Setting up your font library

Organize your font files and folder structure however you want.

Creating your own font location(s)

While other font managers copy or move your font files to an app-specific library location which may be hard to find, Typeface imports fonts directly from any folder on your Mac, external disk or network share. Typeface doesn’t move or copy your font files when importing, it just links to their location.

This means that you can organize your font files and directory structure however you want. For example you can keep your license files or other assets right next to the font files. Or you can sync your fonts with Dropbox such that your fonts are shared between Macs.

Font folder

The recommended way to manage your font files with Typeface is to create a central font folder on your Mac where you store your fonts. You can place this folder anywhere you like, for example create a ‘Fonts’ folder in your macOS User folder. Once you’ve added your font files to your new folder import that folder into Typeface by dragging it from Finder to the Typeface window. It will be added to the sidebar immediately and Typeface scans for any font files located in the folder.

You can create multiple font locations, for example one for free fonts and one for purchased fonts. Or create separate locations for different projects. It’s totally up to you.

In short:

  1. Create a font folder on your Mac
  2. Move your font files to your custom font folder
  3. Drag the font folder to Typeface to connect the location

How to import new fonts?

Whenever you download fresh fonts from your favorite foundry you want to inspect all those beautiful characters and organise the fonts right away. To get them into the app simply move the downloaded files to one of your font folders.

Typeface scans your imported locations automatically when you launch the app, so if Typeface was closed you’ll see your new fonts appear a few moments after launching (scanning happens in the background). You can also manually refresh an imported location in the sidebar: Right click > Refresh and the new fonts will show up automatically. All fonts imported due to the refresh will be visible in the Last Import tag in the sidebar.

Typeface tracks the font files in your imported locations. Whether you add new fonts, move fonts, rename them or remove them, Typeface will update accordingly after a refresh. As long as the font files exist inside the imported location they’ll be visible in the app. Once you move a font outside of an imported folder (or move it to Trash) the font will be removed from Typeface as well.

In short:

  1. Download new font files
  2. Move the font files to your custom font folder in Finder
  3. Refresh the location in Typeface: Right click > Refresh

Fonts from Font Book

Now that you know how to import your own font locations, lets take a look at the fonts already imported into the app. On launch Typeface automatically imports fonts available in Font Book, the standard macOS font application. This includes macOS system fonts as well as fonts you’ve imported into Font Book yourself. So if you’ve previously used Font Book to manage and import your fonts you’ll see all your fonts in Typeface right away.

Fonts you install using Font Book are copied to the macOS user font folder: /Users/<username>/Library/Fonts. This is a special folder that is monitored by macOS. Manually copying font files to that folder or installing using Font Book is technically the same. Any font file placed in that folder is automatically activated and available in all your applications.

While you can leave your font files in this user font folder, you may want to consider moving them to a different location. Since fonts located in /Users/<username>/Library/Fonts are activated by default you have to deactivate them manually using Typeface if you don’t want to use them right away (and to clean up the long font picker lists in your design apps). Font files located anywhere else on your Mac stay deactivated until you choose to activate them whenever you want.

Furthermore, the /Users/<username>/Library/Fonts folder is hidden in Finder and kind of hard to find. Since Typeface allows you to import fonts from any location you may like to move your fonts to a more accessible folder, where you can view and organise your font files however you like.

To create your own font location and move your user fonts from Font Book follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Create your own custom font folder if you haven’t already done so, for example: /Users/<username>/Fonts
  3. Choose Go > Go to Folder, or press Command + Shift + G
  4. Enter the following path (copy and paste) and press Go: ~/Library/Fonts
  5. Move the font files inside the Library folder to your custom font folder created in step 2
  6. Drag and drop your /Users/<username>/Fonts folder to Typeface to import the location

System fonts

Besides the user fonts folder there are two other special font folders on your Mac. The /Library/Fonts folder contains fonts installed by applications. These fonts are available to all users on your Mac. Before macOS Catalina this folder also contained optional system fonts, but these have been moved to the system fonts folder: /System/Library/Fonts.

