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FontRevealer is a simple application to explore Unicode font substitution behavior in Mac OS X Cocoa applications. It can be used to help diagnose troublesome font issues and identify "strange" text characters.

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Version 1.3: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.


Mac OS X 10.2 or later

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Sanjinko Member IconComment+19

Version 1.3, released on 25 October 2009, is built as a Universal Binary, now requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is compatible with 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Reply0 replies
Version 1.3
Anonymous Member IconReview

Thanks for a neat idea. However, the first time I used FontRevealer, to see what fonts were being used in a page of Japanese in Safari where obviously more than one font appeared, the line appeared all in the same font when pasted into FontRevealer. Same thing happened when pasted into TextEdit; obviously it's a System function, not FontRevealer's fault. Maybe has something to do with the second font (Apple LiGothic) being non-Unicode. If I copied a single character of the second font, it retained that font when pasted, but a mixed line defaulted to the Unicode font (STHeiti). Again, not FontRevealer's fault, but something to keep in mind.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.2
Anonymous Member Icon

Thanks for the feedback, HandyMac. There are at least three reasons why you might see the results you mention. First, the fonts the system will choose for rendering a particular string of text depend on the context of the string, so if you take one piece of a web page you can get different fonts depending on which piece you grab. Second, Safari could be forcing particular fonts to be used when doing its own rendering but not when copying text to the pasteboard. Third, Safari may not be using bog-standard Cocoa text rendering (there are other approaches available in OS X). If you send me the URL of the page you were looking at, and let me know exactly what string you pasted, I will do some experiments and see if there is anything interesting to be learned.

In general it isn't possible to know what fonts (or font rendering mechanism) another app is using without reaching into its memory, and that's not what I was after in writing FontRevealer. It's more for exploring font substitution behavior in text and/or apps that are within your control.

Cheers, Kelvin -- support at nomicro dot com.

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Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 3,037
Version Downloads 1,283
License Free
Date 26 Oct 2009
Platform OS X / PPC 32
Price Free
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