FontBase

Logo für Fontbase (Screenshot)

Looks like a Mac app, but there’s also a version for Linux (and for Windows as well): FontBase is a slick and modern font manager that’s great at handling open source fonts from Google Fonts.

In fact, thanks to FontBase, there’s no need to worry about downloading or installing the fonts from Google’s repository. You simply open the program, get a (filterable) list of all fonts and activate them (the whole family or – after clicking on “view family” – only single font styles) by clicking on the small circle symbol. Activated fonts get a green light and are available on your system as long as the FontBase app is open. Even if you close FontBase or shut down your computer, it will remember your chosen fonts and activate them again when you reopen the app.

This procedure not only simplifies the installation of fonts, but also allows their temporary use without cluttering up the memory with permanently installed font files. This also applies to fonts on the local hard disk, whose folders can simply be dragged into Fontbase with the mouse.

FontBase is useful if you want to compile fonts for projects: For each project you create a collection – and you can also (de-)activate the fonts contained therein collectively. Finally, a preview function is on board: A sample text can be displayed in different fonts; font sizes and heights can be adjusted via sliders, and a spacing to the left, right, top and bottom can be set for each paragraph. FontBase only supports Open-Type and True-Type fonts.

FontBase is not an open source program, but the previously described features are all “free”. A monthly, yearly or lifetime Awesome version is also available.

Storage locations

FontBase creates a folder in the own user directory. In the subfolder $HOME/FontBase/fonts the local fonts are collected, in the subfolder $HOME/FontBase/provider the Google fonts.

Installation

FontBase is available on the website as a direct executable AppImage for download for Linux. I have created a folder /opt/Fontbase and moved the program file there. In the following installation example the program file is only made executable and finally started:

sudo chmod a+x /opt/Fontbase/FontBase-2.17.5.AppImage
/opt/Fontbase/FontBase-2.17.5.AppImage

If the AppImage refuses to start with the message “AppImages require FUSE to run”, then you are probably using a newer Ubuntu. In this case, you will need to install Fuse2 as follows, since Ubuntu 22.04 and later installs version 3 of the Fuse virtual file system:

sudo apt installl libfuse 2

Alternatives

To manage fonts locally, the open source program Font Manager, which uses the graphics toolkit GTK3, is suitable. KDE also integrates a simple font management.