You are what font you use
- Easy install via Homebrew Fonts
- View fonts you have on Mac
- Cross-platform Fonts
- Corporate Fonts
- Bitmap vs vector
- Mono-spaced Programming Fonts
- Anti-OCR fonts
- Comic font to use in meme cartoons
- More on OSX
I had to install several fonts and throught you’d want to benefit from my experience.
Easy install via Homebrew Fonts
The easiest way to install free fonts is to use Homebrew Caskroom.
First, do this command one time to configure:
brew tap caskroom/fonts
The response at time of writing:
==> Tapping caskroom/fonts Cloning into '/usr/local/Homebrew/Library/Taps/caskroom/homebrew-fonts'... remote: Counting objects: 1140, done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (677/677), done. remote: Total 1140 (delta 769), reused 527 (delta 459), pack-reused 0 Receiving objects: 100% (1140/1140), 210.54 KiB | 795.00 KiB/s, done. Resolving deltas: 100% (769/769), done. Tapped 0 formulae (1,156 files, 945.1KB)
See the list of fonts at:
For each font you want installed. The most popular are:
brew install –cask font-open-sans
PROTIP: This draws from font-open-sans.rb at https://github.com/caskroom/homebrew-fonts/blob/master/Casks/font-open-sans.rb
Note in the response that all the variants are installed:
==> Satisfying dependencies ==> Checking out https://github.com/google/fonts/trunk/apache/opensans ==> No checksum defined for Cask font-open-sans, skipping verification ==> Installing Cask font-open-sans ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-Bold.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/OpenSans- ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-BoldItalic.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/Ope ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-ExtraBold.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/Open ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-ExtraBoldItalic.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Font ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-Italic.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/OpenSan ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-Light.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/OpenSans ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-LightItalic.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/Op ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-Regular.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/OpenSa ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-Semibold.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts/OpenS ==> Moving Font 'OpenSans-SemiboldItalic.ttf' to '/Users/wilsonmar/Library/Fonts 🍺 font-open-sans was successfully installed!
According to a research study done by Hongkiat, the top 10 free and paid fonts mentioned by web and graphic designers were:
- Inconsolata (Free)
- Myriad Pro (Free)
- Bebas Neue (Free)
- Ubuntu (Free)
- PT Serif (Free)
- Futura (Paid)
- Helvetica (Paid)
Fedra Sans (Paid)
- Cascadia Code (Free)
- Dank Mono (Paid)
- Operator Mono (Paid)
Fira Code (Free)
View fonts you have on Mac
Use Apple’s Font Book app:
In Finder, choose Go > Applications. Scroll to Font Book and double-click to open it.
open "/Applications/Font Book.app"doesn’t work )
In Finder, drag the new font folder and drop it under the list of user fonts.
Delete the font folder and zip file.
This program is described at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201749
Open Sans on both Mac and Windows enable similar display.
The Light font is minimalistic.
Many large enterprises prefer to use their own fonts as part of their “branding”.
Bitmap vs vector
There are two ways fonts are drawn - as bitmaps as static dots in a bitmap file or as vectors drawn dynamically by a program.
Vector fonts look better on Apple monitors (with 1080p HD and above) because they allow more efficient scaling.
When using old monitors with lower resolution below 720p, bitmap fonts are better because they are generally more legible at smaller sizes on low-resolution screens.
Mono-spaced Programming Fonts
I am not satisfied with standard fonts to display programming code.
Characters should be clear, easy to read, in cases of clashing ones such as 1, l, i or O, o, 0 easily distinguishable, differences between different kinds of brackets, quotes and parentheses should be clear, punctuation should be emphasized and they shouldn’t break up words or sentences due to uneven character widths.
My main criteria is a narrow font so more characters fit on a line.
https://www.slant.co/topics/67/viewpoints/7/~programming-fonts~ubuntu-mono It has a weird “m”.
https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Source+Code+Pro described in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source_Code_Pro
Consolas is not proportional, so columns line up.
https://damieng.com/blog/2008/05/26/envy-code-r-preview-7-coding-font-released Envy Code R
Vera Mono is the standard monospaced font in Fedora Linux.
Todd McLeod’s Favorite IDE Font video with install on Gogland.
From goo.gl/m51nNx for bitstream_vera_mono.zip
- VeraMoBI.ttf - bold italics
- VeraMoIt.ttf - Italics
For $99 per year for up to 250,000 page views per month,
is delivered via Akamai to provide each browser with exactly the right type of webfonts it needs.
