September 28, 2006

ASK MORDY: Cycling through fonts

Today's question is from Darius Gasior:

On a Mac, is there a way to cycle through the fonts, changing selected text as you go. Photoshop has this functionality (select text, highlight font name, and use the up/down arrows), and it seems like it would be a no-brainer to have it in Illustrator... I haven't found it yet, am I missing something?

SIGH. Photoshop does have this feature. And wouldn't you know it, Illustrator ALSO has this feature -- but only on Windows. For some reason, it doesn't work on Mac. It might be a side-effect on how interface elements work on the Mac, but unfortunately, if you're a Mac user, you're relegated to manually switching between fonts -- arguably a grueling task if you're trying to do some logo work and want to step through many different fonts quickly.

Wish I had a better answer for you. Maybe in CS3? Let's all hope.

11 comments:

O.K. Sauceman said...

So what is the Windows-only shortcut. I prefer a Mac but I also have to use Windows so it would be useful to know

Mordy Golding said...

On Windows, you just highlight the font field and press the Up and Down arrow keys on your keyboard. By the way, a quick workaround is to copy and paste your text into Photoshop -- cycle through the fonts until you find the one you like, then copy and paste it back into Illustrator. AI and PS share the same text engine, so this is possible with no issues.

O.K. Sauceman said...

Thanks for this - the same thing is true on Windows for the layer blending modes. Wish they would do the same on the Mac side.

Matheau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matheau said...

Art Directors Toolkit is great for quickly previewing fonts. Its Text utility allows you to do this similar to Photoshop with the arrow keys and typeahead, but also has the unique ability to switch families and styles using the scrollwheel on your mouse. Check it out!

Wray Bowling said...

The best thing I have found is Font Book which comes with OSX. You can switch the preview text to custom. That way you're not using photoshop too which takes up a lot more RAM. Pick your font and size there, and bring your knowledge back to illustrator. I'm mad that the feature is missing as much as everybody else, and it's stupid that it's persisted all the way to CS4. The Adobe developers live under a damn rock, and have been doing crap like this for the past five years. If they're not more careful, I think stuff like this could kill them.

Wray Bowling said...

The best thing I have found is Font Book which comes with OSX. You can switch the preview text to custom. That way you're not using photoshop too which takes up a lot more RAM. Pick your font and size there, and bring your knowledge back to illustrator. I'm mad that the feature is missing as much as everybody else, and it's stupid that it's persisted all the way to CS4. The Adobe developers live under a damn rock, and have been doing crap like this for the past five years. If they're not more careful, I think stuff like this could kill them.

Anonymous said...

Go to Photoshop, use the arrow keys to find the font you like, then go back to Illustrator and select that font by scrolling down the list or typing the first letter or letters of the font you chose.

Singingirl96 said...

you'd think that with all of the updates to cs5 they would have fixed this. ugh.

Buggy,,, said...

I just switched to Mac at work. It's funny how there are a million useful shortcuts in illustrator that I have never used (and probably should), and the one that I DO use doesn't work on a Mac. Well, Adobe, I am waiting patiently ;-)

fahrio said...

Give http://wordmark.it a try.

It's an online app to preview a word of your choice with the fonts installed on your computer. You scroll through your options, select the ones you like, check them out on dark background, etc. It works directly from your browser and helps more than the up/down arrow keys.