TypeCatcher Font Picker

📅 March 25, 2020
“Is there an easy way to preview, pick, and install fonts?”

Yes!

Hidden within the depths of the Ubuntu repository is a (probably) little-known program called TypeCatcher that allows you to preview, download, and install fonts directly from Google Fonts without needing to visit the Google Fonts web site at all.

Fonts can be quickly viewed and either downloaded to your computer or installed on your system with the click of a button. Talk about easy!

Installation

TypeCatcher is free. I tested this in Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon, and TypeCatcher worked perfectly. Just open the Software Manager, search for typecatcher, and install it.

TypeCatcher in Software Manager.

Operation

Just open the program to run it. Internet connection is required.

TypeCatcher. Available fonts from Google Fonts are listed in the pane on the left.

Simply pick a font on the left (or scroll through them) to see a preview of the font. Text is generated at random by default, but you can select custom text if you prefer.

Lorem Ipsum is also available for preview text. Choose File > Save to install the font to your system. All versions of the font are automatically installed. If a font is installed, the gray checkmark and the word Installed will appear in the upper right corner to let you know if a font is installed or not.

Once a font is installed on your system, it can be used with other programs, such as LibreOffice Writer shown here. Keep in mind that you must restart Writer after installing a new font or set of fonts in order for Writer to recognize the new font.

Even though one font family is listed in the lefthand pane, there might be multiple variations of that font. Installing the font family installs all variations too. Installing the BenchNine font installed two TrueType font files: BenchNine and BenchNine Light as seen in Writer on the right.

Choosing File > Save As will download all TrueType .ttf files to your computer. Selecting a font family will download all font variations for you. Three BenchNine .ttf files were downloaded automatically.

TypeCatcher About dialog.

Fast and Snappy

TypeCatcher font previews are instantaneous. Click a font, and a preview immediately appears. There is no download delay. This is much faster than using Google Font’s web page.

No Network Connection

I had one issue the first time I ran the program. I encountered a No Network Connection message where selecting a font did not load it for preview in TypeCatcher.

Once I restarted TypeCatcher, the issue went away, and I never encountered it again (so I cannot take a screenshot of it). The program has worked perfectly ever since.

Conclusion

Where has this program been?!

If you do any form of font-related work, then TypeCatcher is essential! I always found free font selection on Google Fonts to be time-consuming and tedious at times (not to mention the separate download and installation steps needed), but TypeCatcher makes font selection quick, easy, and fun! In fact, I use TypeCatcher just to see what is available, and I find myself browsing through fonts in TypeCatcher as enjoyable as perusing a computer magazine.

Like a font? Click. Done! There it is on your system ready for use. How easy is that?

Web designers. Graphic artists. Word processing. Desktop customizations. Anybody requiring custom fonts will benefit from this.

Definitely recommended!

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