For $299 just to use it on web pages or
For $599 to use on a single computer,
H&Co’s Operator font is the new status symbol for developers, like having a Tesla.
Mono ScreenSmart render down to 9 pixels.
See the video about fixed width font design at
Meslo LG Multi-Platform
Now one would think that Apple engineers are rather particular about fonts.
Since Snow Leopard, Menlo-Regular is the default font for Apple’s developer tools and the Terminal. (which is a customized Bitstream Vera Sans Mono).
One guy has nitpicky gripes with it:
The default vertical (line) spacing is just way too cramped
The horizontal baseline alignment of the asterisk is off
So he created a customized version of Apple’s font.
His website has a “DZ” edition with dots inside zeros so no one can confuse them for upper case letter O.
Thanks to his work, we now have a good fixed-sized font that works across Mac and Windows.
The font family, called Go, includes proportional- and fixed-width faces in normal, bold, and italic renderings.
Shell Prompt Font: Fira Code at https://github.com/tonsky/FiraCode
brew tap homebrew/cask-fonts brew install --cask font-fira-code
The response at time of writing:
==> Downloading https://github.com/tonsky/FiraCode/releases/download/5/Fira_Code ==> Downloading from https://github-production-release-asset-2e65be.s3.amazonaws ######################################################################## 100.0% ==> Verifying SHA-256 checksum for Cask 'font-fira-code'. ==> Installing Cask font-fira-code ==> Moving Font 'FiraCode-Bold.ttf' to '/Users/wilson_mar/Library/Fonts/FiraCode ==> Moving Font 'FiraCode-Light.ttf' to '/Users/wilson_mar/Library/Fonts/FiraCod ==> Moving Font 'FiraCode-Medium.ttf' to '/Users/wilson_mar/Library/Fonts/FiraCo ==> Moving Font 'FiraCode-Regular.ttf' to '/Users/wilson_mar/Library/Fonts/FiraC ==> Moving Font 'FiraCode-Retina.ttf' to '/Users/wilson_mar/Library/Fonts/FiraCo ==> Moving Font 'FiraCode-SemiBold.ttf' to '/Users/wilson_mar/Library/Fonts/Fira 🍺 font-fira-code was successfully installed!
Hack Fonts from GitHub
There are two to try:
Scroll down to click “Latest version”, which for me was:
Unzip file: Hack-v2_020-ttf.zip to Hack-v2_020-ttf
In Finder navigate to your user’s Library folder.
Drag and drop the unzipped fonts
This is not only a casual, fun-looking font, but one that makes it easier to read for those with mild Dylexia.
Click the Home Edition (or Education or Business).
The font file available when I did this was:
Dyslexie Regular LP172832.ttf
For when you don’t want your text to be recognized by Tesseract or other Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning software.
pdf ocrx extract text from PDF files.
VIDEO: ZXX fonts by Sang Mun, former NSA contractor, has 6 styles:
- Camo has camoflouge
- False puts the real letter inside larger false letters
- Noise has dots
- XCD puts a cross over letters. It’s the most successful.
Comic font to use in meme cartoons
Words in this cartoon meme, from World’s Finest Comics #153 (1965), is changed to create various memes:
It doesn’t look right if one of the standard fonts for word processing are used on comics such as this.
It’s more appropriate to use Neale Davidson’s Comic Book font is at https://www.dafont.com/comic-book.font
Instead of using a scan, which looks pixelated, Miles Goodhew at http://blog.m0les.com/2012/12/bat-slap-retro-vectored.html vectorized it into an SVG file using the Inkscape open-source drawing program.
More on OSX
This is one of a series on Mac OSX:
- MacOS Setup step-by-step, with automation
- MacOS Hardware and accessories
- MacOS dotfiles for System Preferences setup automation
- MacOS Boot-up
- MacOS Keyboard tricks
- MacOS Terminal Tips and Tricks
- Text editors and IDEs on MacOS
- MacOS Xcode.app and CommandTools (gcc)
- MacOS Command-line utilities
- Applications on MacOS
- 1password on MacOS
- Manage Disk Space on MacOS
- Screen capture on MacOS
- Windows on Apple MacOS
- Packer create Vagrant Windows image
- Python on MacOS
- Maven on MacOS
- Ruby on MacOS
- Node on MacOS installation
- Java on MacOS
- Scala ecosystem