Install Fonts on a Mac

I have always been a bit of a font addict and love finding new fonts to play around with. Recently I shared with you a few of my favorite FREE fonts and received some questions regarding how to install a font onto a computer. Free fonts are certainly not as fun when you don’t yet know how to install them! So today I’m going to share a step-by-step tutorial on how to install fonts on a Mac OSX. If you are a PC-girl (or guy), don’t worry because I’ve got you covered too! Hop on over to The Shabby Creek Cottage and Gina will take you through the steps of installing a new font on your PC. Once you see how simple it is to install new fonts, you might just turn into a font addict too!

I should also point out that this process takes much longer to write about and outline in a step-by-step post than it does to implement in real life. You can install a bunch of fonts in a minute or two once you know how!

install fonts on mac


Step 1: Google search the term “free fonts” to find a font site that contains fonts you would like to download to your computer. Please note: Take caution when downloading items to your computer. Some sites may not be safe so download at your own risk. In the screenshot below you can see that I have pulled up some fonts on the site To begin downloading the font I click on “Download TTF” or “Download OTF”. All font files will be a .ttf or .otf file. For the purpose of this example, I have downloaded the “UglyQua” to install fonts on mac


Step: 2 After you install your font you will see it located in your downloads file as a zip file. Double click on the zip file to open it.

how to install font


Step 3: Once you double click on your downloaded font zip file your Downloads folder will automatically open (beneath your browser–so minimize your internet screen to see it). Click on the font file folder to open it.

font install


Step 4: Once you open the font file folder you will see the license for the font in a text (.txt) document and then the actual font(s) as the .ttf or .otf files. Click on the font file (.ttf or .otf) to open the font in the Font Book.

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 9.05.49 PM


Step 5: The font is now open and ready to be installed. Click on “Install Font”. Note that some fonts don’t convert to Mac and an error screen will pop up warning you that the font has errors before you install.

how to intall fonts


Step 6: The font will show up in your Font Book. Congratulations! You installed your font!

install font


And that is all there is to it! Your Mac will do most of the work for you and all you have to do is simply know which words to click on. If you follow these steps (and are on a Mac OSX then you shouldn’t have any problems. To get you going with your new-found superpower, I recommend looking for free fonts at,, and Enjoy!

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  1. says

    thank you I needed this. I had a problem with Engravers, it said proceed with caution… so I didn’t download it. I love that font, any idea why this would happen with only this font. I tried 3 times, same message. thanks! marcy

    • Beth says

      There are some true type fonts (.ttf) that aren’t cross compatible on a PC and Mac. Open type fonts should be. I would search for an open type font in Engravers (.otf) and see if that solves the problem. If not, then your Mac is simply warning you that something in the file is corrupted and should be avoided. I’ve downloaded a few files that had warnings attached and the entire font wouldn’t load, only a few characters.

  2. Kimberly says

    Okay, so I got the fonts installed on my Mac but I use Word for Mac and while the fonts show up in my Font Book, I can’t get them to show up in Word. Please help!

    • Sara Miles says

      I got them to show up by restarting my computer! I had the same issue, but when I restarted and then went into Fonts, through Word, they were there!

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