Don't Be Surprised If Adobe Releases a Font-Matching App

Thursday, July 7, 2016
Font App

Could a "Match Font" app be in Adobe's pipeline? I'm not going "Adobe rumors" on you—this is just my own speculation, not an insider tip. But hear me out. Photoshop's new Match Font feature helps you find fonts that resemble the ones in Photoshop documents. And we know that Adobe has made a big push to develop mobile apps that complement its desktop software. So adapting the font-matching technology to work in a mobile app would seem like a no-brainer.

Here's how Match Font works: You open an image, select a block of type, and choose "Match Font" from the Type menu. Photoshop then suggests similar fonts from the ones installed in your system, or those available through Typekit. I found that it's far from perfect, but with many fonts it does a reasonably good job of suggesting alternatives.

I figure that a Match Font app would be similar to Adobe Capture CC, which lets you capture colors, patterns, brushes and objects from the real world and store them in Creative Cloud libraries. So you'd point your smartphone at type on a page, hit "Capture," and the app would try to determine the font. Finding lookalikes from the Typekit library would probably be a cinch from a development standpoint. The bigger hurdle, it seems, would be adding the ability to search your installed fonts.

This isn't exactly an original idea: Monotype already offers a font-matching iPhone app based on WhatTheFont. It, too, isn't perfect, and I think we're still far from having a typographic "eyedropper" tool that can identify fonts as easily as you can match colors. But if "Match Font" is good enough for Photoshop, it's probably good enough for an app.

Photoshop Updates to Make Nice with Plugins

Plugin

If you installed the recent Photoshop update, you probably noticed that your third-party plugins disappeared. That's because Photoshop CC 2015.5 is a "full-version" update, so it installs in a new folder alongside the old 2015 folder. The unpleasant side effect is that you have to reinstall your plugins to make them work with the new version. The Photoshop update seamlessly migrates your presets and preferences, so wouldn't it be nice if the program could also migrate your plugins?

Adobe has granted that wish. In a blog post on Adobe.com, product manager Jeff Tranberry states: "The good news is we've been working with 3rd party plug-in developers to use a shared Creative Cloud location for plug-ins. This will allow their plug-ins to load in future versions of Photoshop CC (e.g. CC 2016/2017) without having to re-install." You'll just have to be sure to use the latest versions of the developers' installers. Adobe's "help" website provides a list of plug-in vendors with links to download and installation instructions.

New Directions for Mac Hardware?

Apple recently discontinued its Thunderbolt display, and rumor sites are speculating that the company plans to replace it with a 5K monitor (about 5000 horizontal pixels) that includes a built-in graphics processing unit (GPU). The latter feature would allow the display to work with lightweight Macs that lack powerful GPUs of their own. Meanwhile, Infoworld executive editor Galen Gruman ruminated on the larger implications of the display's demise. He thinks Apple is likely to abandon the Thunderbolt 2 port in current Macs in favor of the new high-speed USB-C standard.

Product Briefs

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer, Serif's rival to Adobe Illustrator, is coming to Windows. On June 30, Serif released a free public beta for Windows, and said it expects the full version to ship in about three months. Aimed squarely at creative professionals, it offers an impressive array of drawing and painting tools, especially considering its $49.99 price tag. The Mac version won an Apple Design Award at the 2015 Worldwide Developer Conference.

Serif also plans a Windows version of Affinity Photo, which carries the same price tag and takes aim at Photoshop. Slated for a 2017 release is Affinity Publisher, a page layout program.

ABSoft released Neat Image 8, the latest version of its noise-reduction software. The company says the upgrade offers better noise reduction and sharper detail than previous versions. It's available as a Photoshop plugin for Mac and Windows and as a standalone application for Mac, Windows and Linux. The vendor offers "Home" and "Pro" editions at prices ranging from $39.90 to $79.90.

Akvis has unveiled Sketch Video Classic 1.0, a $199 plugin for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro that transforms videos into animated pencil sketches. You can download a free 30-day trial version that applies a watermark to the animations.

New Twitter Handle

I now have a new Twitter handle that's a better reflection of the content on this website: @CreativeGuide. The old one was tied to my day job even though most of my tweets were about my work on the creative side.

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