You can obtain fonts from a variety of sources: retail packages, clipart web sites, font web sites and the Mac App Store. In most cases, you end up with a file that contains the font and need to install it. Just double-clicking on the file will launch the Font Book app on your Mac and you can install that font, and manage the rest of your fonts using this app.



Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s look at adding fonts to your Mac.

When you want to add fonts to your Mac the first thing is where do you get the fonts. Well, there are many different places.

Fonts like images and other content are copywrited so you want to make sure you obtain them from a legal source. Just because you are publishing something that is not for profit or maybe is educational it doesn’t make any difference. You need to make sure you get them legally.

There are plenty of places that do that pretty cheaply. For instance, online you can buy CD-ROM sets of fonts cheaply. You can search Amazon you can find all these different sets you can buy. You can also go and look in the Mac App Store. In the Mac App Store there are tons of different fonts. You can just search for fonts and you can download them. Basically they are little apps you run that install fonts or export the font file for you to install on your computer.

In addition to that a lot of clip art collections online and collections that are specifically for fonts are available. Clipart.com for instance, which I have a subscription to, has a set of fonts and I can search through it and download a font that I want. As I said there are other sites out there that specialize in just fonts. You can purchase a font that you want or get a subscription where you can download the fonts from that site.

Now today fonts are all across platform. They should all work on Mac and Windows machines. There shouldn’t be any real difference between them. Back ten, fifteen years ago that wasn’t exactly true and a lot of sites and a lot of collections are still specific to Mac or Windows. In cases where they offer both you, of course, want to make sure you download the Mac version just to make it easier for you. Usually the way they are compressed or the way they are delivered to you may be specific or a little easier for Mac users.

So in this case I can download, this is a TrueType Font which is across platform. I can probably install this Windows version as well as the Mac one. They are probably identical except the Windows one comes in a zip archive. The Mac one comes in a stuffit archive. Kind of an old format which you can decompress.

I’m going to download this font and use it. So whichever way you download it you are going to end up with a font file. In this case here is the file I downloaded and I expanded it so this is the file I get inside a folder. You may actually end up with this at the beginning. You may end up with a zip file that you decompress. It doesn’t matter. You end up with this font file which in this case it says it is a Font Suitcase. It may say it is a TrueType font. It may say several other different things.

In order to install it all you need to do is double click it. It is going to run FontBook which is an app that is preinstalled on your Mac and it shows you all the fonts that you’ve got. When you double click it, it is going to open FontBook, it is going to show you the font. You can see the font variations. In this case there is only one, just the regular. Sometimes there is Bold, Italics, things like that. You can click the install font button.

So inside of FontBook I can look at the list of all my fonts. Make sure you select the correct thing on the side here. So I selected All Fonts so I can look and see what is there. You can also have fonts installed for all users on your computer or just the current user. So in this case I installed this font just for the current user and it won’t be available to other accounts on this computer.

All Fonts, I can look through it, I can find the font that I just installed, which I noticed was called Elephant when I installed it, because the font name and the file name don’t necessarily have to match. So this is the official name for the font that was inside the file. I can see a preview of it here.

Now I can delete this font here if I want as well by simply selecting it and hitting the delete key.

A note about deleting fonts is that you should only ever delete a font that you’ve installed, just like I install this one. Otherwise the font is either installed by the operating system so it is used by the system in some way, or is installed by an app that you installed and you may not recognize it but it may be used by the app and if you delete it the app won’t work correctly anymore.

Fonts take up very little space so don’t worry about this getting too full or this taking up too much space on the hard drive. All these fonts that I have take up a tiny bit of space, probably the equivalent of a really tiny video or a short audio file. So don’t worry about that.

So here I am now inside of Pages and I have selected some text. I can now find that font here in the list, there it is, select it and now I can use it inside of this text field.

So there is a quick look at how to find and install new fonts on your Mac.

Until next time this is Gary at MacMost Now.


6 Responses to “MacMost Now 917: Installing Fonts On Your Mac”

  1. Brian says:

    If you send an email with a font you purchased does the recipient also have to have that font in their library to see it?

  2. Shirley Allan says:

    Your answer to Brian was surprising. I always understood that the recipient had to have the same font and if they didn’t it would change the font to their standard font (unless you sent the file as a PDF).

    • Right. It would switch to a default font. I read “to see it” meaning to see that font. You read “to see it” as to see that text. You will still see the text, yes.

  3. Larry Plunkett says:

    OK. To be clear. If I sent a message in “Didot” font to someone that doesn’t have the “Didot” font on their device, they will be able to read the massage (their device will just use a different font) but not be able to see the message in the “Didot” font. So paying money for a beautiful and inventive font to share with others is lost unless you use it to print.

    • Yes. That’s right.
      Fancy fonts are commonly used for print, mostly, yes. But they can also be used digitally. If you send a PDF, it includes the information to recreate that font inside the PDF. So use Didot in Pages, save as PDF, send PDF, person at the other end sees Didot.
      Also, of course, graphics people use fonts to create images with text. For instance, they may use Didot as a title over a photo in a Photoshop document. Then they export that as an image and upload to a web site and everyone sees Didot because it is an image now, not really editable text anymore.
      HTML5 also allows you to embed fonts into web pages, so even those without the font can see it properly on the page.
      So there are three examples of why you would want fonts, even if you are not designing for print. There are many more.

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