Sunday, 13 July 2014

Printing a sample of all available fonts on your computer

I spend a lot of time messing with graphics and fonts in one way or another.  Often I am doing something that involved images and fonts at the same time.  Other times I might just want to work in ImageMagick and use the command line to create a fancy font effect without bothering to open a program to make changes one at a time.

When I am doing this though I sometimes need a particular font to turn an idea
into a project.  Over time I have collected more than 500 fonts and trying to remember what they look like, or even using a visual aid to check them can be time consuming.

I've looked for a simple way to tell ImageMagick to print a sample of every font on my system, and while I am sure there is a way, and a lot of people have asked on the forums, I have never seen any answer on ImageMagick forum or anywhere else for that matter that gives a simple method.

So here is the way I do it.   I should add that I use Linux Mint 17 KDE, but any version of Linux should be similar.

First I open system settings:

Next, Font Management:

Then I select ALL the fonts by clicking the first one, then scrolling to the bottom of the list and clicking the last one while holding down SHIFT.

Now I can right click the highlighted (blue) area and choose 'Print".  A dialog will pop up asking what size I want the samples printed at.  I choose 48pt because it is a convenient size for me to read and see at a glance how a font will look on a design:

I can now choose my printer from the list.  Usually I will choose 'Print to file' and print a PDF file that I can produce later, or send to my tablet to study later.

If you send direct to your printer, make sure you have plenty of paper loaded.  Otherwise, here is what I get from a PDF:

It is a convenient way to look through hundreds of fonts.  By printing to a PDF file I can browse at my leisure and send only pages with particularly useful or interesting fonts to my printer, saving toner/ink and paper.

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