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Adobe Fonts in Photoshop: The Essential Guide

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Did you know that you can use Adobe Fonts in Photoshop? It’s true; Adobe Fonts is included in your Creative Cloud membership, and it’s a great way to enhance your graphic design projects and even your photos.

So if you want to learn more about what Adobe Fonts actually is, what it offers, and how can you use it, then keep on reading!

What is Adobe Fonts?

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Adobe Fonts is an online library containing thousands of fonts. If you’ve been working in graphics for a long time, you may be familiar with Typekit; in 2011, Typekit and Adobe started collaborating together, and in 2018, Adobe Typekit became Adobe Fonts.

If you have a paid Creative Cloud membership, you can use Adobe Fonts for free within any Adobe application. Note that a free license is extended to both personal and commercial projects – however, customer and perpetual licenses do cost extra. You can see all licensing terms here.

You can access Adobe Fonts from your browser or from inside your Adobe apps (though in this article, I’ll focus on using Adobe Fonts in Photoshop).

When should you use Adobe Fonts?

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Adobe Fonts is an amazing tool that will make your life simple and your artwork special every time you need to add text to a design.

Not only does the service contain over 20,000 fonts, but it also simplifies your licensing management. If you download fonts from different libraries, you have to keep track of the licensing terms of each one, which can be a real headache. And you need to keep the fonts on all your computers and your clients’ computers (if they want to edit your work).

Adobe Fonts, however, is shared across the Creative Cloud apps on all your devices, and it’s free to use even for commercial work. Plus, you have full control: You can activate and deactivate fonts, as well as the entire Adobe Fonts feature, at will.

Here are some situations in which you should consider using Adobe Fonts in Photoshop:

In other words: Whenever you need to add text, Adobe Fonts is the way to go.

How to use Adobe Fonts in Photoshop: step by step

In this section, I cover everything you need to know about getting started with Adobe Fonts – so you can start creating beautiful designs, fast!

How to access a font in Photoshop

To access an Adobe font while in Photoshop, make sure you have an open document, then activate the Text tool. (Click the Text icon in the toolbar, or use the keyboard shortcut “T”.)

Then, in the Options toolbar toward the top of the screen, open the Font Type dropdown menu. You’ll see the Creative Cloud icon:

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Click on the icon and the menu will filter out all non-Adobe fonts, leaving you with only the fonts that come from the Adobe Fonts collection.

Select the font you want, then click on your document. When you type, your new font will appear!

Note: If you open the Font Type dropdown only to find that you don’t have any Adobe Fonts, then you’ll need to download fonts from the Adobe Fonts website. I explain this process in the next section:

How to add fonts to use in Photoshop

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

If you don’t have any Adobe fonts or you want to look for some more, click on the Creative Cloud icon in the top right of the Font Type dropdown menu (next to “More from Adobe Fonts”). You’ll immediately be redirected to the Adobe Fonts website. Note that you’ll need to be online and logged in to your Creative Cloud account to use this feature.

Once there, you can browse by language, classification, properties, and more. If you find a font family that you like, go ahead and give it a click. It’ll open to reveal all the fonts that form the family. You can even type in some text and see how it looks in each font.

If you’d like to add a font to Photoshop, click Activate Font – and if you’re interested in the entire font family, click the Activate Fonts button in the top right of the page.

If this is the first time you’ve used Adobe Fonts, you’ll see a “Font Activation Successful” pop-up. You can tick the “Don’t show me this again” option to avoid seeing it every time. Then click OK.

(Remember that activating too many fonts will slow down Photoshop, so only activate the ones that you need!)

Now you can head back to Photoshop and use the font. Open the Font Type menu from the Text tool, and look for the activated font.

All Adobe fonts have the Creative Cloud logo next to them, so they’re easy to identify. But if you want to find your chosen font more quickly, click on the Adobe Cloud icon to filter the menu options.

Adobe Fonts in Photoshop: A few things to know

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

If you activate an Adobe font, it’ll be active for 180 days following its last use. Once the 180-period elapses, the font will be automatically deactivated to keep Photoshop running smoothly.

If you need to access a deactivated font, you can always go back to Adobe Fonts – see the previous section! – and reactivate it. Also, if you open a file that has a deactivated font, Photoshop will ask if you want to activate the font once more, so there’s no need to worry or keep thousands of fonts activated just in case.

When designing a project, remember that some fonts do have alternative characters. To see if this is true for your chosen font, you can select a character and go to the Glyphs panel. (If the panel is not active, simply select Windows>Glyphs.) Including alternative characters will make your design more personal – though if you want to make things even more personal, you can use the Pen tool to adapt and redesign any Adobe font.

Another cool feature is that you can use Adobe Fonts outside of the Adobe apps. You’ll find your active Adobe fonts in other text-based programs such as Word.

