Font Appearance

Typeface provides multiple options to change the preview rendering of your fonts. These options help you determine differences between fonts or change the look of the app.

Preview content

Preview any text you want by clicking on the Aa button in the toolbar. You can press the spacebar or Command+L 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.

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 View > Grid > Hide Fonts Missing Glyphs will not have any effect if a dynamic preview preset is enabled. The Font names preset will preview each font in its own name.

You can right click on a font and use the Preview submenu to quickly change presets. 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, 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


Change the app theme to night mode to show white-on-black previews. By default Typeface will follow the current macOS theme. If macOS uses the dark theme Typeface will be dark as well. And the app will be light when macOS is light.

You can change the Typeface theme manually at any time, but if you close and reopen the app Typeface will follow the current macOS theme again. If you want to keep your chosen Typeface theme across launches enable Preferences > General > Restore Theme. Typeface will launch with the same theme as the one it was closed with, independent of the current macOS theme.

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

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