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Reply To: Special Character Fonts

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Marlene Lingham
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I love fonts, and since the tutorials and challenges for Special Characters i have downloaded a number of these fonts (there are lots of freebies around). I got a bit frustrated however in trying to find an easy way of identifying these fonts on the computer, whether to put them in a separate folder or what to do with them, and I also struggled to see the Private Use Area characters using Character Map, they were rather small. Back in 2014 there was a blog about Font Managers, and I had downloaded a couple of them which I use to see what fonts look like but they all seem to do different things. I was looking for updates and found Font Manager now has a 64 bit version, so I downloaded that, then thought I should probably read the help files and see what features the program had – I was just using it for display purposes. I was pleasantly surprised to find it actually solves my problems!

Font Runner is easy to use, just click on the folder/subfolder you want in the location panel and all the fonts appear in the right hand window, select the one you want. In the bottom pane you can write the text you want to preview. The mode has a drop down box and from that you can select Font Map – and there are all the characters, including the Private Use Area, just scroll down to see. And best of all you can select the font size to make the characters easier to see. Clicking on a character shows a larger version (same as Character Map) and to use the character you just copy and paste the same way as Character Map. You can even append the character to your preview (right click). The font is also available in PSP 2018 (haven’t checked previous versions) without installing, just make sure the “Share with other programs” menu under View menu is ticked (this wasn’t the case in 2014 apparently).

Another useful feature is the ability to create Projects. Under the location pane there is a “book” called New Projects, click this and enter the name of the project. You can then select any font you have and drag and drop to the project – a link will be created to that font – and when you want to use the project just clicking on it will display all those fonts. I have created a Special Character project and put all my fonts with Private Use characters in it so I only need to look in one place. Useful if you have a major project with different fonts that you don’t want to have to install.

There are other features like Search which I haven’t investigated fully yet.

Font Runner can be found at