As of Mountain Lion, Preview has been "upgraded" with a ridiculous font choice for its Notes (Control-Command-N). I use them all the time in PDF files and suffer from the Comic Sans feeling of Marker Felt.

Is it possible to change the font used by Preview to show notes?

It does not seem that the question has already been asked.

  • 1
    I have finally upgraded to ML and just noticed. This is RIDICULOUS. My quick google search has not turned up any solution so far, hope somebody will help here... Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 12:20
  • I second the ridiculousness of the current situation.
    – Fr.
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 15:34
  • You can view all of your annotations (including plain notes) in the Inspector, where they appear in a less maddening font. Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 8:17
  • The only explanation I can find is that nobody at Apple is actually using that feature, otherwise someone would have noticed and asked why notes do not use a generic font like Lucida Grande.
    – Fr.
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 15:23

3 Answers 3


Sadly, it is not possible to change the font used by Preview for Notes - this is denoted by Apple an 'UnEditable'.

This thread on the Apple forums (which I can't take credit for) provides a couple of work arounds such as using Annotations instead of notes (as these are editable) or post-editing comments in Adobe Acrobat Reader XI, but not an actual solution to this problem.

  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification, I had missed that thread as I was searching for notes specifically... Feedback to Apple sent, hope this can be changed... Annotation it is for now then, or switch back to Skim... Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 14:18

Go to Font Book, select Noteworthy, right click and show the font file in Finder. Alternatively you can directly navigate to /System/Library/Fonts

Replace the extension of the Noteworthy font file with .disabled (or .bak, or anything else non-font related). Make sure with the Inspector that the extension has not been re-added by the Finder. This is how it should look:

Disabled font Noteworthy

Re-start Preview, all PDF notes are now shown in Helvetica.

Tested on 10.8 and 10.9.

  • 2
    This should be the accepted answer and receive the bounty. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 20:43

I believe the method of editing the font file directly is no longer applicable in the newest OSX because those files are read-only and it probably won't be wise to mess them.

Try Adobe Reader instead?

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