloud. The other features are free to use and don't require a subscription.

The idea behind FontBase is to let you quickly activate and deactivate fonts. By deactivating fonts after you're done using them, graphics applications should load faster.

Activating a font in FontBase

The application doesn't "install" fonts. Instead, it "activates" them - you can activate a font by clicking on the box / circle at the left side of the font's name. When you close the application, all the fonts are deactivated until you launch FontBase the next time.

You can choose to start the application automatically on login if you want to have the fonts ready as soon as you load your desktop.

The built-in search lets you quickly find your favorite font. For quick access, you can pin or add a font to your favorites. You can also create font collections, to which you can add fonts by using drag and drop.

You also need to preview fonts or else this would be useless, right? FontBase lets users preview fonts while also allowing some customization. You can change the font preview size directly from the application toolbar, while the preview text can be customized from its settings.

In case a font has multiple styles, you can preview all of them by clicking on View Details. There you'll also find a list of glyphs:

Fontbase font styles

What's more, the application has a preview tab which lets users try multiple fonts in a single place, apply different font sizes and line heights, padding, H1, H2 and other styles, etc.:

Fontbase preview tab

This is a nice feature not only for trying out fonts, but also for testing which fonts go together.

Google is the only online provider supported by FontBase right now, but you can also add local fonts. Drag and drop your fonts folder and the application will automatically add all of them, allowing you to preview and search your local font collection using nested folders.

Fontbase local fonts
Local fonts in FontBase

Also, it looks like FontBase will receive a feature that allows notifying about new fonts as they become available online, but this is not yet ready. Currently there's a placeholder tab mentioning this feature and that it's coming soon, without further details.

Download FontBase

The download defaults to the Mac DMG binary when trying to download FontBase on a Linux desktop. Click the Linux link below the download button to download the Linux FontBase AppImage.