These basic concepts provide a foundation for understanding the operation, administration and use of FontAgent® Server.

FontAgent Server Overview

  • A font server builds a centralized database of your organization’s fonts, and provides tools to control their distribution, manage users and track font licenses and usage.
  • FontAgent Server is available in three editions. The CloudServer™ Edition is hosted by Insider at an internet data center, and the TeamServer™ and Enterprise Editions are hosted by you on your own networked hardware.
Graphic depicting interaction of the elements in FontFlex server architecture

FontFlex Power and Simplicity

  • FontAgent Server is built using FontFlex™ technology, which integrates the basic elements of font management—fonts, sets, users, groups, tags, font licenses and enterprise directories.
  • FontFlex elements automatically interact with each other as you import fonts, add users and assign fonts to them, simplifying your administrative tasks significantly.

Fonts and File Formats

  • A font is a selected style of a specific typeface, such as Minion Pro Italic.
  • A font family is a collection of font styles (e.g., Regular, Italic, Bold) that are based on the same base font outline such as Bodoni.
  • Fonts are available in several file formats including OpenType, Mac TrueType, Windows TrueType, PostScript Type 1 and dfont. macOS can read all of these formats, but Windows reads only OpenType and Windows TrueType files.

FontDNA Integrity and Metadata Engine

  • To validate fonts and unlock their metadata, users import them into FontAgent client software running on macOS or Windows.
  • FontAgent’s FontDNA™ engine uses 28 characteristics to create digital fingerprints of uploaded font files, to test their integrity and to discover their metadata.
  • Metadata includes font metrics and descriptors including family name, foundry, version, file format, style, width, creation date and scores of other characteristics.
  • To view font metadata, users can select a font and view its associated metadata in the right sidebar of the FontAgent client.

Users, Authentication and Permissions

  • Users of FontAgent clients can connect to the server after being invited by the font server administrator.
  • Users connect by authenticating via their email address and password.
  • When users connect, the server performs a two-way operation that syncs the fonts and sets on the server with those on users’ computers.
  • The server-sync operation uploads, downloads and remove sets and fonts according to sharing permissions specified by administrators.

Groups of Users

  • Groups are logical associations of users and can be used to define teams, roles, departments or any other group of users.
  • Groups are used by admins to streamline the assignment of font-access and administrative permissions.

Font Sets

  • Sets are logical associations of fonts.
  • Sets can be used to associate fonts by project, client, file format, vendor, foundry, license—whatever is required by your workflow.
  • Users can define sets locally in their personal FontAgent databases.

Uploading Fonts and Sets

  • Font admins can upload sets of fonts to the Server from FontAgent Connected Clients.
  • The Server uses FontDNA to eliminate duplicate fonts and enforce consistency across projects, output and corporate standards.
  • The Server stores both fonts and sets, and shares them with users as you specify.

Font Server Administration

  • You must designate at least one person to act as a FontAgent Server administrator.
  • The server admin invites users to join the server.
  • The server admin can allow selected users to add and delete server fonts and sets.
  • Server admins use the browser-based FontAgent Server Manager to administrate users, groups, fonts, sets, permissions and font distribution rules.

Font Usage Insight and Compliance

  • FontAgent Server let you store license details for your fonts, including terms of use, number of license users and any specific limitations.
  • The Server Manager provides real-time insight into font usage by users, groups and machines.
  • After you enter font license information, FontAgent Server provides up-to-the-minute details on license compliance.

Distributing Fonts to Users

  • The two basic models for distributing fonts are: (a) distributing all available server fonts to all your users, or (b) selectively controlling which fonts are distributed to which users.
  • Admins assign fonts and sets to users and groups to specify which users are authorized to use which fonts.
  • As server fonts and sets are modified, FontAgent Server automatically syncs those changes with users’ computers.

End User Font Access

  • End users run FontAgent clients to connect to FontAgent Server, and automatically receive all fonts assigned to them when they connect.
  • End users cannot delete or modify fonts and sets residing on the server unless the server admin grants them such permissions.
  • Users can access their fonts whether they are connected to FontAgent Server or not, even if the server is offline.
  • Server admins can enable or prohibit end users from adding fonts to their personal FontAgent database.

So there’s a quick overview of FontAgent Server concepts and terminology. But nothing compares to seeing it in action. Contact Insider today for a demo or trial of the world’s only font server based on FontFlex technology.