I remember, back in the day, when dealing with fonts in Linux was a real problem. At best you were given the xfontsel application, which was an X11 way of displaying the fonts on your system - only in the old-school X11 method (think bitmappy). Fortunately modern Linux distributions have much better fonts and font tools available. From font creation/editing to font management, there are plenty of outstanding applications to help you in your quest for font nirvana.
In this article I am going to introduce you to Fonty Python. Fonty Python isn't just a cool name, it's a tool that allows you to manage your fonts in a rather different manner. Fonty Python allows you to organize your collection of fonts in sub-collections called Pogs (for TyPOGraphy). In this article you will learn how to install and manage your fonts with FontyP ython. Bring out your fonts!
If you are using Ubuntu you will happy to know you can find Fonty Python in either Synaptic or the Ubuntu Software Center. Do a search for "fonty" (no quotes) and install the results. If you aren't running Ubuntu, you can install from source by following these steps:
The result will be the fontypython command installed successfully.
Using Fonty Python
You will find the Fonty Python executable in the Graphics sub-menu of your Applications menu. When you first fire up Fonty Python you will see the main window (see Figure 1), which will contain no fonts. If you are like me, you keep your fonts in the ~/.fonts directory. The problem is, Fonty Python will not look in hidden directories. To get around this you need to create a symbolic link in your home directory so that Fonty Python can see your fonts. Open up that terminal window again and issue the following command:
ln -s ~/.fonts ~/fonts
Now when you open up Fonty Python it will be able to see your fonts. What you want to do is double click the fonts directory in the left-most pane. This will reveal your fonts in the middle pane. At first you might think you're not seeing your entire collection. If you notice there is a drop-down with a number and a Forward button. If you click the drop-down you will see that Fonty Python places fonts on pages, so you're not having to scroll through thousands of fonts in one pane. You can also click the Forward button to move through your font collection, one page at a time.
Notice in Figure 1 I have three Pogs created: Handwriting, Messy Fonts, and Typwriter. As you can imagine I am in the process of organizing my fonts. For my organizational needs I am creating a Pog for each font look. That way all I have to do is select a Pog by look and search the fonts associated with that Pog.
To create a Pog click the New Pog button and give your Pog a name. Once named that Pog will be listed in the Target Pogs pane. To add fonts to that Pog follow these steps:
Continue until you have added all related fonts into your Pog. Don't worry if you forget a font, because you can always add more fonts to your Pogs any time.
Now that you have all of your fonts organized, it will be much easier to find, organize, and view the fonts you have installed on your machine.
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