How to Install Fonts on Mac
Mac Tips

How to Install Fonts on Mac

Fortunately for Mac users, the process is fairly easy. You don't need to be a tech guru to download, install, preview, and enable new fonts on Mac. All you'll need is some high-level guidance, and we're happy to provide it.

Below is your guide on how to install fonts on Mac and manage them effectively.

Where and How to Download Fonts on Mac

Before installing new fonts on Mac, you'll need to find and download them on your Mac. Luckily, there are lots of sources of fonts online. Most are free, but some truly rare and cool and so might cost you a few dollars.

Here are some font sources our design team uses (and strongly recommends):

MyFonts — Here you can find hundreds of fonts for Mac both royalty-free and not.

Google Fonts — Here's a rich collection of free fonts for Mac.

FontSquirrel — Search and review hundreds of free fonts for Mac.

1001 Free Fonts — There are more beautiful fonts for Mac, free for personal use.

Important: When downloading free fonts, make sure to read the License Agreement. If it says "for personal use only," you can't legally use it for commercial projects.

When searching new fonts for Mac, make sure those you choose are compatible with macOS. It's super-easy to check. Look at the file name, and if it ends with ".ttf" or ".otf" or ".ttc," then you're fine.

Once you found fonts you like, download them like any other files. Usually, fonts come in compressed .zip files you can decompress with a double-click.

After the files with new fonts are downloaded on your Mac, it's time to install them.

How to Install Fonts on Mac Using Font Book

 

 

When files with new fonts are successfully downloaded, you’ll want to know how to add those fonts to the Mac system so you can start using them.

The easiest (and recommended) way to add fonts to Mac is to use Font Book—a font management app that is pre-installed on all Macs.

You can install fonts either for your account only, for all accounts on your Mac, or for the entire network. Depending on what you need, the process will be slightly different.

How to Install Fonts for Your Account Only

If you need to install new fonts for your account only, follow these steps:

  1. Use Finder to locate a folder with a new Mac font.

  2. In this folder, find a file ending with ".ttf" or ".ttc" or ".otf" and double-click on it.

  3. This will automatically run Font Book for you.

  4. Click Install Font and you're done.

This is all it takes to start using newly downloaded fonts on your Mac.

install font on mac

install fonts on mac and preview them

How to Install Fonts for All Accounts

If there is more than one account on your Mac and you want to use downloaded font for all accounts, some extra steps will be needed.

Here's how to install fonts on your Mac system-wide:

  1. Use Finder or Spotlight to find and launch Font Book.

  2. Go to the app menu bar at the top and click Font Book → Preferences.

  3. Use drop-down to change the default location from User to Computer.

  4. Find and open the folder of a new font you want to add.

  5. In this folder, double-click on a file ending with ".ttf" or ".ttc" or ".otf."

  6. Click the “Install Font” button on the Font Book pop-up.

how to install fonts

install fonts on mac default install location

Congratulations! The new font has just been added to the Fonts folder system-wide, which means you can use it from any account on your Mac.

How to Install Fonts for all Network Users

To install fonts for everyone on your network, you need to either be a network administrator yourself or ask this person to do it for you. To make new fonts available for all network users, those fonts must be copied to the network's Mac fonts folder: Network/Library/Fonts.

How to Install Fonts on Mac Manually

You don't necessarily have to use Font Book to install new fonts on Mac. You can also do this manually by copying font files to Library/Fonts.

Unfortunately, starting from OS X 10.7, the Library folder and all its subfolders have been hidden from users sight. You'll need some extra effort to locate and access it:

  1. Open Finder and click the “Go” section in the upper menu.

  2. Find “Go to Folder” in the drop-down menu and click on it.

  3. Type “~/Library/Fonts” in the pop-up window and press “Go.”

  4. The Fonts folder will show up.

  5. Drag and drop an unzipped font file to the Fonts folder.

Well done! Now you know how to add Mac fonts manually, too.  

How to Preview Fonts on Mac

With so many cool Mac fonts out there, it's not always easy to pick the right one for your business project or personal needs. That's where font preview comes into play.

The best way to preview new fonts for Mac is to use Font Book app:

  1. Go to FinderApplicationsFont Book or use Spotlight to find and run Font Book.  

  2. Click on the font you want to preview (fonts are listed in the center column of the window).

  3. Preview will show up in the right part of the window.

  4. To switch between different preview modes, click on lines, grid, or letter-like buttons at the top left-corner of the window.

how to preview fonts on mac in different ways

How to Disable and Remove Fonts on Mac

Having more fonts for Mac installed provides more stylistic options, but having too many of them has the opposite effect — it makes it harder and longer to pick the right one and, ultimately, leads to clutter on your Mac.

That's why knowing how to effectively manage fonts on Mac is just as important as knowing how to install them. To avoid system clutter, we suggest you disable or completely remove fonts you don't use.

Mind that you are not allowed to remove or disable system fonts. You can manage only those fonts you've added yourself.

So you have two options: disable and delete.

Removing fonts on Mac means deleting them from your system. Should you need a removed font later, you'll have to install it again. To remove fonts on Mac, do this:

  1. Launch Font Book.

  2. Pick the font/fonts you want to remove.

  3. Press the “Delete” key.

  4. Click “Remove” on the pop-up window.

Disabling fonts on Mac means that they'll remain in your system but will no longer be listed in apps or the Fonts windows. To disable fonts on Mac, do this:

  1. Launch Font Book.

  2. Pick the font/fonts/font family you want to disable.

  3. Find the “Disabled” button at the top and click on it.

  4. Click “Disable” on a pop-up window.

Now you know everything you need to download, install, and effectively manage new fonts on Mac. Hope this will give you more room for creativity and experiments when working on your Mac. 

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