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I want to view the fonts that are installed on my system. Specifically, I want the client-side (fontconfig) fonts, not the old-style X11 bitmap fonts on the server (for which xfontsel does an adequate job). I guess what I'm looking for would be called a font viewer or font gallery. I want to see a bit of sample text for each font, ideally configurable sample text.

Being able to filter by font name, available character sets and other characteristics would be a plus.

A search of packages in Debian wheezy found gnome-font-viewer and kfontview, but they can only display a single font. I'd rather avoid depending on software that isn't widely available, including on the current Debian stable and Ubuntu LTS.

7

font-manager allows you to make collections of fonts for manual categorization, etc. It also allows some searching, by font "type" which includes things like script, decorative, text, etc. It is in Debian.

It has a compare feature that lets you compare multiple fonts with your choice of text. It also has a browse screen that shows all fonts at once (well, or at least as many as fit on your screen, it has a scrollbar).

Note that it creates a ~/.fonts.conf if you don't already have one. You'll have to clean this up for newer fontconfigs (jessie and later, I believe).

font-manager screenshot

5

gnome-specimen shows multiple fonts, but lacks any filtering (other than by name). It is in Debian:

gnome-specimen screenshot

3

Opcion font viewer is an open source program for viewing fonts. It is a Java jar, so it can be run with the following command:

java -jar Opcion_v1.1.1.jar

Project's SourceForge page

However, AFAIK this is not available in the repositories.

2

Fontmatrix (home page is dead, unfortunately) appears to be the best of the bunch. It supports filtering on a variety of attributes, tagging fonts, and has a nice comparison display. It takes forever to start up, at least the first time, as it collects all the font info into a SQLite database.

It is in Debian.

You can combine filters with either AND or OR, and you can also use NOT. You do this by clicking the little icons on the right-hand side of the filter up top.

Fontmatrix screenshot

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