How to navigate Adobe Fonts

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

With over 20,000 fonts to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the search and find the ideal font for your project. Fortunately, Adobe Fonts has different categories and features to help you out, including:

  • The Search bar. If you already know the name of the font or the designer that you’re looking for, you can use the Search bar to find it.
  • Visual Search. Simply upload an image file featuring text; Adobe Fonts will then use Adobe Sensei to analyze the text and offer you the closest font match.
  • Recommendations. Here you can find suggestions based on the fonts you have active, what’s trending, what the Adobe team recommends, etc.
  • Font Packs. This is my favorite. The Adobe team curates these packs according to the usage (such as Comic Books), trends (such as New Naturalism), and font characteristics (for example, High Contrast).
  • Foundries. Here you can explore the in-house foundries for original and high-quality typefaces.

7 Adobe fonts everyone should know

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop
  1. Sofia. A rounded sans-serif that makes your texts easy to read. It has 40 fonts to choose from.
  2. Questa. A serif with ten fonts for a literary look.
  3. ITC American Typewriter. Nine fonts that offer a vintage feel.
  4. Auster. These 18 fonts provide a friendly look.
  5. Zenon. From the Logo Worthy collection curated by the Adobe Fonts team. It has 16 fonts.
  6. Prenton. Readable and clean, Prenton is perfect for web design.
  7. Cherry Blossoms. Handwriting with Japanese inspiration; it’s trending in 2022.

Adobe Fonts step-by-step example

It’s one thing to understand the theory, yet it’s another to put things into action. Here’s a practical example where I use Adobe Fonts and offer clear, step-by-step instructions along the way.

Step 1: Open a new document

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

I’m using a template for this example, but feel free to open a blank canvas or a photograph instead.

Step 2: Type some text

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

My template has an image of a notebook with some apparently handwritten text. Now that I’ve opened it, I see the text is actually an image. So I can’t change what it says; instead, I have to add some new text.

To add text to a file, grab the Text tool by clicking on its icon on the toolbox. (You can also tap the “T” key on your keyboard.)

Click on your file, then type the new text.

Step 3: Match the font (optional)

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Since I’m using a template that already has text on it, I’d like to find a similar font using the Match Font feature. You can do this, too – or you can skip to the next step if you want to choose a font on your own.

To use the Match Font feature, make sure your new text layer is selected in the Layers panel. Then grab the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag it over the characters you’d like to match.

Next, go to the menu and select Type>Match Font. In the dialog box, make sure the “Show fonts available to activate on Adobe Fonts” is enabled. 

Photoshop will browse the fonts you have available as well as the Adobe Fonts library, and it’ll use Adobe Sensei to try and find a good match.

I don’t really like any of the options Photoshop has given me; if that happens to you, just move on to the next step. However, if you do like any of the fonts, give it a click. Photoshop will activate it and apply it automatically!

Step 4: Choose an Adobe Font

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

To browse Adobe Fonts on your own and select one that fits your project, select your text, then go to the Options bar and open the Font Type menu.

Click on the More from Adobe Fonts option. This will open your browser and take you to the Adobe Fonts website.

Here you can search using any of the techniques I explained earlier in this article. In my case, I’ll use the “Calligraphy” filter because I’m looking for something that appears handwritten.

Write your text in the Sample Text space; that way, you can see exactly how it’ll look in your prospective fonts without having to activate each one.

Step 5: Activate the font

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Once you find a font you like, click View Family. This will open the font family and show you all the fonts that it has. Sometimes it’ll just be one, but other times, it’ll be over a dozen.

If you’re only interested in one font, click on the Activate Font switch on the bottom right of the font. However, if you want to activate every front in the family, use the activation switch at the top right of the page.

Step 6: Apply the Adobe font to your text

Once you enable the font in your browser, simply go back to Photoshop. Make sure your text is selected, then open the Font Type menu and find the Adobe font you just activated. Click on the font, and it’ll be applied instantly:

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Step 7: Finish up your project

A guide to Adobe Fonts in Photoshop

Now that you’ve activated your Adobe font, you can always use it to type more text. You can also edit existing text layers by rotating them, changing the font color, etc.

Your new Adobe font will remain active, and you’ll find it in Photoshop for 180 days. After that, it will deactivate automatically.

If you need to edit your project after the font has been deactivated, don’t worry. When you open the project again, you’ll have the option to reactivate the font or replace it!

Adobe Fonts in Photoshop: final words

As you can see, Adobe Fonts is very easy to use and opens up a world of possibilities. I hope you enjoyed this article and found this information helpful. Now go have fun finding – and using – lots of cool fonts!

Now over to you:

Which are your favorite Adobe Fonts? Do you have any tips and tricks on how to make the most of them? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ana Mireles
Ana Mireles

is a photographer and artistic researcher. She has been awarded and exhibited in Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands. Through theory and practice, she explores the cultural aspect of photography, how it helps us relate to each other, the world, and ourselves. She has also a passion for teaching, communication, and social media. You can find more about her and her work at her website or acquire some of her works here.

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