RIP FontExplorer. Can I migrate?

So I was horrified (not sure that verb is strong enough to accurately reflect my feelings) that FEX is going to the graveyard. Does anyone know if ANY currently active font organizers can import, at MINIMUM, the category structure (and at best, the classifications)?

This is pretty life-shattering for me, after like 12 years of using it and plugging hundreds and hundreds of dollars into annual upgrades.

I’m in the same boat. I texted with the Monotype sales dept and they said to use the Monotype app, which replaces Skyfonts (which is also being phased out). I haven’t had a chance to fully test the app, but it seems to be very similar to Font Book (Mac). It seems to have moved everything over from Fontexplorer… fonts I use as part of my Adobe Fonts subscription, fonts I’ve purchased over the years, and fonts in my Monotype subscription.

The Monotype subscription for individuals is going from $119 to $199, but that gives you access to everything in their library.

I’ve got to look at it closer over the weekend.

1 Like

Mojo, would you keep me posted please? Very important to many of our workflow’s here.

Monotype is a freaking nightmare.

I installed the demo of the Monotype app 3 weeks ago and it seemed to work okay. It migrated everything over from Fontexplorer and I used it for a week. Then the free trial expired and I couldn’t even log back into the Monotype app to pay them for a subscription. Which was okay because I still had Fontexplorer and I could still access the Monotype font subscription using their Skyfonts app and MyFonts. com.

Then Skyfonts went down over this weekend. Can’t login to that now either, so I don’t have access to any Monotype fonts such as Helvetica and Futura. I went back to the Monotype app, managed to login, then purchased a 1 year individual subscription. They accepted my payment this time, then immediately sent a message that said they were experiencing difficulties and I wouldn’t be able to login to use the subscription until they have it resolved.

So, all my work is on hold until Monotype support responds, which is very stressful because I have deadlines that I am going to start missing starting tomorrow.

From what I can tell reading other forums, Skyfonts has been buggy on Macs since 2017, and it looks like they gave up on trying to fix it and came out with the Monotype app as a replacement for Skyfonts and Fontexplorer. It looks like it may be plagued as well.

I’m assuming the workaround is to drop $3000 to buy all the fonts I need from them, then give up on their subscription.

Not a fan of Monotype right now.

Whoooooah now. :fearful:

Monotype has a near-monopoly on font distribution. They’ve swallowed up nearly all of the larger foundries and sales sites.

I sell several fonts through several different Monotype properties. Monotype seems to be consolidating and updating many of its sprawling type-related acquisitions, and it’s a bit of a mess.

For example, the foundry back end for people selling fonts on MyFonts (owned by Monotype) has been a cobbled-together piece of junk for years — like a bad 1990s-era interface — but it worked. Over the past few weeks, Monotype has supposedly upgraded it to fit in with their other sales sites, but it barely works. Type designers everywhere are complaining about it.

Maybe when the company gets it all sorted out, things will be fine, but it’s chaotic at the moment. Apparently, this chaos is extending to their font management software too. If it were me, I’d hold off on making any investments in Monotype until they get their act together.

1 Like

I know this is a zombie thread, but has anyone heard anything else about this? I’m wondering if there’s a way (easy), for example, to migrate from FontExplorer to Font Book or even the new version of what was Suitcase. I’m having a hard time justifying paying Monotype 200/year to just managed my fonts; that’s why I’ve been looking to Connect Fonts, which is what Suitcase has become. But honestly, I’ve been a little lax in my techie side and I really don’t know the best way to do this. Obviously, I don’t want to lose anything but, well, this is all a real PITA courtesy of Monotype.

It’s left a truly bad taste in my mouth for them and frankly I’d just as soon not use them for my font management solution.

Just curious if any of you other gurus have come up with some options. I’ve got my fonts stored in the FEX font library, but I don’t know, for example, if I’d just drag those into something like Font Book to use them. And, would that be the best solution?

