Managing Fonts on Your iPad

Managing Fonts on Your iPad

Any good storyteller knows that fonts can be as much a design element as photos and graphics. Unfortunately, your iPad comes with a limited number of fonts. Don’t worry. Many of the design apps include fonts and there are apps that will allow you to install your favorite fonts on you iPad/iPhone for use with just about any app. I’ve had great success using the free AnyFont app. With AnyFont you…

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Managing Fonts on Your iPad

Any good storyteller knows that fonts can be as much a design element as photos and graphics. Unfortunately, your iPad comes with a limited number of fonts. Don’t worry. Many of the design apps include fonts and there are apps that will allow you to install your favorite fonts on you iPad/iPhone for use with just about any app.

I’ve had great success using the free AnyFont app. With AnyFont you can install your favorite fonts and even unlock a bundle of 1,000 fonts as an in-app purchase for 99 cents.

Installing fonts is easy.
Installing fonts is easy.

Here you see an example of AnyFonts at work. In the background you see a list of fonts available within the app. Tap any font to display this install panel. Tap Preview to see how that font looks. If it looks good, just tap the font icon to install. That’s it!

You can also install your own fonts. Copy them to a folder in iCloud or Dropbox then follow the directions in AnyFonts’ tutorials to install them.

Once installed on your iPad, your fonts will be available to you in Pages, Numbers and Keynote as well as the Microsoft Office apps. One thing to watch – especially if you are a font hound like me – is the space your installed fonts are using on your device. Check Settings > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage and scroll down to see how much storage AnyFont is using. I have more than 100 fonts installed on my iPad using 140MB of space. To compare, I have four books in my Kindle app and it’s using 401MB of space.

Have Fonts Will Travel

Have fonts will travel? They can with AnyFont!

Keynote is a fabulous scrapbooking and storytelling platform and Keynote on my iPad means I can be creative wherever I am. There’s just one tiny little problem. I love fonts and iOS only has a few fonts – or so I thought. Then I discovered the AnyFont app [iOS – $1.99]. This app makes it possible to install additional fonts on your iOS devices. AnyFont on iPhone You still have some limitations –…

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Have Fonts Will Travel

Keynote is a fabulous scrapbooking and storytelling platform and Keynote on my iPad means I can be creative wherever I am. There’s just one tiny little problem. I love fonts and iOS only has a few fonts – or so I thought. Then I discovered the AnyFont app [iOS – $1.99]. This app makes it possible to install additional fonts on your iOS devices.

AnyFont on iPhone
AnyFont on iPhone

You still have some limitations – primarily the amount of space available on your iPad – but with a little effort there are ways to deal with that too. My first step was to develop a set of presentation fonts that includes the fonts I use regularly for titles, headings, type and captions. Those fonts have been installed on my iPad using AnyFonts and are always available. I also keep a collection of useful fonts in my Dropbox account so they can be downloaded and installed from just about anywhere. Then, I’ll uninstall them when I’m finished.

I took some lessons from the digital scrapbook designers and created frequently-used words as graphics using whatever font I want. These graphics are stashed in a Photos iCloud album and can be easily grabbed from just about anywhere.

AnyFont will also work in Pages, Numbers and the Microsoft Office apps. Be aware that the iCloud versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers still only use the basic font set.

AnyFont has an in-app purchase (99¢) for a collection of bundled fonts you can add/remove at any time. These appear to be Google’s impressive Web Fonts collection which are available for free. However, it’s probably worth the 99¢ to have them available within the app rather than doing it yourself manually.

e-Style: Linespacing

e-StyleLeading, a term that goes back to the days of typesetting, is the space between one line of type and the next. Originally a strip of lead was placed between each line of set type to provide that spacing. These strips varied in width to compensate for the different type sizes. Today, we use the term “linespacing” and our word processing applications provide the capability to control it. Most linespacing is adjusted automatically. Your word processor adds linespacing in proportion to the font size. You also have the ability to manipulate it manually.

There are times when the manual settings can come in quite handy. That letter that spills over into a new page by just two lines can be condensed to one page with a tiny linespacing adjustment. In the example below (Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac) you can see the first paragraph has been set to 0.8li – or 8/10th of a single-spaced line for that font. The paragraph is more difficult to read because the lines are so close together. You can make very small adjustments – 0.95li in the following paragraphs for example – which will give you the space you need to squeeze those two extra lines in your letter without appearing obviously squished.

linespacing1

 

There are times when readability can be improved by adding a smidgen of extra linespacing. This is especially true with smaller font sizes. And, since the height of a font includes characters with ascenders (like the “h” or “b”) and descenders (like the “g” or “p”), multiple lines of all caps can be improved by reducing the linespacing to compensate for the lack of them.

The days of an extra tap on the Return key to add space between paragraphs are long gone too. In the example above notice the Paragraph Spacing is set to 12pts after each paragraph. That automatically added the space you see here.

Now that you know what linespacing is and how easy it is to use, you’ll find many situations where it will improve the appearance of your publication. Soon, you’ll be wondering how you ever survived without it.

Robin Williams is the queen of e-Style, typography and design. She is the author of several informative – and enjoyable – books on these topics. Any of them would be a useful addition to your reference library.