Custom UIFont Gotchas

Custom fonts are fun! Getting custom fonts to work with UIFont isn’t always as much fun. The tricky part that gets me every time is getting the font name right: it has little or nothing to do with the filename of the font. How am I supposed to figure out what name to use?! It turns out the developers at Apple are way ahead of me: the easiest way to get the name right it just ask the UIFont class what names it knows.

Thanks to Richard Warrender’s article about custom fonts on iOS, I discovered the awesome +[UIFont familyNames] and +[UIFont fontNamesForFamilyName:] methods. The first returns a list of every font family the system recognizes. The second takes one of those family names and returns a list of font names associated with it. The font name is the one you should give to +[UIFont fontWithName:size:] to get your custom font.

You still have to do the regular “add your font file to the project and specify it in your Info.plist” dance, but that’s not the hard part.

Hopefully this saves you some time and frustration!


Justin Voss

Software Engineer

I spend my days creating software at Apple, and I occassionally write or make videos that I share here.

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