Fonts 101: How to Install Fonts On Mac

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Mac fonts screenshot (caption: How to Install Fonts On Mac)Have you ever wanted to take your graphics and design up a notch but not sure where to begin? Fonts and Dingbats (or character fonts) are a simple way to be creative without spending a lot of money. There are hundreds of free fonts (also commonly called typefaces) on the internet and installing custom fonts on your Mac operating system is quite simple – once you know how to do it!

Here are some easy steps on how to download, use and make the most of the fonts on your Mac operating system.

1. Search For Fonts

For the sake of this example, we’ll use the font in our logo called “Trade Gothic” which can be downloaded on sites like Dafont for free (or if you use Adobe Creative Cloud you can activate via Adobe’s font website and it will sync automatically). In some cases you’ll need to purchase a font and license to use it (depending on how and where).

2. Download Or Install Fonts

There are a number of different types of font file extensions but the two most common types (no pun intended) are .ttf (or “TrueType Font”) and .otf (“OpenType Font”).

Both are compatible on both Mac and Windows. However the instructions are different for how to download depending on what operating system version you are using. In this article/example, I am using iOS Catalina.

3. How To Install Fonts On Mac

If you’re not using Typekit, there are two ways you can install the font on your computer. Either right-click on the font file and click “Open with FontBook” (see screenshot) OR you can double-click on the file and it should automatically open in FontBook.

Opening fonts screenshot

Once the FontBook application launches, you’ll be prompted to “Install Font”. Depending on the font, there might be multiple font files to install (ex. Bold, Italics). So be sure you install each file in the package, just in case.

Installing font screenshot

4. Using Fonts

You should be able to use the new typeface in any Mac program including Keynote, Notes, Pages, and even iMovie.

Note: it might take a little while for the fonts to load in the program you are using, so if you don’t see them right away, close the program you are using and re-open it and the font should show up on your list of available fonts.

When selecting the font in an Apple program like Notes (pictured below), the text panel should show up in formatting. But if it doesn’t, usually “Command + T” (T = text) will open the formatting box for you to edit.

Using Fonts in notes

Hope that helps you learn the basics of how to use fancy fonts in your design, or at least how to install them to start playing around.

Get Creative With Your Design

Fonts are just one of the many ways you can enhance your branding. Learn more in our graphic design article and our guide to branding.

Do you have any tips on using fonts for your business?

About The Author:

Sadie has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world's largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with all the latest web trends.

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