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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Learn Font Book's Search Function

Font Book's Search function isn't perfect, but it can be handy when you have lots of fonts and don't want to look through them one at a time when you need something special. (Search for font files on your drive with Finder's Spotlight; see Find Misplaced Fonts, page 96.)

The search, confined to items selected in the Collection list, can be done in any of seven categories available through its pop-up menu (Figure 11). Unfortunately, really useful categories, such as "Disabled" and "Duplicate," aren't there.

Figure 11

Figure 11

Font Book's Search menu and its two submenus.

Chapter 6 includes examples that show how you can use searches to find fonts you want to disable or enable.

To get you started with Font Book searches, here are two examples of how it works.

Example 1—Find fonts with semibold faces. Say you're working in a document with fairly small type; some words need to be emphasized, but you feel that bold will be too overwhelming at that size. You'd like a list of fonts with semibold faces. This is a cinch with the Search function:

  1. Select All Fonts in the Collection list.
  2. Choose Style from the Search menu.
  3. Type semibold in the Search field and hit Return.

    The "hits" show in the Font list (Figure 12), which displays the family names with the semibold faces listed beneath them (only the semibold faces, which can sometimes be confusing—Didn't that font have a regular bold face, too?).

    Figure 12

    Figure 12

    Searching for semibold with Style as the category finds fonts with semibold styles, and lists only those faces for each font.

To Return or not: As with the Finder's Spotlight searches, Font Book's search function starts looking as soon as you start typing; pressing Return isn't strictly necessary, since merely typing starts the search.

Pressing Return, however, deactivates the Search field so the next key pressed won't be appended to what you've already typed there.

Example 2—Find font faces with Hebrew characters. Now, what if you want to type the word shalom in its native Hebrew—054fig02.jpg—but you don't know what you have in the way of Hebrew fonts? This is another easy one:

  1. Select All Fonts in the Collection list.
  2. Choose Language > Hebrew in the Search menu.

The results may include what seem to be unusual "Hebrew" fonts, like Lucida Grande, but that's because many Unicode fonts that are primarily Roman also include foreign language character sets.

The available search categories make some searches simple, like the two just described, but they're not always as focused as you'd expect:

  • Name: If you know the beginning of your font's name, it's easier to type a few letters of it when the Font list is active. But if you only know a partial name (hmm... Schoolbook something? Something Schoolbook?), this is a great way to get to the font you want to preview. Unfortunately, "Name" also looks at the copyright information, not just the name of the font, so typing Apple selects not only Apple Chancery and Apple Symbols, but also every font that came with Tiger.

    Note that this searches typeface names, so typing Bold will get you just about every font you have; the Family search category, described below, gets around that problem.

  • PostScript name: This is of limited value, since the PostScript names of most PostScript fonts are simply the font name without spaces (sometimes with hyphens instead); you can just as easily search using the Name category.
  • Family: If you're looking for fonts that are, say, bold in their regular face, using Bold as the search in Family finds things like Arial Rounded MT Bold and Copperplate Gothic Bold because it looks at the family name instead of the typeface names. (Using the Name category for the same search would find those as well as almost every other font in the list because it looks at typeface names.)
  • Style: This option is handiest when you're building collections of fonts with particular typefaces, as in the example a few pages ago.
  • Kind: The TrueType selection finds both Mac and Windows TrueType fonts. You can get a list of both types of PostScript fonts (Type 1 and OpenType) by choosing Kind from the menu, and then typing PostScript in the Search field.
  • Language: The submenu is probably longer than you'll ever need; but, hey, it's probably the only way you'll ever know that Mshtakan is an Armenian font.
  • Copyright: The copyright date can sometimes give you useful information as to the age of the font (when you're comparing duplicates). But it can also be misleading, since there are often multiple dates, and the copyrights are often renewed with no changes to the font itself. In addition, it's up to the designer to incorporate this information into the font, and sometimes that's a step that's skipped.
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