Manage Your Fonts With The Fonts Panel & Font Book [Mac]

Jeffry Thurana 07-09-2010

manage fonts macIf there’s an award for the most important yet neglected element of every operating system, I think fonts would at least make it to the top three of the nominations. We run into and use them all the time, but most of us never really pay attention to them. We just accept the fonts as they are, as we do with air.


But if we are willing to spare a little bit more time digging, we can find many amazing things that we might not have known before. If you are a Mac user, you might have noticed that Apple pays special attention to the use of fonts.

And you don’t have to be a typographer to make use of fonts. Here are several things you can do to manage fonts on your Mac to tap their potential.

Summoning The Fonts

The most obvious way to use the fonts is to use them in text. The quickest way to summon the list of fonts is to use “Command + T” or “Format – Font – Show Fonts” menu from any Cocoa-based text editor in your Mac – such as TextEdit and Bean.

manage fonts mac


The Font panel will open and you can use it to customize the font(s) that you are using in the text, starting from the simple settings like changing the font type and size to the more advanced options like changing the color and applying drop shadow.

manage fonts

If you click the settings button at the bottom of the window, you’ll get more options such as adding the used font setting to favorites, hide/show Preview and Effects toolbars, and Color Panel.

Choosing “Typography” will open the Typography panel where you can further customize the font that you are using. But please note that different fonts have different customization levels. One font might give you more options than aother.


manage fonts

The settings button will also give you access to lots of characters and symbols that you can use in your texts. Just choose “Characters

manage fonts

And, clicking on “Manage Fonts” will open up the “Font Book” window.


Managing The Fonts

Aside from the Fonts Panel, you can also open the Font Book by navigating to “Applications – Font” (or by using one of these application launchers). This free font manager allows you to easily add, remove, disable and other kinds of font management.

manage fonts on a mac

While it’s very obvious that you can add (or install How To Install Fonts on Windows, Mac & Linux Read More ) new fonts by clicking on the “Plus (+)” button under the “Font” column, Font Book also allows you to group fonts based on your own categories. To do that click the “Plus (+)” button under the “Collection” column.

The yellow alert triangles next to the fonts mean you have duplicates in your collection. You can resolve the problem by right clicking on the duplicates and choose “Resolve Duplicates“.


manage fonts on a mac

Right clicking on the font (or group of fonts) will also allow you to disable the fonts that you rarely use. This will free up some system resources – very useful if you have a slow system or if you have too many fonts installed on your system by third-party applications.

manage fonts on a mac

The advantage of disabling the font instead of removing it is that you can easily enable the font anytime you need it again.

Printing Type Samples

Another trick that you can perform using Font Book is the ability to print out type samples. Whenever you need hard copy of font samples for reference – what will they look like off the screen – just select the fonts that you want to print and hit “Command + P” (or go to “File – Print” menu).

02e Print Font Sample.jpg

The only setting that you have to tinker with is the “Report Type” on the printing option page. This setting will determine the face of the print outs.

02f Printing Options.jpg

And here’s the example of a print out page, Repertoire Type.

manage fonts mac

Do you have your own tricks in managing fonts? You can share them using the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our other about fonts 2 Free Tools To Make Your Own Text Font Read More .

Related topics: Fonts, Typography.

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