Monotype Imaging Holdings — a global provider of typefaces, technology and expertise for creative applications and consumer devices — has introduced in beta its SkyFonts service, a solution that expands creative freedom through cloud-based, rental access to fully functional fonts.

Users are able to try thousands of fonts for free within any desktop application and rent selected fonts for as long as they’re needed, says Chris Roberts, vice president and general manager of Monotype’s e-commerce group. SkyFonts consists of a system extension, which runs in the background of Mac and Windows machines to activate and deactivate OpenType fonts downloaded from the SkyFonts portal.

Users are able to see and select from thousands of Monotype typefaces listed on the portal. More than 1,500 fonts from the company’s Monotype, Linotype, ITC and Bitstream libraries are available during beta, with more fonts to be added over time. Rented fonts can sync automatically to up to five machines registered to a single SkyFonts account.

The SkyFonts service operates on a credit-based system, whereby credits are used to rent fonts on a daily or monthly basis. Users can also try fonts for free for five minutes. When the trial or rental period expires or if the fonts aren’t renewed, they’re removed automatically from the user’s system.

Beta participants will receive credits free of charge that will expire at the conclusion of the beta, at which point SkyFonts credits will be available for purchase. Pricing information will be released in the coming months. If you’d like to participate in the beta go to .