How to Add Fonts to Photoshop: A Guide and Recommendations

Posted on April 4, 2023 | Updated on September 29, 2023

Graphic designers likely will need a host of fonts to support their endeavors. The original Photoshop does not come with many making it quite repetitive. These typefaces are the standard print and cursive varieties that may be eye-catching if one uses them properly, but having nothing else to choose from will get dull for artists and clients. How can graphic designers do more with their resources? Learn how to add fonts to Photoshop.

While there are cheaper alternatives to this program, Photoshop is the ultimate when it comes to photo manipulation, drawing and graphic design. Thousands of artists worldwide rely on the software to do the best for themselves and their patrons.

Clients may also be better-versed in Photoshop or request all projects to be Photoshop files. Therefore, knowing how to add more typefaces and which ones to choose can make any workflow exciting again. Read about the process and recommendations here.

How to Add Fonts to Photoshop

Luckily, the steps are relatively easy to follow. Adobe has made this process straightforward, so graphic designers can focus on using the typefaces to create compelling designs. There is also more than one way to do it. Here is how to add fonts to Photoshop.

Using Adobe Fonts

Adobe has a significant library of fonts containing over 20,000 typefaces for its entire Creative Cloud. Additionally, having them verified by Adobe’s team ensures there is no awkward balancing or kerning to deal with. Here are the steps on how to add fonts using Adobe Fonts.

First, navigate to the Creative Cloud and look for the cursive “f” at the top right of the screen. Clicking on it will move the webpage to Adobe Fonts. From there, all that is necessary is to toggle the typefaces that would be a great addition to the next project.

Another excellent resource for the company’s is also an excellent resource for the company’s offerings. Simply navigate to the site, log in if necessary and start browsing for fonts. This site will allow designers to search for typefaces, sort them by their properties and test their text before downloading. It has an additional feature that can scan an inputted image and pull up fonts that resemble the sample.

After going through these steps, the graphic designer is ready to work with their new fonts. If the font does not add to Photoshop, try clicking on the small download icon that should appear next to the typeface’s name. It could be a simple issue of not installing correctly.

Installing Free Fonts

Putting free fonts into Photoshop is a bit more of a process. Because Adobe does not regulate them, it takes more than going to a website and clicking a button. However, the low price of “free” makes that extra effort a bit more compelling — as long as the formatting is still well and good once it is there. Here is how to add fonts to Photoshop, but not from Adobe. This process will be the same on Mac and Windows computers.

First, search for the desired font through Google or a typeface-providing website. The benefit of going the non-Adobe route is, since artists are free to create anything they want, there is no limit to what a graphic designer can find. Just be sure to check for a creative commons license (CC0) on whatever font will work best for the project. Some may not require any attribution, while others will, along with a stipulation that the designer must alter the text in some way to not violate the license.

Then, download the font. If it downloads in a zip file, simply click on the folder to unzip it and reveal the contents. The font should now be somewhere in the Downloads section of the computer. Each typeface will likely have the extension .OTF or .TTF, so look for those if too many downloads are already on the computer.

The How-To

Next, there are two options for installing the font. One is that the designer could drag the file from the Downloads folder into Library/Fonts, which should add it to the computer. Moving it to Users/Library/Fonts will make the file accessible to everyone who uses Photoshop on that device.

Otherwise, the user can double click on the file to open it and a small box with the font should show up. At the bottom right or top will be a button that says “Install Font” — hit that and the typeface will port into Photoshop. If it does not, try the above tactic.

As stated before, remember to check the website or font attributes for a CC0 to ensure there will not be any legal troubles from using the font. The license may state that any graphic design using the typeface must attribute it to the creator, while others might forbid anyone from using the font in a commercial setting. It all depends on the type of CC0. When adding free fonts to Photoshop, checking all possible uses to avoid issues is critical.

The Best Sites to Find Free Fonts

Once a graphic designer learns how to add fonts to Photoshop, they probably want to explore right away. Adobe’s offerings are tempting, but the wonderful world of the internet allows users to find nearly any font their heart desires. Luckily, there are also a few great resources that compile these typefaces and make them easily downloadable.

1. Font Bundles

Font Bundles is a fantastic resource for those looking for great free fonts. While the site does have a premium feature, there is a free account designers can sign up for to access hundreds of typefaces at no cost. Not to mention, it also has a Free Font of the Week page where users can get a premium-only font without having to pay. Check out Font Bundles each week to see what exciting offerings there are.

2. DaFont

DaFont is a classic website for getting free fonts. It currently hosts over 79,468 different typefaces, which users can sift through using the categories at the top of the page. All fonts are available to download for free, but be sure to check out the readme files that should come with them. These should indicate if a typeface is exclusively for personal use or if the creator is okay with someone using their work commercially.

3. Google Fonts

Like Adobe Fonts, Google Fonts also has a test feature so users can test a font against their needs before downloading it. It has around 1,557 fonts for graphic designers to choose from, making the ability to sample fonts very attractive. Each typeface also comes in a family that includes several forms of bolding, thinning and italicizing.

4. Font Squirrel

Sick of looking through fonts and hoping they will be available for commerical use? Look no further. As its name implies, Font Squirrel scours the internet and selects the best free commercial typefaces it can find. It also offers a search tool and tags for simplified browsing. Font Squirrel also has a convenient feature that lets users know if a font can go on a website or in an eBook or software.

5. Behance

If you’re looking for a community of designers offering one-of-a-kind typefaces, Behance is an excellent resource. People offer many of their creations for free in exchange for feedback, but you’ll need to check the license to see if it’s for personal or commercial use. You can find everything from serif to script fonts. Many are quite unique and well suited for headings, posters and logos.

