Tag Backups

Losing your tags is bad, m’kay. Typeface allows you to export & backup tags to an easily readable json format. So you’ll always be able to recover your carefully organised library.

Creating a backup

A backup file contains information about your tags and edited font families. It does not contain any font files, so if you need to transfer your library to another Mac make sure to migrate your fonts folders and create a backup.

You can create a backup by choosing File > Export > Backup Tags… from the main menu. Or export a tag backup in Settings:

  1. Choose Typeface > Settings from the main menu
  2. Click on the Library tab
  3. Click on Export Tags
  4. Save the backup file in a place you can find back later

Restoring a backup

To restore a backup double click on the .typeface-backup file you’ve exported previously. Typeface will automatically launch and show you a few import options:


Enable this option to apply the tags included in the backup to your currently imported fonts. This will create the tags in the sidebar (if they don’t exist yet) and will restore tags to the fonts.

Remove & replace current tags

By default Typeface will add the tags in the backup to the current tags. For example if you already have a Serif tag with some fonts, and the backup also contains a Serif tag, then both tags will be merged. The merged tag will contain all previous fonts and the fonts described in the backup.

Since this is an additive process, there will be no tags removed. Nor will any existing tag be detached from an imported font.

If you want to completely replace the current tags with the ones stored in the backup, you can enable the Remove & replace current tags option. When enabled Typeface will remove all existing tags, then apply the tags from the backup. You’ll end up with the exact same tags as stored in the backup.

Custom families

Typeface allows you to artificially group fonts into custom families. All custom families you’ve created are stored in the backup file and will be restored if the Custom families option is enabled.

Note that tags and custom families will be applied to currently imported fonts. Make sure to import your fonts first, then apply a backup file.

The location of your font files doesn’t matter — the backup applies tags based on internal font data. If your font files have been renamed or moved to a different location after exporting the backup, Typeface will still be able to apply the exported tags to the fonts in their new location.

Automatic backups

Typeface automatically creates a backup when the app is closed. You can restore these backups in case of an emergency and you don’t have access to a backup you’ve created yourself. The app keeps backups for the last 5 days.

Follow these steps to find the auto backup files:

  1. Quit Typeface
  2. Hold down the Option (alt) key on your keyboard and open Typeface. Keep pressing Option until you see the support tools
  3. Choose Show Config Directory
  4. A new Finder window will open with the Application Support folder highlighted
  5. Inside the Application Support folder you’ll find a backups folder
  6. Inside the backups folder the last five backup files are stored — the files are named according to their creation date
  7. Press Launch App from the support tools to open the app
  8. Double click one of the backup files to apply the tags to your currently imported fonts

If the backups folder is empty, or you need access to an older backup before the last five days, you may be able to restore backup files using a Time Machine backup — backupception! Use your backup software (Time Machine or something else) to navigate to the backups folder and revert the folder to an earlier date. This should give you access to backup files that were available before.