January 9, 2012

A feature often desired by users is a way to take a scan of a font and have the font identified. Believe me, I understand this all too well. Prior to writing books on CorelDRAW, I worked for a font foundry and I often was given a fax to identify a font. It was a very tedious process, but I got pretty good at a quick identification just looking at a sample.

There was an amazing utility for font identification by the name of Font Expert. It had a cost of around $150 and did a phenomenal job of suggesting the right font. Unfortunately it is no longer available as it was driven away by Web sites that offered the same service for free. In my opinion, the results are far worse but free is a very powerful selling point.

That leads us to the WhatTheFont?! Web site. You can either visit the site directly and upload a sample or you can access it from within CorelDRAW X4 and X5. Make sure to read the opening page of the site carefully for tips on how to scan a good sample. The sample will be tested and suggested fonts will be listed. I find the results from WhatTheFont to be far inferior to the Font Expert utility, unfortunately it is the best choice available for many users.

We also need to understand how the site works. When the results are listed, you have the option to purchase the fonts. It is the sale of fonts that funds the free identification service. Often I will see users get a result and then ask other users to send them the font. If it is a commercial font, that’s illegal so be careful about such requests. For services like this to continue and improve, they have to bring in enough revenue. So if you truly need a font, please consider purchasing it. In most cases, you can charge your client for the font if it is needed for their design.

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  1. SoBay Clothing

    Valuable information indeed! I currently have a program name Font Expert installed on my tablet, as I wasn’t able to use my old copies of ATM with Windows 7. Therefore the question I have is, is it the same program you mentioned in the article?

  2. Foster D. Coburn III


    I can’t say if you have the same Font Expert I described or not. There is another program of the same name for font management that is still actively developed.

    As for ATM, you should NOT install it on newer versions of Windows as it would cause problems. It simply is no longer needed.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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