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Extensis Suitcase Fusion 2 review

Flexible font management tool adds floating previews and better auto-activation

Extensis Suitcase Fusion 2-Main
The Suitcase Fusion 2 interface is a little cleaner than before, which makes font finding even easier

Our Verdict

A solid upgrade to the oldest font management tool around – a must-have for font fans


  • Floating preview windows
  • Faster than previous versions
  • Auto-activation in most programs
  • Cleaner interface
  • Must-have font management


  • Only works in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Extensis Suitcase Fusion 2 is the newest version of one of the oldest Mac tools around.

It helps manage large font collections, keeping you from drowning in an uncontrolled sea of typefaces.

This is done by listing all your fonts in Suitcase libraries and collections and enabling you to turn different ones on and off as you want to use them, keeping font menus short and sweet. But there's more to the software than this basic ability.

First of all, finding the font you want from your collection is made easy through options that enable you to search according to foundry, version, type classification and much more.

When you have a search refined you can save it as a Smart Set to use again, and you can also make as many font collection lists as you like and repeat fonts in them. Make one for each design project you do and activate all their fonts on in one click.

You can even get Suitcase to do the activation for you. Opening an InDesign CS3/CS4, or QuarkXPress 7/8 document will get Suitcase to check for fonts you've used, and it will turn these on if they're not active already.

The software uses something Extensis calls Font Sense, which uses a broad range of identification methods to make sure you get the right version of a font even if, for example, you have half a dozen variants of Franklin Gothic. Other programs can be set up for auto-activation as well, although they don't get the benefit of Font Sense precision matching.

But the real gem here is the new preview feature. The standard built-in font sample feature that shows portions of text in the selected typeface can now float, with see-through background, over your work.

This is a great way to check how type might look in your design, and it's what makes this a must-have tool for anyone with more than a handful of basic fonts.