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Extensis’ Web Font Plug-In

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A few months ago I wrote about using web fonts in desktop design apps and one of the proposals I put forward was a Photoshop / Fireworks plug-in that would allow the designer to select typefaces from a web font delivery service. Last night, I got an email from Extensis to inform me that they have done just that: today sees the official release of their Web Font Plug-In beta, which ties into their WebINK service.

I still stand by my original conclusion that a software plug-in is essentially a hack and that we’d be better served by a new, proper web design application, but I think it’s admirable that Extensis have made an attempt at solving the problem. Hack though it may be, a plug-in does at least fit into our current (albeit flawed) design workflow.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to try it out, as the plug-in requires the installation of their font management app Suitcase Fusion and I have no desire to move from FontExplorer, even if it’s just temporary. The potential headache for activated and de-activated font conflicts and unwanted file reorganisation caused by multiple font management apps is just too much hassle. I’m retracting this statement after reading comments below from Brian, Scott, Thomas, and Jim — it doesn’t sound like there would be many headaches after all. Sadly I still haven’t had time to try it out yet, but I’d love to hear from anyone who has!