How to Add Custom Fonts in macOS

Apple’s computer operating system comes with a wide variety of fonts, but naturally some users are going to want (or need) more. Mac users, after all, tend to care about design—which means caring about fonts. And some specialized fonts can also help people with disabilities, such as the Dyslexia typeface(Opens in a new window) and the free alternative OpenDyslexic(Opens in a new window),

We’ve already shown you how to manage your fonts in Windows and how to manage your fonts on an iPhone or iPad. Here’s how to add new fonts and manage them on a Mac. A brief word of caution: We advise against downloading and installing anything from unknown sources, including fonts, as they can be used as malware vectors.


How to View and Preview Installed Fonts on macOS

To get started, open the Font Book app. The easiest place to find it is in the Applications folder using Finder, or you can search for Font Book using Spotlight or open up LaunchPad and find it in the Other folder.

The application has three panes. In the left you can choose which collection you want to look at. I recommend sticking to All Fonts or english if that’s your preferred language. In the center pane is a list of fonts, and in the right pane you see a preview of the currently selected font.

Font Book in macOS, with fonts listed at left and a preview of them in the central pane

(Credit: PCMag)

Scroll down any of these previews to see that font in other styles, such as the italicized and bold versions. Some fonts have only a few basic styles while others have options such as ultralight, thin, semibold, wide, and inline, among others.


How to Download Fonts for macOS From Apple

If you scroll through the All Fonts list, you’ll see many fonts are greyed out. These fonts are offered by Apple but are not installed by default. You can install them by clicking the Download button.

Font Book in macOS with a red arrow pointing to the download button in the upper right side of the window

(Credit: PCMag)

The majority of the fonts that are not yet installed are for non-Roman character sets (such as Arabic script, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and so on), but there are around 20 Roman alphabet ones you can install for free in a single click. It’s hard to think of an easier way to add variety.

Note that in some cases, you may need to restart an application before any newly installed fonts show up.


How to Install Fonts on macOS From the Web

Sites like OpenFoundry(Opens in a new window) and UseAndModify(Opens in a new window) offer fonts you can use without any royalties. Many other sites sell fonts. After downloading them, you can install such fonts by double-clicking them in the Finder.

A preview of New High Score font in macOS

(Credit: PCMag)

A preview window opens. Click the Install Font button in the bottom right corner and the font will be installed.

Preview of New High Score Font in macOS Font Book

(Credit: PCMag)

Alternatively you can drag any font files, or folders full of font files, to the Font Book window to install them in bulk.


Which Font Formats Does macOS Support?

The following font and font collection formats are all supported:

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  • TrueType, .ttf

  • Variable TrueType, .ttf

  • TrueType Collection, .ttc

  • OpenType, .otf

  • OpenType Collection, .ttc

Most fonts you download or purchase come in one of these formats. If you try to install a different format on macOS, the font may not work.


How to Disable or Uninstall Fonts on macOS

Everyone hates at least one font, and if you don’t you’re just not paying attention. If you don’t want such fonts ever offered in any drop-down menu, you can disable it in Font Book.

Right-click the font you want to disable, then click the Disable option.

Disabling a font in macOS using Font Book

(Credit: PCMag)

You can also remove any fonts you installed here, by clicking the Remove option. Note that you cannot remove fonts that came with the system.

For more on Apple, see our preview of the new macOS Ventura and learn how to control your iPhone using only your voice.

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