First off, as a type dealer and the developer of FontFinder, the first program to ever identify type, I was fortunate enough to have the support of most of the major foundries and was given their type libraries or acquired them at a discount. FontFinder, BTW, is no longer available and I use a German application named FontExpert for automated searches. Those fonts are all organized on my file server for easy access.
Having done that, I added in 5000 of my fonts to the FontExpert database, which is a nice feature of that application, so that when I do an automated search I am covering everything in their database (almost 30,000 fonts) plus 5000 that I have immediate access to.
An automated search requires a bitmap image of unmodified text with good contrast on a horizontal baseline at a reasonable size to be able to see its features. If an automated search using FontExpert doesn't make an identification, I then turn to my font libraries which are organized into style groups and scroll through them using TypoGraf.
TypoGraf has two important features.
1. It will display uninstalled fonts be they TrueType, Postscript Type 1 or any other.
2. It will allow you to enter any phrase you want for viewing them.
Using TypoGraf, I am scanning for matching artistic features (earmarks) so I can make an ID even when the font has been modified.
Fred, I'm sitting here with my new unopened FontExpert 3.0 and before I open it, I was wondering what will be the advantages of using this program as opposed to the online program located at Whathefont.com? I just read about it on anothe post here at 101, and have tried it out and it seems to work well.
Will I have a greater capabilities with my font searches?
Or will I have to have a vast amount of fonts like you have to achieve the results you do?
1. I would suspect you will be covering more fonts than WhatTheFont which is run by MyFonts.com which is owned by Bitstream. I doubt they are in the business of identifying fonts that they don't sell at MyFonts.com.
2. You can add in you own font archives. When they show up on searches, you will immediately know that you already own that font.
It can identify any unmodified font in its own database plus any font you add in with the database generator that also accompanies FontExpert. If the font has been modified, it will miss it completely. Just because a font is on your computer does not add it into the database.
Typograf or WhatTheFont (I assume) is not automated so you can focus on earmarks (style features) to find the match. But being manual, it takes longer and is limited to your own font archives.