[Scribus] Font management programs

Louis Desjardins louis_desjardins
Tue Dec 5 18:04:30 CET 2006

Craig Ringer a ?crit :

> wtb41 wrote:
>>Robin Williams's book "How to Boss Your Fonts Around" names & describes 4
>>programs for
>>managing fonts on the Macintosh. They are: (1) Adobe Type Manager Deluxe,
>>(2) Suitcase, (3) MasterJuggler, and (4) Font Reserve. Does any such font
>>management program exist for 
>>Linux users?
> Not that I am aware of. The closest is the KFontInstaller utility.
> Such programs are largely unnecessary on Linux. They were needed on Mac
> OS because the OS its self loaded the fonts, not the applications, and
> it couldn't have many loaded at one time without running into problems.
> This meant that users had to worry about managing font sets and all
> sorts of guff.
> On Linux, you can have essentially as many fonts as you need available -
> though system memory will limit how many you can have _loaded_ and in
> use by apps at any one time. It is _not_ possible to globally unload a
> font, so "temporary font" mechanisms and such do not make sense on
> Linux. Due to the low resource use for fonts and their per-application
> nature they're also largely unnecessary. At worst you'll need to quit
> and reload an app if it has too many fonts loaded - and apps should be
> able to unload unused fonts (though Scribus can not presently do this).
> There's no need for some magic font server like the Suitcase Server
> either, since a read-only NFS directory and a path entry in the user's
> .fonts or /etc/fonts/fonts.conf is quite sufficient to enable centrally
> stored fonts. Loading fonts from network volumes is not dangerous on
> Linux like it is on Mac OS 9, so there's just no need to worry.
> The only use I can really think of is providing per-document or
> per-application sets of available fonts to simplify selecting fonts for
> jobs or provide a sort of palette. I think that's more the application's
> job really - and people who used font managers this way did tend to make
> per-application font sets.
> Basically, on Linux most of the problems those utilities were written to
> solve do not exist.
>>If so, what is it and how does one go about getting it?
> I wouldn't bother, myself.
> If after reading the above you still want one, I'd be very interested to
> know why - what you think it'll gain you, what you need to be able to
> do, etc.


Thank you for this clear explanation. I never realize Linux was working 
that way with fonts. For people like me, working with Macs for nearly 20 
years and dealing with font issues almost everyday (that's a lot of 
days!), this explanation is very important. It's a totally different 
world. I could even say it's kind of a shock to read (a good shock! an 

I think this should be on the wiki and even better in the official 

I'd like to see such an issue discussed or at least exposed and 
explained at LGM2.


> --
> Craig Ringer
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Louis Desjardins
Mardigrafe inc.
T 514 934 1353
F 514 934 3698

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