New Feature: Enhanced Custom Sample Toolbar (Beta)

We are happy to announce today that we’ve rolled out Phase One of our enhanced custom sample text toolbar. The toolbar has been rebuilt from the ground up, and now includes some new user-friendly features to enhance your font browsing experience. Phase Two is coming soon now live, which introduces OpenType feature support. Scroll down for more info.

Updated sample text and size menus

As always, you can enter your own custom sample text, and our font samples will quickly update with your specified text. We’ve also added the option to select one of a number of preset samples, including text set in German, Central European (in this case Polish), Cyrillic, and Greek.

Note: If a font does not contain support for these languages, placeholder glyphs from the font (or, in some cases, empty space) will instead appear. We’re working on making this clearer and prettier.

We’ve also updated our point size selection menu, which will now allow you to input a custom point size value in addition to selecting from predetermined sizes.

Color selector

We’ve also added a color selector to the toolbar. When you click the icon, you are presented with two color wheels and hex inputs: one for foreground color, one for background color. To use the color wheel, first click in the square color selector to specify hue, saturation and lightness, then use the color wheel to fine-tune the hue. When colors have been selected, the toolbar icon will reflect the chosen fore- and background colors, respectively, just as you may be familiar with from other applications. You can collapse the color selectors by again clicking the icon in the toolbar, or the Hide Colors button (this has been replaced by a Hide Controls bar below the expanded controls, which will collapse the expanded area) — your chosen colors will still persist from page to page after you’ve closed the menu.

After specifying custom text, point size, and/or colors, your samples will update automatically after a moment. We’ve beefed up our rendering service, so samples should update lightning-quick.

OpenType features

In the sample text toolbar on any page displaying font renders, you’ll now see a new gear icon. Upon clicking the gear, a control panel will be expanded, as seen above. This panel includes a predefined list of OpenType features most commonly included in OT fonts, as well as a few dropdown menus containing additional features that are grouped by relevancy. Note that on single font pages, like that of FF Chambers Sans OT Regular, features that are not included in the font will be grayed out and unselectable.

To view your sample text with an OpenType feature applied, simply select a checkbox or menu item. The rendered image will automatically update with your OT feature applied, if any applicable characters are present in the sample string. FF Chambers Sans OT Regular, for example, contains Swash caps alternates:

Please note that not every selectable OpenType feature will affect your rendered sample. Most OT features only affect a subset of characters within a font, and if they are not present in your sample string, no glyph replacement will take place. You can view which glyphs are included in each OpenType feature by clicking the Character Set tab on a single font page and selecting a feature from the list. You can also learn about each feature by hovering over the feature name.

Just as with the color selector, the OT feature controls can be collapsed using the Hide Controls button. Unlike the color selector, your selections will not be persistent when navigating through to other font pages, as each font will have differing available OT features.

Try out the new sample toolbar on any page you find samples. And stay tuned for future enhancements.


  1. Posted May 26, 2011 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    gostei mais como eu fasso pra fazer na foto em???

  2. Meghan
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    This is just phase one of the toolbar, we’ll be adding new features in the future.

  3. Posted June 30, 2011 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    i love it.

  4. Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:14 AM | Permalink


  5. Don Hammond
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    Still the most frustrating typography site I’ve ever used… why should I have to scroll past all the variations of fonts within a family? It increases the search time dramatically. If I know I’m not looking for any kind of Bodoni, why should I have to laboriously slog past every damn one of them if I’m searching for a serif I’ve never used before?

  6. Meghan
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    @Don – Thank you for your feedback. We recently conducted a customer survey and are working to improve user experiences like the one you described. Our apologies for any inconvenience and please let us know if we can assist you in finding or recommending a product.

  7. Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Permalink


  8. Posted November 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    It would be great if you could ‘port’ the ios app that i use on the ipad to an adobe air app that i can use on my desktop laptop… Or even better. Why don’t you develop a contextual plugin for adobe photoshop/illustrator that works the same as linotype font-explorer? That way, i can tryout fonts in my mockups and buy them instantly.

    Your user experience shouldn’t be just focussed around the website, but more on where your products are selected/used. The website is only a small part of that. It would be far more convenient if the search process could be shortened drasticly with dashboard / plugins / or other browse help tools.

    Now it takes forever to find something… Have you looked into linotype’s font explorer (free-app)? The store is integrated into a convenience tool.

  9. Maricielo Escalante Guiffor
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    I LIKE

  10. Posted March 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Beautiful fonts here. Looking so elegant!

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