A nifty feature of Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) is Quick Look, a tool in the Finder that allows you to preview collections of files at a glance. Popular for images, Quick Look is useful for fonts as well, as it allows both styles and families to be examined without leaving the Finder.
In the Finder, select a bunch of fonts and hit the space bar. Shown here is the result for Archer; clicking any individual style reveals the core character set for that font, along with buttons for paging through the collection one font at a time. There’s even a slideshow mode, and the obligatory animation when switching modes that’s completely gratuitous but charming nonetheless. Check it out! —JH