iOS 4.2: Changing Fonts in Notes

| TMO Quick Tip

Notes is an app that’s been included with iOS since the first iPhone shipped, and until the release of iOS 4.2 it didn’t offer any customization options. With the latest iOS update, however, users can finally change the default font in Notes without resorting to hacks.

Notes finally includes fonts other than Marker Felt

To change the font used in your Notes documents on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, do this:

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Notes.
  • Select the font you want to use for viewing and editing notes.
  • If you are using an newer iOS device, you can also choose which email account to use when syncing notes.

Chalkboard is easier to read…

The default Notes font is Chalkboard in iOS 4.2, which is a big step up from Marker Felt — the original Notes font, and still available as an option. You can also choose Helvetica as an easier to read option.

…but Helvetica is even easier.

The Notes font setting is a per-device option, so if you create notes on your iPad and iPhone, you’ll need to set your preference on both.

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Lee Dronick

I use Notes quite a bit and the improvement in readability will be nice.


I used to like Helvetica, but then I noticed 6 and 9 are over curled, 3 is too closed, capital I and lowercase I are the same, the dot above i can be hard to see. Things you notice reading an address when you don’t have your reading glasses [is that a 3, 6, 9, or 8; or is that i, I, l, or 1]. Plus Helvetica is used so much, it’s become boring.

Lee Dronick

Plus Helvetica is used so much, it?s become boring.

There are a number of fonts installed on the iPhone, I wonder why they won’t let us use them. In fact there is an app for that, AZ Font Browser that will list installed fontsI have a copy.

Mister Ed

If you like using other fonts families, BOLD, ITALIC, underlines, strike-outs AND COLOR in your iPhone Notes, you can!

(Admittedly, this is kind of klunky, but it works.)
I have tested this with MobileMe, but not with plain old iTunes syncing.

1) Create a Note on your iPhone or Mac.
2) Open the Note on your Mac and change the font’s family, style, size.
3) There is no step 3!

P.S. Don’t use yellow—it blends right in with the yellow Note paper color.


@Mister Ed.
Nice, there is an invisible ink option now. :D

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