Find Fonts in Mountain Lion's Public Library Folder - dummies

Find Fonts in Mountain Lion’s Public Library Folder

The Library folder, at the root level of your OS X Mountain Lion hard drive, is like a public library; it stores items available to everyone who logs into an account on this Mac.

There are actually three Library folders on your hard drive: the one at the root level of your OS X disk, a second inside the root-level System folder, and a third in your Home folder.

What’s that you say? You don’t see a Library folder inside your Home folder? Well it’s like this: In versions of OS X earlier than OS X Lion (10.7), you would have seen a folder named Library between the Downloads and Movies folders in your Home folder.

But that was then, and this is now. In OS X Mountain Lion, the Home Library folder is hidden from view to protect you from yourself.

Leave the /System/Library folder alone. Don’t move, remove, or rename it, or do anything within it. It’s the nerve center of your Mac. In other words, you should never have to touch this third Library folder. You find a bunch of folders inside the Library folder at root level (the “public” Library folder). Most of them contain files that you never need to open, move, or delete.

By and large, the public Library subfolder that gets the most use is the Fonts folder, which houses many of the fonts installed on the Mac. For the most part, fonts can be made available in one of two ways:

  • To everyone who uses the Mac: If that’s the case, they’re stored here in the Fonts folder.

  • To a single user: In this case, you place the fonts in the user’s Library folder (the one in the user’s Home folder).

Some other public Library subfolders that you might use or add to are the iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, and iDVD folders (where you put plug-ins for those programs); the Scripts folder (which houses AppleScripts accessible to all users); and the Desktop Pictures folder (where you can place pictures to be used as Desktop backgrounds).

Don’t remove, rename, or move any files or folders in any of your Library folders unless you’re sure of what you’re doing and why. OS X is very picky about folders in its Libraries being in the proper place and bear the proper name. You probably shouldn’t remove, rename, or move applications installed by Mountain Lion in the Applications folder.

Note: Under most circumstances, you won’t actually add items to or remove items from folders in this Library yourself. Software installers usually do the heavy lifting for you by placing all their little pieces in the appropriate Library folders. You shouldn’t need to touch this Library often, if ever. That said, knowing what these folders are — and who can access their contents — might come in handy down the road a piece.


If your Mac is set up for multiple users, only users with administrator (admin) privileges can put stuff in the public (root-level) Library folder.