I'm sure the fellow who wrote TinkerTool, which lets me change the Finder title bar font among other things, is a fine fellow and surely TinkerTool is not malware. Nevertheless... I want to change the Finder font without installing software. Is there a way to do it from the command line?


  • You could ask the "TinkerTool fellow" how he does change the font and implement a small utility yourself.
    – nohillside
    Nov 9, 2011 at 12:58
  • TinkerTool modifies ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist. If you change other fonts or font sizes with it, you can see the keys for them with defaults read -g | grep -i font.
    – Lri
    Aug 8, 2012 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


Got it. It's in ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist

Modify the following entry:


with your desired font size. This file actually contains a lot of your system's preferences, from your locale setting, to the antialias threshold, to the scrollbar behavior. The file is a binary plist, so you'll either have to use Xcode or convert it into XML and then back again using this method.

  • @Mithras NP. For some reason, iTunes doesn't seem to respect the setting. I guess it draws its window differently? Not sure what it uses.
    – user10355
    Dec 11, 2011 at 20:30
  • There's no NSTitleBarFontSize key by default at least on 10.8. You could add one with defaults write -g NSTitleBarFontSize -int 12.
    – Lri
    Aug 8, 2012 at 22:00
  • Is there any way to change the alignment to right-justify? (So that the beginning is cut-off instead of the end). Nov 25, 2013 at 17:38
  • 1
    @zhermes No. That would require some form of haxie as all that stuff is hardcoded into Finder. Actually, the setting above has been pretty much defunct since Mountain Lion. Last I checked, most apps ignored the entry and even in some cases, it did some strange things (messing up text in the Finder Preferences pane). It used to be global, but over time, less and less apps seemed affected. Mileage certainly varies.
    – user10355
    Nov 26, 2013 at 1:51

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