I’m the kind of dude that install fonts by the buckets. I like fonts, and I like variety in my creations. Also, some programs that I install tend to place their own fonts on my machine on their own. After a while, this creates a huge mess and your fonts list in your applications grows excessively long. If ever the applications you use have font preview, this makes the matters worse! I’ve had Wordpad and some other programs crashing on me due to some corrupt font, or some font they didn’t like while I was browsing the font list.
Also, apparently, having a ton of fonts installed can bring down the performance of your machine, so before installing that font pack with a zillion fancy fonts in it, you might re-consider. Though I have to say, I never noticed the performance hit myself, despite the 1067 fonts I had installed.
Thus, there comes a time in the life of every font freak, where they must clean up their fonts folder. The problem is that Windows has a set of fonts that it likes and cannot work without. I’ll call these system-critical fonts. If you delete those, you will have a brick of a machine on your hands, and a re-install of the OS could save it, but lot of pains involved. Thus you would want a way to clean up that font folder of yours while keeping the essential fonts, correct?
Here comes Font Frenzy! Font Frenzy is a free software that will allow you to preview what fonts you have installed, but also manage them. By manage, I mean, install new fonts, back up existing fonts and uninstall those you don’t want. All this in a very simple interface.
But the most interesting feature of Font Frenzy, something that I have not seen in other font managers, is the ability to “DeFrenzy” your font folder. What this does is uninstall all those non system-critical fonts that you have installed. Before doing that, it’ll prompt you to create a snapshot of your current fonts. I’ll explain what this does later. After that, it’ll “uninstall” all those unnecessary fonts by removing them from the OS’ font folder, and place them somewhere of your own liking. Thus, you have a backup of the fonts, but at the same time, they do not clutter. You can then pick and choose which ones to re-install at a later time.
Now about those snapshots. They are in fact saved states of your font folders. Using snapshots, you can easily add or remove sets of fonts. For example, I have a snapshot where I have “DeFrenzied” my whole font folder, returning my system to its default state. Then, when I need all my fonts back, I just “ReFrenzy” using that snapshot, and get all my fonts back. Likewise, you can have different snapshots for different installed font-sets. E.g. A set with only default+graffiti fonts for example.
Oh, if you still want to clean up the your font mess manually, this list should be helpful to know what NOT to delete.
Summarizing, the good points of Font Frenzy are:
- Simple interface
- Ability to remove non-essential or non-default fonts from a system automatically
- Can restore all removed fonts via snapshots
- Can manage fonts (install, delete)
- Can backup fonts to a folder you like (Unload and Store) in FrenzyMan
The cons are:
- ReFrenzy, DeFrenzy, FrenzyMan… these terms can be confusing to the new user, but you get used to them after a while.
- DeFrenzy (remove all non-essential fonts) does not remove all non-essentials apparently. It does leave some fonts behind. I don’t know if they can be considered essential, but nevertheless, Font Frenzy does a decent job at cleaning up things.
- If you check the Fonts folder in Windows, you will see that not all the removed fonts are gone from that folder. I think Font Frenzy just removes some entries from the registry for some fonts, so they look as if they are un-installed.
So I’d say, if you need a simple, but good font manager, give Font Frenzy a try.