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Due to declining eyesight, monospaced fonts are way easier for me to read. Is there a way to switch the default font High Sierra uses out for one that's monospaced? If it's not supported natively, are there any 3rd party programs that can?

  • The layout system for designing Mac interfaces does not handle custom fonts. You will end up with truncated text all over the place — especially a monospace font where "I" is the same width as "W". When Swift UI has been widely adopted (it's currently in beta) it will be possible to have custom fonts - but adoption will take years. – Abhi Beckert Jun 20 at 0:33
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Unfortunately there is no built-in way to change the system default font, there are, however, a couple of utilities that let you change the default system font or at least some of the system fonts. How well this will work with a monospaced font like Courier is anyone's guess, and mine would be probably not very well.

You can change the font back to something many thought was more readable than the current font. By changing it to Lucida Grande.

There is another utility called TinkerTool that lets you change the font for some of the macOS. I don't believe it will change everything but it likely worth the try.

Those are all I know of, there may be others that work better but these should give you a good start.

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I think you can change the system font, but I don't know if that's a good idea. The OS may react in "odd" ways if, for example, a character it displays is missing from the font you've chosen. It might work perfectly - or it might not... all I'm saying is that I personally have no experience with it. And having no experience, I wouldn't do it unless I was dead-certain I had a way to restore the default. Other answers to your question may have this covered, so please feel free to ignore my paranoia :)

All of that said, I actually do have an answer for you, but it uses the existing system font - just in a larger font size. Making that change is easy, and it's easy to remove the change if you don't like it, or want to try something else:

  1. Start (or click on) System Preferences, select the Displays tool, and select the Display tab.

  2. Next to the Resolution option, select the Scaled radio button. Your dialog box should now look like this (at least on High Sierra 10.13.6):

The System Preferences Display Dialog

  1. Select one of the optional "Larger Text" options; you can try different sizes until you find the one that works best for you.

Hope that helps. If you're committed to trying a monospaced font, there are numerous videos and blogs that propose approaches for doing that. Google the phrase mac os change system font to get a large selection. And finally, here are some tips from Apple to make your screen easier to read.

  • Those aren't "larger fonts". Those are smaller resolutions. – Dev May 30 at 0:04
  • @Dev: Well, maybe... but the Displays screen does say "Larger Text". How would you say it? – Seamus May 30 at 1:06
  • I would say it's a larger scale factor. 'Default' is 2x - makes a 2880x1800 screen act like 1440x900, but with a higher density. Larger text is a side effect of this smaller resolution. Nonetheless, the question is asking for a monospace system font - not to change the size. – Dev May 30 at 5:02
  • @Dev: I don't know... not arguing with you, just saying I don't know. I can only guess that when you say the words "larger font" to most people, they will expect a font that is "larger" in size. And yes, the question did ask for monospaced font, but also mentioned "declining eyesight". And since I'm not aware of any "clean" way to change the system's font, going to a "larger" font seemed a reasonable suggestion - at least to me. If you disagree, you always have the option to downvote my answer, or better still, submit your own. – Seamus May 30 at 10:56

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