The sixth iteration of Suitcase Fusion Extensis brings us compatibility with Yosemite and Windows 8, modern HTML5 based font panels in applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and cloud based archive and restore. Time to see if it’s worth upgrading.
Suitcase Fusion is about the only font manager that has never caused any problems on my machine. That’s a small miracle in its own right, given the number of unstable apps I’ve been reviewing it with. Especially if you have 2219 fonts like I do or more, Apple’s Font Book is a disaster waiting to happen. Over the past upgrades Suitcase Fusion has gained a number of nice features that are much appreciated by designers. One of the best must be QuickComp, a prototyping feature that enables you to see how fonts will look in specific designs, including your own.
Suitcase Fusion also is the most reliable font manager. It must be, as it tags every fonts you let it manage with a unique Font Sense fingerprint so that duplicate fonts never cause a problem on your system. In the past, Suitcase Fusion always came with FontDoctor. The new version should too according to the website, but the version of FontDoctor I downloaded didn’t work on Yosemite. It throws an exception and then quits. FontDoctor may need some medical care itself, so I think the mention of it on the Suitcase Fusion website should be removed.
It doesn’t matter much, though, as corruption checking can be done from within Suitcase Fusion itself. But corruptionn checking isn’t the main reason why you’ll want to upgrade to Suitcase Fusion 6. The Yosemite interface isn’t either, although it looks gorgeous. The font sorting capability might be more of a reason. The QuickMatch feature definitely will.
QuickMatch lets you locate similar fonts down the glyph level with one click. I tried it out for myself and it manages to show you fonts that really look a lot like each other. It’s not without quirks, though. My lists inevitably included barcode fonts, which don’t resemble anything but themselves — perhaps that’s exactly what threw the QuickMatch algorithm off.
Suitcase Fusion’s search feature has been updated to work faster and it does. QuickFind uses predictive search technology that works really well. But even QuickFind isnt the feature to drool over in Suitcase Fusion 6.
The honour for making me drool — and probably plenty of other users — is that Suitcase Fusion 6 now supports Dropbox and Google Drive in addition to a (mounted network or desktop) folder to archive your font collection. You can restore the archive from the cloud too. This new feature makes synchronising fonts between remote offices a lot more transparent and is by itself worth the upgrading price in my opinion.
Another great reason to drool is the font panel inside Adobe applications: it’s much faster and looks much better because it’s HTML5 based.
Suitcase Fusion 6 won’t win the award for most feature-filled update, but what Extensis put in there is certainly worth the money.