Start using custom fonts in iOS 13 and iPadOS


Apple in iOS 13 and iPadOS introduced the ability to use technically customized fonts throughout the system. But even if you are running the latest software, you may not have seen it.

This is because the custom font capability has some limitations, at least currently, and has been a fairly quiet feature so far. But there has been a recent update of a third-party application that could provide a good opportunity to try out custom fonts for you on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Custom fonts on iOS 13 and iPadOS

Apple has introduced the ability to install and use custom fonts throughout the system on iOS 13 and iPadOS.

This feature is quite simple: you can install and use custom fonts on iOS 13 and iPadOS. These fonts work throughout the system, although perhaps not in the way you would expect.

Although the feature was announced as part of iPadOS, presumably as a way to make the system more like a computer, it is also fully available on iPhone as part of iOS 13.

As for how, Apple says that users can easily find custom applications in the App Store and install them on their system. From there, they can manage custom applications from Settings and use them in their “favorite applications.

Apple tends to be quite restrictive with its mobile operating systems, so the ability to use custom fonts is a welcome change for many users.

While Apple announced the feature in June, it has actually been a relatively quiet addition with little fanfare. That is until this week when a third-party application manufacturer introduced a new way to take advantage of it.

Limitations of the skill.

While Apple calls custom fonts a system-wide function, you cannot actually change the system or the user interface font. It is likely to remain San Francisco for the foreseeable future.

There are also some compatibility considerations. Along with the ability for users to install fonts, Apple introduced a new API that will allow third-party application developers to add support for the feature in their own applications.

At the time of writing, the availability of applications that support custom fonts is not very extensive. But that will probably change in the future.

It is also worth noting that Apple could surprise everyone and allow users to take advantage of custom fonts in other system configurations. While we dont exactly expect to be able to replace San Francisco with another font in the short term, there are many other ways that users can actually take advantage of custom fonts.

Custom Adobe Creative Cloud fonts for iPad

Dont know where to get custom fonts for iOS? Try Adobe Creative Cloud. There are 1,300 free fonts for all users, and over 17,000 for Creative Cloud subscribers.

Speaking of third-party developers, Adobe recently released a new update for its Creative Cloud application that could allow users to take serious advantage of the new custom font feature.

Specifically, the Creative Cloud application now allows users to install Adobe Font database fonts on their iPhones or iPads. Thats a big problem when you consider how many fonts there are.

There are over 17,000 fonts in Adobe Fonts, but as expected, you will need a Creative Cloud subscription to access them.

But dont be disappointed. Adobe has made 1,300 of these fonts available to each and every iOS 13 or iPadOS user.

The Creative Cloud application itself is also highly recommended for any Creative Cloud user, as it offers easy project organization through Adobes cloud storage. But even if it is not, it is worth downloading just for the free sources.

Other options

While the Adobe Creative Cloud application update attracted media attention, there are actually other third-party applications that allow you to install custom fonts.

We are not talking about the poor quality alternative applications. These are applications that are fully compatible with Apples custom font API.

We will use Creative Cloud for the purposes of this article. But if you are a designer, a nerd writer, or someone who only wants to use custom fonts, we recommend that you check out other applications such as Font Diner.

Using custom fonts in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Now that you know the capabilities and limitations of the custom font feature, heres how to install and use custom fonts on your iPhone or iPad.

Install and manage custom fonts

Using Adobe Creative Cloud as an example, the installation of the fonts is quite simple.

As mentioned above, we will use Adobe Creative Cloud for the purposes of this article. This is due to the reputation of Adobe and the quality of the fonts available.

Please note that you will need to create an Adobe account to access the 1300 free fonts. But you dont need to pay anything else to get them. A Creative Cloud subscription is only required if you want the full 17,000 catalog.

  • Download the Adobe Creative Cloud App Store application to your iPhone or iPad.
  • Login or create a free Adobe account.
  • Touch the button Fonts in the lower menu bar to open the tab Fonts.
  • From here, you can explore the complete list of available fonts (free or paid).
  • To install a font, simply tap Install Fonts.
  • Confirm the iOS dialog by clicking on Install.

Within the Adobe Creative Cloud application, you can also touch the Installed Fonts tab to browse the fonts you downloaded earlier.

You can manage custom fonts in the Adobe Creative Cloud application as well as in the native configuration application.

You can also manage your fonts and delete them if you wish, go to Settings – General – Fonts.

Where can you use custom fonts?

From now on, you can use custom fonts in certain native Apple and iWork applications such as Pages and Keynote.

This is what happens with custom fonts in iOS 13 and iPadOS: you cant use them in many places these days. But that will probably change over time.

While applications like Notes or Mail should be technically compatible with custom fonts, they are not currently in the latest version of iPadOS or iOS 13.

This is probably a mistake or an oversight on Apples part. Just know that the company is likely to introduce broader support for custom fonts into their own native applications as time goes on. It is also likely that outside developers, particularly those in the design field, will do the same.

Meanwhile, a good way to try them out is to use them with Apples own iWork applications. This includes pages, key notes and numbers.

Here is an example.

  • Download an iWork application such as Pages or Keynote, if you have not already done so.
  • Creates a new document.
  • Touch the Brush icon in the top menu bar.
  • Touch the font that appears near the Font header.
  • Scroll down and find the font you downloaded and installed.

Do you use custom fonts on your iPad? What are some of the problems you encounter when using custom fonts? How can Apple improve the function of custom fonts for users?