Hands-On Mac

Jun 12th 2020

Hands-On Mac 13

12 Hidden Free Fonts in Catalina

Hosted by Leo Laporte
How to Get 12 Free Fonts for Your Mac
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Category: Help & How To
  • Steve Jobs loved typefaces and typography. He says his love began when he audited a calligraphy course at Reed College. I'm glad he did because one of the things that have distinguished the Mac since its beginning is its beautiful typefaces.
  • macOS comes with hundreds of beautiful fonts, but you may be interested to learn that if you have macOS Catalina, and I know you do by now, there are a dozen more hidden fonts that are just a download away. Some of these fonts are for other languages, Korean and Arabic, but most are beautiful fonts Apple licensed from prominent font works but didn't actually install, possibly to save space.
  • You can browse them by opening Font Book. When you see a font that's grayed out, you can install it by right-clicking and selecting Download from the menu.
  • I particularly like Canela, Publico, and Quotes. If you're worried about space you can also use font book to delete any fonts you don't want, especially any non-Roman fonts you know you won't need.
  • In the past having too many fonts could slow down machines considerably, but our modern Macs seem to be able to handle the giant library with aplomb. My system has nearly 300 fonts installed. Some of which I added myself. I collect Fixed Width fonts, because, as you know, I like to code. My current favorite programmers' font is the free Input from David Jonathan Ross and Font Bureau.
  • If like me, you love fonts, and if you feel like you have too many, or your Mac boot times are suffering, you can remove all but the official set using the Font book File→Restore Standard Fonts... command. It won't delete your added fonts forever, just move them into a folder. You can re-add them one by one or in one fell swoop at any time. There's also a Validate command that you might use if ever a font gives you trouble. Modern fonts are essentially little programs, and a poorly or maliciously designed font can wreak havoc on your system, so always get fonts from trusted sources, and validate them before installing.
  • And if you ever want to start a conversation with a programmer, just ask her what her favorite coding font is. Then grab a cup of tea, it's going to take some time.
  • For extra typography goodness, I recommend the book "Stop Stealing Sheep" by Erik Spiekermann and E.M. Ginger.
  • And most importantly, a profound thank you to Steve Jobs, whose love for calligraphy got this all started.
  • Leo Laporte gives you helpful tips to get the most from your Mac every week on Hands-On Mac

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