Thanks, all. Just having some anxiety about the whole thing.

1 Like

I’m still not a fan of Monotype. I’m a reluctant subscriber. But I stuck with it because I had a large number of postscript fonts, and those are going to have to be replaced by January anyway, and the Monotype subscription is the cheapest way to do that. The subscription is $200 a year, but you get access to the full Monotype library, which is several thousand fonts… the official, real versions of the fonts… not some freebie buggy incomplete knockoffs with eccentric licensing terms. At very least, I needed to replace my postscript versions of Helvetica, Futura, and Avenir. That’s $1200 just for the complete families of those 3. Or I take the $1200 and get a subscription for 6 years, to those fonts, plus all the other thousands in the library.

I couldn’t find a way to move my Fontxplorer categories over to the Monotype app. So, all the work I put into that over the years is lost. I can create new categories through My Library on the Monotype website, and I’ll get around to that eventually.

Fontxplorer was helpful in identifying all the postscript fonts in my system, so I used that to determine which fonts I needed to leave behind. I used it to compile all the TT and OTF I already owned into a folder. Then I opened the Monotype app and website to drag and drop everything over. My mac would hang if I tried to do too many fonts at the same time, so I did it in batches of 30 or so.

When I open documents, the Monotype app will give warnings about which fonts need to be synced, then I have to go on the website and flip them on. I’ve also found that it randomly unsyncs fonts.

In some cases Monotype offers you both the TT and OTF versions of a font, and then it will random unsync one of those. So Indesign might be telling me the font is unsynced, but when I go to the website, it shows it is synced, but then I have to dig down deeper to see that the OTF version was used in the doc, but the TT version is the one I synced.

The big downside of the Monotype subscription is that if you aren’t connected to the internet, you don’t have access to their fonts or your own fonts you’ve uploaded to your library on their website.

I wish the fonts on Monotype’s other properties were available through the subscription. Currently, the subscription is only for the Monotype library, which is a very good library. However, they don’t include the Linotype, MyFonts, Bitstream, or other libraries they own. All those typefaces are still being sold separately as traditional downloads.

This is a bit of a tangent, but I can spend a year on a typeface family and within a month of uploading it to MyFonts or FontSpring, it’s been pirated and uploaded to dozens of free font sites — many of them operating out of Asia and unresponsive to take-down requests. The latest gimmick is for pirates to pay for the font from a legitimate distributor, then upload it to a site than enables pirated downloads via a small cryptocurrency fee — a portion of which, goes to the font pirate.

It’s to the point where I doubt I’ll design additional commercial fonts. It’s not worth the time and effort considering the rampant piracy.

However, if I could upload a font to, for example, MyFonts and specify that I only want it made available through a subscription app (where it’s all but impossible to pirate the font), such as the Monotype or Adobe font library subscriptions, I’d gladly do that.

So, bringing this back around to whether or not the Monotype subscription is worth it right now. I suspect it is, and I hope it proves wildly successful for them to the point of extending it to their other libraries.

Linotype and Bitstream are included in the Monotype subscription, but I don’t know if it’s all the fonts in those collections. Here’s the foundry list:

1 Like

You’re right. Thanks for the correction. I’m unsure where I got the wrong idea. It seems they’ve cherry-picked what makes up the library they’re offering. Some of the foundries listed aren’t owned by Monotype, and I’m certain not every one of those foundries has its complete offerings listed.

I need to spend some time looking into it more. The Monotype site is a little confusing.

I know subscriptions are out of favour these days, but personally I think this one is great. I’ve had it for a good few years now. They offered it a while back, then a couple of years later cancelled it. In fairness to monotype, they always honoured my subscription as I kept paying the sub each year.

Not a zombie thread for me, every time I open FontExplorer and think about its demise I feel sick.

The big downside of the Monotype subscription is that if you aren’t connected to the internet, you don’t have access to their fonts or your own fonts you’ve uploaded to your library on their website.

…f*ck that :rage: