NexusFont How-to guide

March 16, 2016

Since I wrote a review last year about NexusFont I’ve gotten a few questions about this program, and thought a how-to guide of sorts may be useful. NexusFont is a great font management tool. It’s flexible and has so many options, it’s confusing! I hope I can help make some sense of it.

First of all let me make some things clear:
* I am not affiliated with NexusFont in any way, and have no connection to them. I am a just a pleased user.
* This is not a comprehensive guide in any way, and is based on my own experience (in life and with the program :-).
* I’m working on Microsoft Windows PC.

If you’re not sure what a font manager is, or why you should be using one, please have a look at the review (plus some Dos & Don’ts):


This is how I set up my fonts - in a convenient location, in their own subfolders, filed according to vendor.
This is how I set up my fonts – in a convenient location, in their own subfolders, filed according to vendor.

Fonts Folder

After reading the review, you probably realize you MUST have your fonts collection in a different folder from C:/Windows/Fonts.
Where do you put all your fonts then? Anywhere else, really.
Personally, I created a folder, and put it in my Pictures folder (where I keep all sorts of resources). Inside it I have sub-folders of the different vendors, and each font in its own folder inside it.

Now all we need to do is tell NexusFont where our new fonts folder is. NexusFont will remember this location. When we download fonts in the future, we’ll add them into this folder, and they will appear in NexusFont.


Pointing to Folders in NexusFont

When you open NexusFont, you have a pane on the left, titled Library. Right-clicking it will allow you to create New Folder Group. Give it a name. Then you just drag your main fonts folder (or a subfolder) onto the folder group you just created. The fonts show up instantly.

I created a new folder group: Example (please ignore the rest of the folders – mine is not a fresh installment). Next, I navigate in Windows to my main folder location, and drag the folder onto Example in NexusFont. Now the main window in NexusFont is populated with our fonts. See following images.

Whenever we add new fonts to that folder in the future, they will automatically show in NexusFont.
The folder groups and subfolders you create here could matter, since selecting any folder group loads its fonts for use. I’ll explain that in a moment.

On Installing/Uninstalling; Activating/Deactivating; Loading/Unloading

  • Installing & Uninstalling = Actually affects your C:/System/Fonts folder. Fonts installed are fonts added to the system fonts folder.
  • Activating & Deactivating = I think works like Loading & Unloading (please comment if you know otherwise)
  • Loading & Unloading = The terms used in NexusFont. Temporarily makes the loaded fonts available. Doesn’t affect the system fonts folder. The fonts become unavailable once you close the font manager. This is the method I recommend for most of your fonts.

In NexusFont, a font is loaded when it is listed in the program’s main pane.

So, following that rule, selecting a folder group will load all the fonts in that group, selecting a Set will load all the fonts belonging to that set (I’ll get to Sets soon), selecting a tag word will load all the fonts associated with that tag. If you need to narrow the list even further, click the white dot to the left of a font in the main pane. The dot will change to a dark V mark, meaning it is selected. Select all the fonts and weights you want, then click Selected, at the top of the main pane. Only your selections will show and be loaded.

Sorting your fonts in NexusFont

NexusFont is excellent for sorting your font collection. It allows you to group them, as we’ve already seen, and also to tag them. I’ve covered tagging very thoroughly in the review, so I’m not going to go over that again. Basically, you can only show/load fonts with specific tags. Adding them to Sets is another great option.

About Sets

Sets are an extremely useful feature, which I haven’t fully understood well when I wrote my review. I’ve come to use them extensively since. I create a set for each of my projects or clients. When I start work on a project for a client, I create a set for this project. I really like choosing my fonts inside NexusFont, so I do my browsing and add any possible candidate to the project’s set. Then I narrow it down, deleting all the unused fonts. I remain with a set that holds all my project’s fonts & weights. Every time I work on this client’s project, I select the set, and those are the only fonts loaded.
Very light on the system.

How I work with Type-faces Now

I have a minimum of fonts in the Windows system folder, and have my font collection in a seperate location on my computer, and I told NexusFont where they all are. Whenever I want to design something with a typeface (font), I open NexusFont. I select the suitable Folder Group, tags or Set, my fonts get loaded and are available for use. When I finish designing, I close NexusFont. I do not open it for Outlook, Word etc. For these programs I have my system fonts.

I only installed (to the system folder) a few fonts I use very regularly, so I don’t need to open NexusFont to use them.
And I keep a backup folder of the original system fonts (I have been badly hurt tampering with system fonts, so I’m extra-cautious).

Since NexusFonts give so many options for cataloging and pesenting your font collections, you can make use of the different possibilities for different uses.

  • As I said, I use Sets for working on clients and projects.
  • My folders (Folder groups) are divided into subfolders by vendor. If I’m working on a website, and want to select a webfont, I’ll use my Google Fonts, for example.
  • Tags help me when I’m searching for the right font for some project. I made tags that describe the font, such as Handwriting, Big & bold, Fancy etc. So when I look for a big, bold typeface, I narrow my search by this tag.
    I use the color and size option, and narrow my search in the program.
    (When I make my choice, I will add the selected typeface to its’ project’s Set).

I think this covers it.

Have any questions?

You’re welcome to ask, I’ll be glad to help if I can. Please post it as a comment below – other people may find the information helpful as well. If you would like me to exapand on something – please let me know.

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