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On my old laptop I had a moderate-sized collection of "favorites" fonts that I've set over the past few years. The laptop is now gone, but I have a disk image with the entire contents of the hard drive. Is there a way I can copy the fonts that were in the "Favorites" collection to my new computer? Put another way, is there a file I can copy from one machine to the other which contains my "Favorites" fonts collection? Thanks!

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Yes!

Before you do, your font library on your new computer should probably contain the same fonts as the old one. (I’m not entirely sure this is necessary, but I suggest it to be on the safe side).

OS X stores most of its fonts in one of three locations:

  • ~/Library/Fonts — fonts you’ve installed for your personal use;
  • /Library/Fonts — fonts you’ve installed for every user on the computer;
  • /System/Library/Fonts/ — the fonts that Mac OS X needs.

You’ll probably only need to transfer fonts from the first two folders, as your new installation of OS X will provide the fonts in the third. More detail in the Apple support article on font locations.

If you’ve got the odd font that isn’t in one of these three folders, you can still find its location. Open the file ~/Library/Fonts/fonts.list in a text editor (TextEdit would do). The file contains a long list of font locations, which correspond to the fonts that you’ve installed. With this, you can find any fonts that are lurking elsewhere.


Once you have your old font library on your new computer, transferring the font collections should be relatively easy. On the disk image of the old laptop, navigate to ~/Library/FontCollections. One of these files will be Favourites.collection (or whatever you called it). Copy this file to ~/Library/FontCollections of your new computer, and then the collection should show up in Font Book the next time you launch it.

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