Both folders work the same as the user fonts folder: any font file located in one of this special folders is activated by macOS. The system font folder contains required macOS fonts that are protected and cannot be deactivated. Fonts located in the computer and user fonts folder can be deactivated using Typeface if you want.

Here’s an overview of the macOS font folders:

Most of the time you should leave the macOS system and computer fonts alone. Typeface imports and shows all these fonts by default, but you can hide them by disabling Settings > Library > Font Book. When disabled the app will only show your own imported fonts. Keep in mind that the system fonts are still activated, so they will continue to show up in font pickers.

Importing from other font managers

When you’re switching from a different font manager you may want to transfer your existing font library over to Typeface. Since Typeface can import fonts from any location you can point it directly to where the font files are stored by your previous manager, or you can copy your fonts first to a more accessible folder.

It depends on the font manager where your font files are stored, so investigate that first. Look at the help documentation of your previous font manager to learn how to export the fonts from its library. The following sections describe the steps to migrate your fonts from some discontinued font managers for Mac.

Suitcase Fusion

Suitcase Fusion stores fonts in /Users/<username>/Library/Extensis/Suitcase Fusion/. To import fonts directly from that location follow these steps:

  1. Open Typeface
  2. Choose File > Import…
  3. Click the Options button and uncheck Skip Packages
  4. Press Command + Shift + G
  5. Copy the following path and press Go:
    ~/Library/Extensis/Suitcase Fusion/
  6. Choose Import Directory

This folder is a bit hard to find, especially if you want to add new fonts. So another option is to export your fonts first and put them in a more accessible location of your choosing. Open Suitcase Fusion and choose File > Collect for Output from the main menu. Once you’ve exported your font files, import that folder into Typeface to view all your fonts inside the app.

If you don’t have Suitcase installed anymore you can manually extract your font from the font vault:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Choose Go > Go to Folder… or press Command + Shift + G
  3. Copy and paste the following path and press enter:
    ~/Library/Extensis/Suitcase Fusion/
  4. Right-click (or Control-click) on the Suitcase Fusion.fontvault file and select Show Package Contents.
  5. Inside the package navigate to the SA/l subfolder, which contains your font files. Copy the folder to somewhere else on your Mac and import the new folder into Typeface.

Migrate your Suitcase Fusion font sets

Starting with a fresh library in Typeface might be nice, but it may also be a lot of work. If you’ve already organized your fonts in Suitcase your sets can be migrated to Typeface tags.

  1. Open Finder
  2. Choose Go > Go to Folder… or press Command + Shift + G
  3. Copy and paste the following path and press enter:
    ~/Library/Extensis/Suitcase Fusion/
  4. Right-click (or Control-click) on the Suitcase Fusion.fontvault file and select Show Package Contents.
  5. Inside the package you’ll find a SuitcaseFusion.db file. Send that file to (use cloud storage such as Dropbox if it’s too large to send as attachment).

I’ll convert the meta data to Typeface format for you so you can import it directly into the app. No need to recreate all your sets! This is a free service — the export may be different for everyone, so I may need to tweak the export parameters a bit for your library. If you have any specific requests let me know in your message!

FontExplorer X

If FontExplorer organised your font files you can find them in the FontExplorer font library. This folder is typically located here: /Users/<username>/FontExplorer X/Font Library

You can import that folder into Typeface directly or you can copy the fonts over to another directory so you can manage your files more easily.

Migrate your FontExplorer font sets

Already neatly organized your entire font library using FontExplorer? Don’t worry, your sets can be migrated to Typeface tags so you can continue with the same font collections.

  1. Create a local backup in FontExplorer (File > Local Backup > Create)
  2. Export the Sets but not the font files
  3. You’ll get a .fexconfig file which you can zip (Right click > Compress)
  4. Send the zipped .fexconfig to

I’ll convert the export and return the Typeface tags which you can easily import into the app. This is a free service — the export may be different for everyone, so I may need to tweak the export parameters a bit for your library. If you have any specific requests let me know in your mail!

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