Basic Font Management in Windows with Nexus Font

Basic Font Management in Windows with Nexus Font

July 4, 2012
/ /
in News

If you love fonts and want to download them all, it may be a good idea to use a font manager program to only enable the fonts you want to use specifically when you need them. When I first got into collecting fonts, I installed them all, and found that by doing this it greatly decreased the performance of my computer. Later on I discovered a great free font management app fell in love with it and have been using it ever since.

The free program that I use for font management is called NexusFont. You can download it here:

When installing fonts natively in windows, the user is required to reboot their system to get the fonts to register in the applications being used. This is a pain!!

Nexus makes the fonts you want to use available on the fly. It also has tools for installing fonts, moving fonts to specific groups and viewing the font’s character map. You can view fonts in different sizes and also preview a word or a sentence.

Organizing Your Fonts
Once you have the program installed, you may not know how to readily add fonts. After learning a lesson the hard way, I began to organize my fonts by classification. I still need to set up sub-folders for some of my dingbat fonts because they are very resource intensive. You may order your fonts however you like on your computer. I have categories such as “Western” and “Vintage”, and I also have a folder containing a group of fonts that I use on a regular basis.

Keep Your Fonts on a Local Drive

It would be preferable to keep these fonts on your local hard drive and not an external drive. The reason for this is that in windows your drive letter can change if you plug in an external drive into a different USB port. Also there are varying speeds with different types of external hard drives, which can greatly effect performance.

I personally have a special partition for all of my design resources, that way if I reformat my computer, everything I have is ready and available with no need to back up my files. So my drive letter/path for fonts will likely differ from yours.

Step 1. Add Group
Right Click on “Library” and select “Add Group”. This will create a folder where you can add groups of font folders.

Step 2. Add Folder
Right click on the folder you created in step one and select “Add Folder”. You will be prompted to browse to the directory where your fonts are located. Yours will likely be somewhere on your C: drive
Example: C:Users(UserName)Documents.
If you have a ton of fonts and they are categorized in one top level folder DO NOT select the entire folder as shown below!! Click on the drop down arrow and choose the sub folder. Whichever folder you choose will become the folder name for the subfolder in Nexus Fonts.

In my /FONTS/ folder (on my computer) I have many many folders. For this tutorial I chose a folder titled “Sugar Frog Fonts”. In the screenshot below it has been added to the top level group. You can continue the steps above to add folder groups in this manner.

These are the basics for setting up Nexus font. Whichever folder you select while Nexus Font is running, will make the fonts available in office apps, most web apps (like Pixlr) and photoshop.  This app will not work for Gimp, but there’s a workaround and I’ve posted it at the end of this tutorial.

Using Nexus Font’s Character Map Tool

You can select a font to see it’s various glyphs and get the character to copy into your working application.

Step 1.
In Nexus Font, right click on the font you want to use and select “Charmap“.

Step 2.
Click on the character you’d like to copy and then the select button on the right. You can highlight the character, copy it and paste it into your office app or graphic design program.

You will need to have the corresponding font selected in the application you are using.

Using Nexus Font with Gimp

Step 1.
Once you’ve chosen what font(s) you want to use, right click on the font and choose “Copy to Folder”.  You can select multiple fonts to copy all at once. There are little buttons that display red check boxes on the left when they are selected. See screenshot Below

Step 2. 
Browse to your user directory and look for gimp version number and then “fonts”.

Restart gimp or refresh your fonts. To refresh your fonts go to Windows>Dockable Dialogues>Fonts. From there you can click on the little refresh button at the bottom of the fonts dialogue. If you have not moved a very large amount, they should refresh without restarting gimp.

Hopefully you’ve found this tutorial useful. It will likely save you some time and headaches when managing a rather large font library in windows.

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    1. Melissa July 4, 2012 2:10 pm

      I've been meaning to look for a font organizer for awhile – checking this one out now, thanks for giving me the little push I needed to corral the font list insanity around here! 😉

    2. Jan - Big Brown Dog Primitives July 26, 2012 4:00 pm

      Very interesting, Su. I have used AMP font viewer for years, but it's time for a big reorganization, and I'd like to see how this program compares. Thanks for another valuable post.

    3. FriendlyFire February 8, 2013 1:29 am

      this program sucks. I have tried to use it for over a year now. If you select the folder, it still does show up in any program. I cannot for the life of me figture out how you select a font for use WITHOUT installing it. You say in your article you simple select the folder. When I do so I can that it "looks" like it's being activated. But when I use any program I need to use the font for.. It's not there! what is the point of this. program. It doesn't work.

    4. Susan Smith February 8, 2013 4:50 am

      It has always worked flawlessly for me, so I'm not sure what the problem could be on your end. It has worked for every program but gimp for me, including MS office, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

    5. tweety5710 March 15, 2013 1:13 am

      I downloaded but am not sure how to use it, am I understanding this right? I want to sort my fonts in to categories so that fonts that I hardly ever use don't need to be installed. They are all installed right now. Do I uninstall them or just move them from my system folder?

    6. Susan Smith March 15, 2013 2:19 am

      Hi Tweety, you will likely have to move them from your system folder. The only thing is that when you move them there will still be a copy left in C:WindowsFonts, so you'll have to delete them after that. In the nexusfont application you can do this in one fail swoop by selecting multiple fonts from the "installed" fonts in the library pane on the left. There's a little circle button to the left of each font.

      Hope this helps!! Cheers, Sü

    7. Kimberley September 28, 2014 5:09 pm

      I have over 1'100 fonts installed on my computer. Now I would like to uninstall some of them to relieve the pressure on my system. I'm afraid though that I might accidentally uninstall a system font. Is there a way to identify which ones are for my system? Is deactivate the same as uninstall. Is there an auto activate feature so that I can deactivate a font and have it reactivate when I open certain programmes? I do have a back up of all the fonts I've installed myself on a portable hard drive

    8. Kris February 10, 2017 7:18 pm

      This font viewer is good for previewing installed fonts, but it’s not recommended for preview uninstalled fonts.

      When I add folder I never thought it automatically install all fonts in the folder, I’m a graphic designer and I have around 5000 premium fonts, when I add folder I’m confuse because why there’s a loading process around 30s, with my computer spec this is weird. When I check it, OMG this software install all fonts to the system to preview it.

      Font manager function is to browse, preview, and manage which font you want to install, not install the font first to preview it.

      I really like the interface of this software and want to make a donation to the developer, but after I realize, this software is useless.

      My best choice is The Font Thing even not developed since 98, but this is the best.
      Second program I use is Advance Font Viewer.
      But I didn’t like both interface 🙂

    9. SewEnthusiast May 4, 2019 5:38 pm

      Hello, I have a quick question. I have installed Nexus Font and have been using it for a while. I need a new computer now. Is there a way to move over the library, collections. etc in Nexus font or would I have to redo everything when I installed it onto the new computer


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