Use Font Book to Install and Delete Fonts on Your Mac

Easily Manage All Your Font Needs

Screenshot of the Font Book application
Font Book lets you install, remove, view, and organize your fonts.

Coyote Moon, Inc.

Font Book has been the standard way of managing fonts in OS X since OS X 10.3 (Panther). There are a number of third-party font management systems, but Font Book provides most of the features Mac users need, including the ability to add, delete, and manage fonts.

The Mac comes with a number of pre-installed fonts, but they're just a small fraction of the available possibilities. In addition to commercial fonts, there are hundreds of free fonts available on the web.

Acquiring new fonts is easy; installing them is just as easy. There are a number of ways to install fonts. You can install them manually, use the font installer that's included with many fonts, use a third-party installer, or use Font Book.

Here's how to set up Font Book and use it to install and delete fonts.

Setting Font Book's Preferences

Font Book provides two options for installing fonts. You can install fonts so they're only available to you (the default), or you can install fonts so they're available to anyone who uses your computer. To change the default installation location, click the Font Book menu and select Preferences. From the Default Install Location drop-down menu, select Computer.

You can use Font Book to validate fonts before installing them, to ensure that there aren't any problems with the font files. The default setting is to validate fonts before installation; we recommend keeping the default setting.

The Automatic Font Activation option will enable fonts (if they're available on your computer) for any application that needs special fonts, even if you didn't install the fonts with Font Book. This option is enabled by default. You can also choose to have Font Book ask before automatically activating fonts by selecting Ask me before activating.

Finally, Font Book can alert you if you're trying to change any system fonts that OS X uses to display onscreen text. This option is enabled by default, and we recommended leaving it selected.

Installing Fonts With Font Book

Mac OS X supports Type 1 (PostScript), TrueType (.ttf), TrueType Collection (.ttc), OpenType (.otf), .dfont, and Multiple Master (OS X 10.2 and later) font formats. Many fonts available for download from the web are described as Windows fonts, but if they're in one of the previously mentioned font formats, they should also work just fine with your Mac.

The first thing to do is to quit all open applications. If you don't quit an application before you install a new font, you may need to relaunch the application before it will see the new font.

You can install fonts manually on your Mac with just a click or two. But you'll have more control over your fonts if you use Font Book (or a third-party font manager) to install them. Font Book can validate a font before installing it, to ensure that there aren't any problems with the file, which is another point in its favor. You can also use Font Book to validate fonts that are already installed.

You can install a font by double-clicking the font file, which will launch Font Book and display a preview of the font. Click Install Font in the lower right corner of the preview window to install the font.

You can also launch Font Book and install the font from there. You'll find Font Book at /Applications/Font Book. You can also select Applications from the Go menu and then locate and double-click the Font Book application.

To install a font, click the File menu and select Add Fonts. Locate the target font, and click Open. Font Book will then install the font.

Removing Fonts With Font Book

Launch Font Book. Click the target font to select it, then from the File menu, select Remove (name of font). When Font Book asks if you're sure you want to remove the selected font, click Remove.

Learn More About a Font

You can learn more about a font, such as where it's installed, the type of font it is (OpenType, TrueType, etc.), its manufacturer, copyright restrictions, and other information, by performing the following steps, depending on the version of OS X you have installed.

Font Info: OS X Mavericks and Earlier

Select the font name or family as displayed in Font Book.

Select Show Font Info from the Preview menu.

Font Info: OS X Yosemite and Later

Select the font name or family in Font Book.

Select Show Font Info from the View menu, or click the Info icon on Font Book's toolbar.