Fire Up FontDropper 1000 and Test WebINK Typefaces Online

WebINK, the webfonts arm of Extensis, has released a cool new toy. Called FontDropper 1000, it’s a Web browser bookmarklet that lets you see what the many WebINK fonts would look like when in place on almost all websites. That means no more guessing—you can preview the webfonts as easily as you’d try different typefaces in InDesign or QuarkXPress.

There’s no need to be a current WebINK customer, and the bookmarklet is free. Here’s how it works:

1. Go to http://www.extensis.com/en/WebINK/fontdropper/index.jsp and drag FontDropper 1000 to your Web browser’s bookmark area.

2. Navigate to a website, then click the FontDropper 1000 bookmark to open it.

3. Select a font and drag it onto live text on the webpage.

4. In the FontDropper 1000 window, you can now tweak font size, color, line spacing, and tracking.

Note that FontDropper 1000 works with newer versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, but not with Internet Explorer.

The following screen captures show FontDropper 1000 in action. First, the homepage of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper as it appears normally in Safari 5.1. Look carefully at the text that reads, “House votes to raise debt limit as Pelosi provides support”:

Next, that page after I open FontDropper 1000:

And finally, that page with a WebINK font applied to the text “House votes to raise debt limit as Pelosi provides support”:

I’m not saying the change I made was a pleasing one—it’s purposely horsey so you can see it in the screen capture—but it gives you a taste for what’s possible.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011

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