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The FontShop CS Plugin

Try out FontShop fonts in Adobe® Creative Suite® for free

Use our free FontShop Plugin to preview any of our 150,000+ fonts directly in your own design. The Plugin works in Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Adobe® InDesign®, or Adobe® Fireworks® (CS5, CS5.5 and CS6, but not in Creative Cloud). This is a fun, easy way to try out and find the perfect font for your project.

Here you may find the earlier version of FontShop Plugin for the Adobe® Creative Suite® programs (CS5, CS5.5 and CS6). This Plugin is however not compatible with the Adobe® Creative Cloud® and will not be further developed.

To download the latest version of FontShop Plugin CC for Adobe® Creative Cloud®, please check here.


Free Download


First download the latest version of the plugin

Double-click on the downloaded file to install the extension using the CS5, CS5.5 or CS6 Adobe Extension Manager (AEM). You may be asked to close CS applications before proceeding.

That’s it! You’re ready to use the plugin.

Note: Windows Users, if double-clicking does not work, you may need to right-click on the downloaded file and then choose “Run as Admin”.

If you already have a version of the FontShop Plugin installed, you will need to remove it before you can install. Select the existing plugin in the AEM, then click on Remove and confirm. Once the existing plugin has been removed, click on the “zxp” again to install.

There are different versions of the AEM for different CS releases. If you have multiple versions of CS products installed, and wish to install for an older version of CS you will have to ensure that you open the “zxp” file in the corresponding version of AEM, e.g. use AEM CS6 for Photoshop CS6.

Getting Started

Open in Photoshop

Open your application. Go to Windows > Extensions and choose “FontShop”. The plugin panel will open.

Finding Fonts

Enter a search term in the search box (font name, designer name or foundry name), or choose a category from the dropdown at the top of the panel.

Lists of relevant fonts will appear in the panel. At the bottom of the panel, you will find controls for browsing through multiple pages of font results, as well as back and forward browsing history buttons.

Where you see a number to the right of a font you can click on it to see related fonts, usually members of the same family. When you rollover a font you will see a number of additional controls, including an experimental “Find Similar” button for finding visually related fonts.


Once you’ve got the hang of finding fonts you’re ready to try the real magic of the plugin – the preview function.

Open a document containing some visible text fields. If you want to preview for specific fields, select them.

Now click on a font in the plugin (you can click on the “Preview” button or simply the image of the font).After a moment, you will be given some preview options. You can choose to preview for one or more selected or “active” text layers, or for layers that are in a particular font.

Choose one of the preview options. In a few seconds, preview images should appear in your document, while the corresponding text layers are made invisible. The preview images should match the original text fields in terms of color, approximate size and position. Even effects such as drop shadows or bevels should be applied to the preview images.

Note: There are limits on the maximum size (256pt) and number of renders (12) which are allowed at any one time.

Clearing Previews

You can clear all preview renders by clicking on the cross icon at the bottom of the plugin panel. You can also clear previews for a specific font by clicking on the “Clear” button which appears beneath it on rollover.

Previewing History

Once you’ve started previewing, the plugin will automatically remember the fonts you’ve tried. You can view these recently-used fonts by pressing the “Recent” button at the top of the panel.


You can also collect and tag your favorite fonts by pressing the heart icon which appears under each font image in the panel on rollover. Click once to “fave” a font, and then click again to tag it.

Your favorites and tags can be browsed by clicking the “Favorites” icon at the top of the screen.

Purchasing Fonts Once you’ve found the perfect fonts for your project simply click on the “Download” button next to each font in order to access purchase and download options at


This is Beta software. We strongly recommend saving and backing up your work before use.

If you work with a lot of layers, previewing (and removing previews) can take a few seconds. If you work with very complex documents (e.g. more than 500 layers) or on older, slower hardware you may want to create separate and simplified documents for previewing with the plugin.

If you have a question, please take a look at the FAQ below. If your question remains unanswered, do get in touch.


The plugin itself should inform you when updates become available.


I’m getting an error when I try to install.

If you’re getting an error “The extension ‘FontShop Browser’ does not contain valid signature” you probably need to upgrade the Adobe Extension Manager (AEM). If you use Adobe Update Manager this should pick up the update automatically. Alternatively you can download the latest AEM from this page: The downloads you need are “Extension Manager 5.5.3 update” for CS5.5, “Extension Manager 5.0.3 update” for CS5, or “Extension Manager 6.0.2 update” for CS6.

I cannot install on Windows.

This is likely to be an issue with Administrative rights. Ask your systems administrator for assistance, or right-click on the downloaded file and choose “Run as Admin” from the menu.

What about other Adobe CS products?

We hope to full add support for other Adobe CS products in the future. The plugin can already be used in Flash, but there is no preview functionality as yet.

Can I control linespacing, tracking, or OpenType features?

We hope to add support for some fine control over rendering options in a future release. Until then linespacing should reflect the linespacing in the original text field. All renders will apply some standard OpenType features when available (including kerning, ligatures and contextual ligatures).

Can I sync favorites with my FontShop favorites?

Not yet!

The plugin’s not working. What can I do?

Let us know. Please describe the problem you are having in as much detail as possible, and tell us whether you are working on a Mac or a PC, and what your application version is. Also if the plugin opens, please go to the context menu in the top right-hand corner of the plugin and choose “Show Debug Info”. Copy and paste the contents of the text area into your bug report.

Preview renders do not match the original textfields in terms of size and word wrapping

The FontShop Plugin is a previewing tool, designed to give you an idea of how fonts may work in your designs before you buy them. It does not have the precision of a production design tool. Previews cannot be 100% accurate, and of course fonts have varying characteristics such as width which can make substitution unpredictable. If you are using paragraph type, you may get more predictable results by either converting your text field to point type, or specifying line-breaks manually and creating a very wide type bounding box for your paragraph.

Previews cannot be 100% accurate, and of course fonts have varying characteristics such as width which can make a substitution problematic. Word wrapping is especially unpredictable. Nevertheless we hope to improve the accuracy of previews in future releases.

Can I work with the plugin offline?

No. The plugin requires a network connection to access the FontShop servers which provide the renders and the font listings.

What about rich text fields containing multiple fonts and formatting?

The plugin will only render previews in a single style. It will use the first style it finds in a text field. So color, font size and font changes within a text field will be ignored.

Why do my font previews look pixelated/fuzzy in Illustrator?

The FontShop Plugin provides bitmap (image) previews rather than scalable vector previews. Your previews should look fine at 100% zoom. If you zoom in closer they will pixelate.

Why can’t I just “Undo” previews?

Indeed this would be nice, but there is currently no reliable way to undo a previewing (or clearing) action with a single keyboard stroke, or by stepping back once through the undo history. When the plugin inserts or clears previews, multiple actions are added to the undo history. Always use the “clear” buttons to remove previews from your document.

Does the Fireworks version support “Symbols"?

To preview text inside a Symbol, you need to be editing that Symbol.