One example of an interesting font on Behance is Cilly Mantis Font, which offers some swooshes through the ligatures and a mix between serif and script. It’s a gorgeous font that would work well on a book cover or for a logo. You will need to pay for commercial rights for that particular typeface.


Another repository of fonts exists at, with more than 51,469 font families. Look to the right sidebar to browse the selection by classification. Choose from categories such as Sans, Serif, Script and Display.

Scroll down and slide the scale to free or three dollar signs, depending on your budget. You can also sort by trending, release date, bestsellers or alphabetical order.

When you choose the option “Free,” the selection is narrowed to 1,334 families. You’ll still find a lot of variety from which to choose. Make sure any font you select allows you to use the item on commercial projects. None of the fonts can be resold as part of a font package or for others to use.

7. Dribbble

Similar to Behance, Dribble brings together designers from all over the world to share their creations. You’ll find plenty of free options. As with other sites, always check to see if you need a license for commercial use. Not only could it cost you time if you get a cease and desist notice but you could be sued for damages.

The site has more than 75,654 designs and graphical elements from which to choose. You’ll find some truly unique fonts along with ideas of how to use them in finished projects.

Click on any options to learn more about the font and how to get it and use it. For example, if you click on the font named Oceanside Sans by Josh Carnley, you’re taken to a dedicated page about the font. Click on the creator’s profile to learn more about the designer. He adds a link to purchase, so you see that one is not free to use.

Next, try something like The Night Watch Free Font and you’ll see it is free to download and use. They are trying to sell other services and using it as a lead magnet.

8. Urban Fonts

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is Urban Fonts. They offer a well-organized selection of free fonts in alphabetical order, starting with Anisa Sans and going through ZeroHour. You’ll find dozens of options under each letter.

They boast having a collection of over 8,000 freeware fonts. Some are shareware or linkware. You’ll also find that a few of the fonts are trial versions that require a commercial license for embedding, so read details carefully. Download each font from the page you view it on and then read the licensing requirements and usage details to decide whether you must purchase a license or can use it for free.

If you aren’t quite sure what type of font you want for your project, Urban Fonts is an excellent starting point because of how easy it is to browse through the collection. Scrolling down a page takes mere seconds and you’re certain to find at least one font you like.

Font Recommendations for Graphic Designers

Before you download a specific font to upload to Adobe Photoshop, it’s important to be strategic in your chosen font. You may be tempted to download fonts that look appealing to you. However, you must pick the right font to ensure it aligns with the message you’re sending to your audience. It must also fit well with the overall design.

Graphic creation requires designers to build a visual hierarchy within their projects. This way, it guides the readers, is easier to read, and the design looks well-balanced. 

Now that you know how to add fonts to Photoshop, here are some font recommendations to get you started. Keep in mind that these fonts are what’s trending this year, so be sure to choose them wisely:

  • Retro Condensed: Old-school style fonts with a 70s vibe are rocking this year as one of the top font trends. Reto condensed fonts, more specifically, are especially trending because these typefaces are unique with their edginess and quirky style. 
  • Calligraphic: If you want a romantic touch, consider calligraphy fonts. These serifs have a mix of weights that make your graphics look modern and elegant.
  • Quirky Sans-serif: Fonts like Gersy and Belgro are trending due to their informal and playful style. While they still have clean lines and simplicity, these sans-serif fonts are full of character. You’ll surely stand out from the crowd if you use these fonts for website headers and graphic headlines.
  • Classic Modernism: A classic modernist typeface is timeless and will always stay in style. From Physis to Avalon, you get a contemporary feel with a slightly funky touch. Still, these classic fonts are extremely versatile and work well with either headlines or body text.

Tips for Organizing and Managing Added Fonts

When uploading your new fonts to Photoshop, keeping them organized is crucial. That way, you can find specific fonts more easily, saving time within your design process. Here are a few tips you can start implementing now.

1. Use Font Management Software

Font management software is a tool to keep all your fonts in one place. These tools let you organize your fonts into folders, group them into specific categories and search. Consider using popular font management software like FontBase. You can use it for Mac and Windows, and it’s free. FontBase also has an easy-to-use interface, and you can organize all your fonts in one place. 

2. Categorize Your Fonts Into Folders

The more fonts you add to Photoshop, the more you’ll need to keep them organized. Consider maintaining them in an orderly fashion by organizing your fonts into categorized folders. Some of the types of folders you can create include project-based, style or usage. Categorized folders make your fonts easier to access, especially if you’re working on different projects throughout the day.

3. Keep Your Font Options Limited

As a graphic designer, you’ll work on projects that require different fonts each time. This requires you to add more fonts to Photoshop, which keeps multiplying over time. There is such a thing as having too many fonts. They can easily clutter your library, making finding the font you need for a project more challenging. 

Instead of filling your Photoshop with hundreds of fonts, consider deleting the ones you no longer need. This will make browsing much easier. Plus, you make more room for newer fonts you need in the future.

4. Activate the Fonts You Actually Need

Having all the fonts in Photoshop activated can add confusion and time consumption to your projects. If you have all your fonts activated through font management software or Photoshop, you make your font list less manageable. Instead, consider triggering only those you use the most or need for a new project. This method lets you keep the clutter down and makes finding fonts easier.

Learn How to Add Fonts to Photoshop to Step Up Your Designs

Sticking exclusively with the typefaces already in Photoshop will get boring quickly. Use this guide on how to add fonts to Photoshop and check out the websites that offer new and exciting designs. Who knows — the right writing style may be what a project needs to catapult it to success.

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