In Font Book.app one of the criteria for creating a Smart Collection is "Design style".

Font Book.app Smart Collection dialog

How does Font Book.app determine whether or not a given font falls into one of the available categories?

  • Such a good question! There is DEFINITELY no meta info embedded in these fonts that "matches up" with these "styles". It must be embedded in some undocumented "database" used by FontBook, or provided by some Apple "service".
    – alex gray
    Jan 7, 2015 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


OK, I think I figured it out... Opening a font in RoboFont, I scoured all the obscure meta-info available and finally found the entry that seems to correspond to what FontBook uses for the Design Style in the section called Panose (a term I had never heard of!). Long story short... FontBook seems to probably use the Proportion to determine the style. 😜

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That kind of info is often included in the metadata of the font file itself, especially in OTF files. It is usually the type designer or foundry that categorizes the font in the first place.

  • 2
    Could you go into a bit more detail? I've read about some of the various OpenType tables but haven't grokked which tables would indicate that a font is monospaced for example.
    – nine9ths
    Mar 21, 2014 at 7:33

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