Adding Fonts To Your Mac

You can add more fonts to your Mac which you can use in Pages and other apps. You can get fonts online, but you need to be careful and think about font licensing and copyrights. Adding a font is ask easy as double-clicking on the right file once you have download the font files. The Mac app Font Book will launch and install the font.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Adding Fonts To Your Mac.

Hi, this is Gary with On this episode let me show you how to install new fonts on your Mac.

So when you are working in an app like Pages you, of course, can change things about the text. One of the things you can change is the font. So if you go over to the Format sidebar, go to Style, go to Font and in Pages you can choose the font.

I can go from Helvetica to say something like Impact. You can see I've got a different font there. Now chances are I've got a lot more fonts than you do because I've been collecting fonts for a long time. I've bought several large font collections and added them to my Mac. So you may only have a limited set and you may not have something that really expresses what you want for the piece of text that you are styling.

So what can you do to add fonts to your Mac? Well, you can go to the internet and you can get more fonts. Now the problem is what fonts are legal and which fonts aren't.

I've gone to two websites here that appear to have some fonts that you can freely download. But if you search the web for free fonts you're going to come up with all sorts of sites and some of them have fonts that are actually free. Some of them have fonts that aren't really free. They're just basically belonged to somebody and somebody stuck them at a website and when you download them and use them you are actually violating copyright.

You have a ton of fonts that are in the middle in a grey area where they might be free to download and use them yourself but if you print them out and distribute say to other people at your company or friends then you are actually violating the license without purchasing. It is very complex.

But sometimes you just run into a situation where you go to a website and they offer you a free font. You download it and you need to know how to install it on your Mac. So I've actually identified two sites here that I think have free legal fonts but I'm no lawyer so I don't know for sure. The League of Moveable Type is one and the other one that seems to be legit is

If you wanted to download fonts from these you would simply go to the font. So I've looked on this site and found this one here and there is a download button. So I'll click the download button and you can see it throws out the download folder. Here I'll do the same thing. Let's find a font here, this one looks good, and there is a download button. I'll click on that.

So now I've got two fonts that I've downloaded into my Downloads folder and I can see them both here. Now let's see what I need to do with them to put them on my Mac.

I'll start by going into the Downloads folder here and see what we've got. We've got two folders here and there is a bunch of stuff. Everytime it seems when you download a font from somewhere there's always a ton of stuff and it's hard to know what is important.

So let's look at this one here and I've got a bunch of different files. What I'm looking for is something that has got an extension that is either ttf or otf. They're the most common. otf means open type font and ttf is true type font. They are both different types of font both of which work just fine on your Mac.

So how do you install this. Well, actually all you need to do is double click it and it will open up this little window here and it is actually opening up an app on your Mac that you might not even know you had called Font Book. In this window it is showing you the font and you can take a look at the different styles. In this case there is only bold and you can hit the Install Font button. Let's do that and that's all it took. I've actually got that installed now.

Now once I'm in Font Book I can actually look on the left side here and see various things like Collection and Lists and things like that. It actually looks a little like Photos or iTunes here with the left side bar. I can look at all my fonts. All the fonts installed in my computer and the fonts that were just installed for this user on the Mac. In this case it has installed this font just for this user. I can see it right there League Spartan and I can open it up and see that there is just bold.

Let's look at the other font there in the Finder, RailwaySans. Here it doesn't seem like there is anything here at the main level. Docs and source probably aren't what I want. But the fonts folder actually shows me a OTF folder and a TTF folder. That's great. We can go into either one of those and we can actually select that font. It does give you a preview, by the way, either in column view or say if I wasn't in column view I can hit the spacebar and do the quick look thing and see it. I'm going to double click on it and it's going to do the same thing. Just a regular version of the font, no bold or anything. I'm going to hit Install Font and it's going to do the same thing here.

So now under my user for this Mac I've got now these two fonts that I've installed.

So now back in Pages what we actually want to do is we want to quit Pages and start it up again to make sure the new fonts are brought into the Font menu. Now I can select this here and I should find those there and there is League Spartan and I can switch to that. I'll go down to the R's and I should find RailwaySans. There we go and I can switch to that.

That's how easy it is to add fonts to your Mac.

Comments: 3 Responses to “Adding Fonts To Your Mac”

    sharon beckas
    3 years ago

    When i download fonts does that mean all receivers of my emails/documents i attach will see that font? If not, then why add fonts if only visible to me?

    How do I determine which ones will be compatible with a PC?

    3 years ago

    Sharon: Not in email, no. Typically, you would have fonts for print projects. Or, for PDF creation too. Software developers can embed the fonts into their projects so the end users don’t need them installed. Sometimes your work colleagues will all use the same font for projects. Also, often you need a font just for yourself. For instance a font with musical notation or special symbols for knitting patterns and such.

    Linda Lyn
    3 years ago

    Thank so much for making look easy to do.
    I always want to collect some my favourite fonts but don’t how. After see you do I can give a go. Thank again.

Comments Closed.