How To Install Fonts Onto Your iPad

| How-To

Earlier this week, I started to prepare for the OS X, iOS, Photography and Italian courses I teach at local colleges here in Delaware. I rely heavily on both Pages and Keynote. In fact, these two are my favorite apps of all-time, and… I do mean all-time!

Now that Pages and Keynote (and Numbers) for both OS X, iOS and are almost perfectly integrated – truly a beautiful thing – I have decided to fully adopt cross-platform document production starting this Fall semester.

I was looking into some commercially-designed Keynote themes (templates) for some fresh ideas. I purchased and downloaded a $1.99 app called Toolbox for Keynote by Jumsoft, available for free on the Mac App Store. Jumsoft also makes available the Toolbox for Pages app. These Toolboxes are actually browsers that showcases all of the Keynote and Pages themes, clipart, and other graphical elements that Jumsoft has developed. Several are free but most are for sale as in-app purchases. Bundles are available at quite reasonable prices given the professional quality of the designs.

In their documentation, Jumsoft claims that all their themes and designs are compatible with the latest Keynote version 6. My own experiences testing a number of Jumsoft’s Keynote themes, support their claims… with one exception.

A Keynote slide as it appears on both the Mac and on the iPad

 The Santa Fe font in Keynote for Mac gets an unacceptable substitution on the iPad

One of several Keynote themes that I was looking at for a particular presentation I was preparing, was designed with a font called Santa Fe. Unfortunately, Santa Fe is not present in iOS. Upon opening the Keynote presentation on the iPad, I would be presented with a warning that the required Santa Fe font was not installed and that Keynote would substitute it. The Santa Fe font is a novelty font meant to be used sparingly. I certainly could have picked from any number of novelty fonts that are installed in iOS – like my favorite, Comic Sans – but I wanted Santa Fe.

So then, I started to wonder about the feasibility, or even the possibility, of installing fonts onto iOS. Would Apple's sandboxing rules prevent this?

After researching this a bit, I stumbled across an iOS app called AnyFont by Florian Schimanke. AnyFont provides the capability of installing additional fonts onto all iOS devices running iOS 7. The following font formats are supported: TrueTypeFont (.ttf), OpenTypeFont (.otf), and TrueType Collection (.ttc). Once the fonts are installed, they can then be used throughout the iOS system for other apps that access the iOS font book, like Pages, Keynote or Numbers – for the most part, any app that allows for font selection.

The AnyFont app icon

AnyFont is an iOS app available for $1.99

My colleague, Steve Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog, recently contacted the developer, Florian Schimanke, who explained the steps the application takes. "In iOS 7, it is possible to include fonts in configuration profiles. You can do this, for example, using the Apple Configurator from the Mac App Store. AnyFont takes the fonts that are added to the app's storage by the user via iTunes file sharing or the 'Open in...' dialog and creates a configuration profile from it so it can be installed on the device. AnyFont hands over the newly created profile to Safari which then takes the user to the installation process. When finished, the user is then taken back to AnyFont.”

It may sound a bit daunting, but the process is actually quite simple. The app includes a complete tutorial, and there is a demo video on YouTube as well.>

Next: The Font Installation Process

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There’s the unfortunate fact that you will need some license to install any fonts. For example, the fonts that ship with MacOS X have a license that doesn’t allow moving these fonts to an iPad, and Microsoft’s “web fonts” only have a free license in a format that most likely won’t work directly on the iPad.

On the other hand, I doubt that either Apple or Microsoft will care much if you install one of these fonts for private use.

Maduken Arnold

Yeah man, I got anyfont ages ago, does me very well. Does this mean though that it is completely impossible to add fonts on the ipad 1?


We use Open Sans font from Google in our documentation and Keynote presentations because it looks great. Its not a standard font installed on the Macbook Pro, so one has to download this. Using the equivalent Apps on my iPad I noticed I missed this font too. So thanks for sharing how to install fonts. If Steve Jobs were still around I am sure he too would consider this a huge missing feature. If I download a font on my Mac I want to use that font on my iPad rather than an equivalent. It makes using the Apps not transparent.

Interestingly enough, although Pages doesn’t have this font by default on the iPad, Google Docs Apps does. I can easily edit documents on my Mac and iPad with Google Docs in the same fonts easily. Would love to know how they do that. I thought fonts are held centrally in the iPad and available for all Apps. How then does the Google Docs App make this work?

Once again thanks for sharing.

Jack Goossen

Hi great article! You may be interested in our app Fonteer, which is an alternative for installing fonts on iOS. As a bonus you can directly browse and download fonts from the Google Fonts archive (these fonts can be used for commercial purposes). There is a free version of Fonteer which allows up to three font installs. For $1,99 you can upgrade to the premium version with unlimited font installs.

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