I use character maps heavily and decides to make one which you access from anywhere using a web interface and requires no installation. Works best on Chrome.
- Select your own font file
- Provides font and character information
- Character copy-able
- Supports TTF/OTF
- Supports Icon fonts
- Simple interface
- No installation necessary
- No server upload necessary
gnome-font-viewer (part of GNOME of course) can do this (this is the default association for fonts under GNOME); indeed, it comes with a button to install the font, which obviously wouldn’t make sense if the font needed to be installed already.
fontmatrix lets you organize groups of fonts to be installed or uninstalled, and you can preview them and see their features, whether installed or not.
Most font editors, like fontforge, certainly don’t require the fonts to be installed to open them up and look at them…
There are others, I’m sure.
display is part of
imagemagick, so you will need it to be installed.
Answer possible thanks to this forum post.
This problem has been bugging me for years, because it is only every few months that I want to preview a font and I never remembered which software solved it last time, so I made a video version of this answer to make it easier to find in the future.