Fonts—and Font Book

OS X type is all smooth, all the time. Fonts in OS X’s formats—called TrueType, PostScript Type 1, and OpenType—always look smooth onscreen and in printouts, no matter what the point size.

OS X also comes with a program that’s just for installing, removing, inspecting, and organizing fonts. It’s called Font Book (Figure 15-7), and it’s in your Applications folder.

Where Fonts Live

Brace yourself. In OS X, there are three Fonts folders. The fonts you actually see listed in the Font menus and Font panels of your programs are combinations of these Fonts folders’ contents.

Here’s a rundown:

  • Your private fonts (your Home folder→Library→Fonts). This Fonts folder sits right inside your own Home folder. You’re free to add your own custom fonts to this folder. Go wild—it’s your font collection and yours alone. Nobody else who uses the Mac can use these fonts; they’ll never even know you have them.


    Your Home→Library folder is ordinarily hidden. The quickest way to see it is to press Option as you choose Go→Library in the Finder.

  • Main font collection (LibraryFonts). Any fonts in this folder are available to everyone to use in every program. (As with most features that affect everybody who shares your Mac, however, only people with Administrator accounts can change the contents of this folder.)

  • Essential system fonts (System→Library→Fonts). This folder contains the 35 fonts that the Mac itself needs: the typefaces you see in your menus, dialog boxes, icons, and so on. You can ...

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