When comparing FontBase vs MainType, the Slant community recommends FontBase for most people. In the question“What are the best font management software tools?” FontBase is ranked 1st while MainType is ranked 3rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro It saves you from having to install fonts
Pro Free to use
FontBase is free.
Pro Works fast with a lot of fonts
Pro Wonderful minimalist interface with good choice of controls
Pro Get Google Fonts on your system in a few seconds
Pro Syncs font database from Dropbox easily
Fontbase allows you to easily set up watch folders allowing you to sync your font libraries directly from any cloud-based storage provider.
Pro Regular free updates
Pro Affordable upgrade option
Pro Can handle thousands of fonts
The (paid) Professional version lets you create a library of as many fonts as you want. Free version is limited to 2500 fonts, which is still a good amount.
Pro Group fonts for organizing
Beside grouping by storage folder, you can create your own groups of fonts. For example for clients or projects.
Pro Add tags to fonts for easy organizing
Create tags to identify and organize your fonts.
Pro Very good support
Very good support, which usually reacts extremely quickly when something goes wrong. So far there has been nothing unresolved.
Pro Instant view of all font information
I have customized my view so that I can arrange the "Information" panel with all the technical details of the font, e.g. no. of glyphs/characters (often different!), all OpenType features in the selected font, exact location of the font file, etc.
Pro Access fonts from network locations
Any folder, including mapped network folders, can be checked for fonts that are added to the font library.
Pro Sample window with OpenType features preview
Click the X_2 button and enable/disable OpenType features of the selected font in the sample window with a customizable text preview.
Pro Temporary font installation
Fonts don't have to be installed for use, you can also load them. This way they're available for use in all programs, but won't stay 'installed' after a reboot.
Pro Free version isn't extremely limited
Most features of the paid Standard and Professional versions are available in the Free version. The main difference is the number of fonts allowed in the library (2500 vs. 10,000 in Standard and unlimited in Professional).
Pro No subscription but permanent license
No subscription software that you don't own. How many utilities, plug-ins, suites, and so on do you have to subscribe to? I can't stand it anymore!
Pro Multi-monitor capable
You know that there's always too little space ... I've customized my "view" so that on the second monitor I can see a big window only with the glyphs of the selected font in the main window.
Pro Create font books with samples
It's easy to create a number of different font sample sheets to include in style guides or create your own font book.
Con Virtually non-existent support
Generally get one response and then dead silence.
Con It doesn't grab fonts when using the package features in Adobe software
You will have to manually grab the font folders from your library. As the fonts aren't actually installed locally, Adobe software can't see the font nor export it with your project.
Con It doesn't make adding, activating or sorting through fonts any easier
When dragging font and font folders into the library you will still need to search for them and manually activate. The ability to search and sorting fonts is very limited.
Con Must open it everytime to activate fonts
FontBase's main pro is its main drawback - not needing to install fonts is great, but opening files using fonts not installed may not show them properly unless FontBase is also opened.
Con Ask to buy
Search filter is need to buy.
Con Does not display all fonts, and there is NO support at all
No help/support, no spec, no tech page or forum.
Con Crashes with many fonts
Con Makes Adobe programs run slow and crash
Con No previews for svg fonts (yet?)
MainType currently doesn't show previews of svg fonts.
Con Slightly dated interface
Though speedy and customizable, the interface looks a bit outdated.