Picking fonts sucks, but there is an answer

Picking fonts in Photoshop sucks. The preview of fonts in the font menu is so small that they are pointless. You are also faced with an overwhelming list with no ability to compare and contrast.

The font menu in Photoshop

Fortunately, there are apps that specialise in managing fonts and font selection.

Some of these apps look pretty amazing, like Fontcase, which not only allows you to manage fonts but also preview their use on any website.


Unfortunately for me and many like me, tools like this are a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I am not a designer anymore, but I do need to pick fonts fairly regularly. I don’t want to pay a lot of money for a tool to let me do that and am not interested in the majority of functionality these apps provide.

The solution to this problem is a simple app called Font Picker. At only £2.99 you won’t get the functionality of more expensive apps. However, you also won’t get the complexity.

Font Picker

Font Picker provides large previews of all the fonts you have installed and allows you to quickly narrow down your selection until you find the perfect font.

I am sure I am not the only one that would be more than willing to pay £2.99 to get nice big previews of fonts and the ability to compare my options side by side.

  • In my experience, along with things like anti-virus, font
    management applications, fall into a category of software plagued by what I
    term “Feel Good Factor” syndrome. You absolutely need the program to facilitate
    a simple task that neither you or your operating system can accomplish, apart
    from that it remains in the bottom of your toolbox. Therefore, the need to feel
    good about the price you have just paid for it is accomplished by ramming the
    application full of arguably related options and features that you will
    probably never use to increase the perception of it’s calibre prior to
    purchase, and ensure pole position in a feature sensitive Google review.

    £2.99 for any product of somebody’s time and effort is
    extremely reasonable today. And there has long been a market for a simple no-nonsense
    application. But does it do the job?

    …“Font Picker provides large previews of all the fonts you
    have installed and allows you to quickly narrow down your selection until you
    find the perfect font.”…

    Displaying a list of all of my installed fonts for me to
    choose from is exactly what I do not wish it to do. For me, the primary
    function of font management software is the ability to compare and choose fonts
    prior to installation. It has been well documented that excessive font
    installation is a sure way to slow down operating system performance and retard
    the computing experience. Font management software enables me to avoid this by
    only installing the fonts I need as I use them.

    The front preview in Photoshop is indeed quite small. But a handy
    way around this is to leave the font selection box selected, and use the arrow
    keys to scroll through the font list. Photoshop changes the font accordingly in
    situe. I couldn’t imagine a better way of evaluating a font for purpose other
    than in the document for which it is intended. Lorem ipsum dollar sit amet is
    fine for evaluating body text styling but dangerously risky for headings and

    useful tool perhaps to show a client a proposed typography modification, but
    isnt that what CSS is for?

  • David Sivocha

    This is why I use the free Nexus font, as a font manager.
    For starters:
    Its free.
    It allows me to preview fonts that I have but are not installed.
    It allows me to install and uninstall fonts on the fly
    It has a number of preview options for size weight and colour.
    It allows me to organise my fonts my groups and sets.