Font Appearance

Change how Typeface displays your fonts, to spot differences and to help you discover which font is the right one for the job.

Preview content

Preview any text you want by clicking on the Pr button in the toolbar. You can also press CommandL to quickly summon the preview text input.

Preview fonts

The dropdown arrow to the right of the preview input field provides some handy presets such as the Latin alphabet, numbers, symbols and pangrams for multiple languages. The Font names preset will preview each font in its own name.

‘Hamburgefonstiv’ is a meaningless word that gives a nice representation of a font due to its variety of characters. This combination of letters shows the most used forms and curves of the alphabet, so it’s particularly useful to see the overall font appearance at a glance.

Choose one of the Dynamic previews to get a sample specific for each individual font. This shows emoji for the Apple emoji font, Arabic characters for Adobe Arabic and symbols for WingDings. Note that Hide Fonts Missing Glyphs filter will not have any effect if a dynamic preview preset is enabled.

You can right click on a font and use the Preview submenu to quickly change presets, or press and hold on the preview button in the toolbar. Choose Remember "<preview text>" to save your own custom text as a new preset.

Preview size & tracking

Change the preview size by pinching with two fingers on your trackpad, or use the slider in the toolbar. To change the tracking (the uniform space between characters) hold down the Option key while pinching or while adjusting the slider. Alternatively click the numbers next to the slider to toggle between the size (blue) and tracking (orange) slider.

Font size
Font tracking

View options

The following options are available from the View menu.


Align previews to the left, right or center.

Font size

Auto size

Some fonts are naturally larger than others. Because you’ll probably adjust for that in your designs by changing the point size, it makes sense to preview your fonts in approximately the same size as well. The Auto Size setting tries to adjust the size of all previews, such that you can compare them more easily.

Auto font resize


Check the baseline, ascender, descender, cap-height and x-height of your fonts.

Font metrics

Font Smoothing

To increase the legibility and sharpness of fonts on screens with smaller resolution a technique called subpixel rendering can be applied. This techniques uses the red, green and blue pixel components of LCD and OLED screens to anti-alias text. It reduces jagged edges. More recent versions of macOS don’t use the individual color pixels anymore, but use greyscale font smoothing improved for Retina displays.

Fonts may appear a bit bolder when font smoothing is enabled. This setting is especially useful for smaller font sizes in body text previews. Note that font smoothing can have a negative effect on certain fonts, for example if there are a lot of small detailed curves.

Font smoothing


View the glyph curves in detail by showing font outlines.

Font Outlines


Typeface comes with a light theme (black text on a white background) and a dark theme (white text on black background). By default Typeface will follow your current macOS theme. If macOS uses the dark appearance Typeface will be dark too. And the app will be light when macOS is light.

You can manually change the Typeface theme in Settings. Set the Theme to Dark or Light and the app will keep that theme regardless of your current macOS system setting. Set the theme to System and the app will change colors based on the macOS system appearance.

Typography on dark

Font compare

Discover every little difference using Font Compare. Right click on a preview and choose Compare to start the compare mode, or choose the AB button on the font detail view.

The compare bar below the toolbar allows you to toggle the overlay AB or stop comparing with x. If you have collected some fonts you can quickly switch comparing between them by clicking the font name in the compare bar.

Comparing fonts

Learn more