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First Look: FontShuffle puts FontShop in your pocket

If, like me, you do a lot of your font shopping at FontShop, you're sure to love FontShuffle.

FontShuffle is like having a copy of the indispensable FontShop catalog right on your iPhone or iPod touch. I know my dog-eared copy from 2002 needs to be updated and/or retired: FontShuffle is a nifty, free replacement. It's ideal for situations where you know what look you want, but don't know what font to use.

FontShuffle lets you choose from six major classifications of type: sans serif, serif, slab serif, script, blackletter, and display. Tap one, and FontShuffle shows you six more sub-categories to choose from. Tap one of those, and you're presented with six selections from the FontShop catalog based on the look you selected.

If none of the fonts fit the bill, press "Shuffle" or simply shake the device to get six more fonts. Tapping a font lets you view a customizable string of text in that font, and even save a picture of the text to your device's camera roll. Rotating the screen displays a specimen.

Unfortunately, FontShuffle can be frustrating if you know what font you're looking for, as there's no search tool. You have to shuffle through page after page of fonts until it comes up in a random selection. Also, FontShuffle doesn't contain FontShop's entire catalog. They promise to add more fonts in upcoming versions.

FontShuffle is free, and available from the App Store. It's a must-have for any type geek or designer that needs a font reference handy.

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