The number and quality of fonts that OS X has built-in is pretty impressive, but limited when you consider the possibilities. I don't know that anyone can tell you the total number of fonts there are in existence, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the hundreds of thousands (if not millions). What does that mean to you and me? Quite simply, we can use those fonts to make our documents look incredible (not just good).
Below is a basic template that comes included with Apple's Pages app (part of their iWork suite):
It's a quality document, in part due to the graphical elements, but also due to the choice of fonts used. Imagine what this would look like if all the fonts were Ariel. Fonts are to a document as music is to a film. They can either make or break the final product.
So it begs the question... where can you get more fonts, and once you have them, how do you use them?
First of all, there are a number of places I go to get more fonts. Here are a few of those sites:
Some of those sites are free, some are paid and some are a mix of both. If you're in the market for super high-quality fonts, you'll want to start with Adobe, but be prepared to pay up.
Once you've downloaded your fonts, there are two places to store them in OS X:
- ~/Library/Fonts (fonts stored here are only accessible by you)
- Library/Fonts (fonts stored here are accessible by all users)
You can also use the built-in font manager "Font Book" (Applications > Font Book) to install and manage your fonts. Using this application is a breeze, and will allow you to create custom groups, which would in turn help to find just the font you need much quicker and easier.
Note: the above font is one I had made several years ago of my own handwriting. It makes it much easier when I want something to look more personal (even while I still compose it on a computer).