Use Webfonts in Photoshop for Free
Webfonts liberate us from the "web-safe" quintet we're all sick of: Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and Verdana. But because webfonts are relatively new, there are still some bumps in the workflow. For example, purchasing rights to use a typeface on the Web doesn't necessarily come with rights to employ that typeface in other media. That's a problem when you want to use it on your desktop for site mockups created in Photoshop. Who wants to pay twice to license a font, especially when it may not make the final cut?
Extensis recognized this dilemma and came up with a solution: the Web Font plug-in for Photoshop. Now in public beta, this free plug-in gives you access to many of Extensis' WebINK webfonts. You don't have to pay until you've made final webfont choices and are ready to take your website live.
The workflow goes like this:
1. Activate a free account on Extensis WebINK.
2. Download and install the Web Font plug-in, which is part of a new trial version of Suitcase Fusion 3, the company's font manager. (If you have a version of Suitcase earlier than 14.1.0, go to the app's Check for Updates to get the new version.)
3. Login to your WebINK account.
4. Design site mockups in Photoshop using any available WebINK typefaces.
5. Share those mock-ups as PDFs or as image files like JPGs.
6. Pay for whatever WebINK font licenses are necessary once your site is about to be published to the Web.
It's all pretty simple, but Extensis will offer a free webinar on September 22, 2011, to get you completely up to speed on the workflow. You can register for that webinar at www.extensis.com/webfontpluginwebcast.
A few notes: Even though it comes with a 30-day trial version of Suitcase Fusion 3, don't worry—the Web Font plug-in will work after that trial expires. However, you will need Photoshop CS5 through 5.5; anything earlier won't do. Also, some fonts in the WebINK library aren't yet available to use in the plug-in. Extensis is in the process of negotiating these extended licenses with all of its suppliers.