Making a Font Catalog

Back in the day, I was once tasked with creating a font catalog for the publisher that I worked for. It was one of those “busy work” type of jobs that we filled the time with in between projects (when we weren’t exploring the wonder that was Napster).

The job of creating the font catalog wasn’t hard, but it was extremely boring. Basically, I created a new QuarkXPress document with each page containing one big text box with the full range of letters, numbers, and special characters, set at different point sizes. Then I duplicated the page, and changed the font applied to the text. Several. Hundred. Times.

Eventually, several thick 3-ring binders full of font samples were sitting on the shelves of the design and production departments. And I prayed that we would never buy another font.

Thankfully, nowadays there are much faster and easier ways to accomplish this same job of making a font catalog. One way is to use a fantastic script for InDesign, written by master scripter Kasyan Servetsky.

You can download the script and read all accompanying documentation here.

If you need help installing a script for InDesign, read this post at InDesignSecrets.

Making the Font Catalog

When you run the script you get a dialog box where you can choose from several options.

A pop-up menu allows you to pick specific fonts, or you can enter the names of fonts to include in the catalog. You can also customize the sample text to be rendered in each font. And you can choose to exclude fonts with certain restrictions, like those that can’t be embedded, etc.

When you click OK, a new InDesign document is created, and each page includes the sample text rendered at a range of different sizes (listed at the top of the page), along with the font version, licensing restrictions, and the location of the font on your computer.

If you want the font samples to be rendered at different point sizes, you can open up the script with a text editor and edit the values in line 25 of code.

Thank you, Kasyan!

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Posted on: February 12, 2018

Mike Rankin

Mike is the Editor in Chief of InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and CreativePro.com. He is also the author of several lynda.com video training series, including Font Management Essential Training, InDesign FX, and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

2 Comments on Making a Font Catalog

  1. I was just getting ready to work on a logo where the client wanted me to change the typeface–this script is a LIFESAVER. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. This is nice but most font managers (even free ones) will let you do the same thing with one extra feature…printing a subset of fonts. Sometimes you just want to have a catalog of a certain category of fonts (serif, sans-serif, handwritten, dingbats, etc). Unless you’ve stored all your handwritten fonts in a “handwritten” font folder, this script will require you to print all your fonts.

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