Extensis Universal Type Server
Not a Dolph Lungren movie
- Simple to set up and administrate, many options for restricting font use, great font corruption and duplication detection tools.
- Currently only Mac client and Creative Suite 3/QuarkXPress 7 plug-ins are available, pricey for smaller design firms
Extensis' software won't prevent someone from wilfully using a font they've acquired elsewhere, but if font security and font management is important to you — important enough that you'd spend at least $1395.00 on software for it — then Universal Type Server is an excellent solution. Or rather, it will be, when the Windows clients and an expanded set of plug-ins are released.
Price$ 1,395.00 (AUD)
Universal Type Server isn't — as it sounds — a particularly poor Dolph Lungren movie about the perilous journeys of someone who delivers fonts for a living, but a font-management system that aims to make things easy for small design studios, while providing a huge amount of flexibility for big companies with large IT departments. And by and large it succeeds, though it's not as versatile as we'd like.
Designed to replace Font Reserve Server and Suitcase Server, Universal Type Server offers a wide array of functions. It manages the fonts you own, allowing you to make them accessible to your team as you see fit. This can be for security, so you can give unrestricted access to your core team, and limit the set for freelancers so they don't use fonts that your printers don't own too. It also simplifies things, allowing you to divide fonts into sets for particular clients or projects.
Universal Type Server also includes some nifty utilities for automatically installing and uninstalling fonts when projects are opened and closed, checking fonts for corruption, and dealing with multiple versions of the same font — ensuring, for example, all team members are using the same version of Helvetica.
The system is broken down into the usual server and client modules. The server will run on Windows or Mac hardware up to about four years old, so companies can install it on an old computer rather than purchase a new one (though you may have to upgrade a Mac's OS, as only Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 are supported). The client will run on any workstation capable of running modern versions of Creative Suite or QuarkXPress, though the auto-activation plug-ins support only Illustrator CS3, InDesign CS3 and QuarkXPress 7. Extensis says it will be supporting CS2 versions and QuarkXPress 6.5 and 8 "soon".
However, as Digital Arts went to press, the Windows version of the client wasn't available, so it may be a little while before the Universal Type Server is flexible enough for most design groups. We would also like to see plug-ins created for the original Adobe CS tools, as some companies still haven't upgraded from this. Multimedia agencies would benefit from plug-ins for After Effects and Photoshop (for Web design). In testing, the plug-ins worked seamlessly.
The client is easy to use, allowing the user to find fonts based on type, class, family, version or even keywords — which administrators can set up themselves. You can also compare them directly on-screen using your own text. For administrators, the client also takes care of adding and removing fonts from groups, so you don't have to manually copy fonts to the server.
Users and groups can be set up using a simple, if long-winded, Web interface. There's another Web interface for overall administration of the server and setting up backups of your fonts (below), though this is trickier to get at and easier done from the server.
Universal Type Server is available in two versions: Lite and Professional. Lite is aimed at smaller design groups and is supremely simple to set up. It uses Apple's Bonjour networking technology (as used by iTunes) so clients and the server find each other automatically and there's no fiddling with IP settings. Professional is aimed at larger corporations: it's charged on a per-user basis and offers an open system for integrating the system into large IT networks.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Optus to take the lag out of gaming
- Echo family reimagined, inside and out
- Google smart displays now let you take charge of multi-room audio
- Recently squashed Alexa bug could have allowed hackers access to voice histories, researchers say
- Affinity offers Photo, Designer & Publisher for Free for 3 Months
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Soundbars: Why they’re worth it and which one should you buy
- Buying a laptop this EOFY? Here's a cheat sheet
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies