Use the Apple Watch font as your OS X Yosemite Mac’s system font

“As part of the WatchKit resources, which can be freely downloaded by anyone at Apple’s website, the company released the font it uses on Apple Watch, called San Francisco,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac.

“With Yosemite, Apple changed the system font from Lucida Grande to Helvetica, the font used on iOS,” Mayo reports. “This caused some backlash amongst the designer community who detested the change of typeface.”

“The Apple Watch font has been widely praised, leading some people to speculate whether it will become the default on iOS or OS X anytime soon,” Mayo reports. “A user on GitHub has posted instructions on how to try out San Francisco on your Mac today, with some basic changes.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. When is Apple going to learn that sans serif fonts are hard to read? The difference between a lower case “L” is indistinguishable from a capital “i”. The number “one” is little better.

    if you think otherwise, then read this out loud: IlIlIlIl

    1. Lol! Yeah, I feel the same way about the terminal app. I think I’ve launched it two or three times in twelve years. A few bad commands there and that’s just what your Mac will be… terminal that is. Apple named it well.

  2. I have not been a fan of this font since Apple previewed it. It looks to “Android” to me. I was a little surprised Apple went this direction because it almost reminded me of a Samsung “smart” watch. I am a huge fan of Yosemite’s design (and the helvetica font), so I wish they had stuck with that across the board. Oh well. That is why Ivy gets paid the big bucks.

  3. I just did this and it gives a fresh look to Yosemite. I found the Helvetica font lacking in sharpness, at least on non-Retina displays. This SanFran font feels clean, spacious and modern, which I prefer. I can understand why @bmd0019 would say this feels like Android territory, but frankly, I don’t care. It’s just a much nicer-looking font than Helvetica. That said, I don’t prefer it used in every place that it is being used. It looks too “heavy” for the file names sitting on the Desktop, for example, and the line height doesn’t seem optimal.

    1. Good feedback. I’m on the fence on this one. I downloaded the font and am using Font Book to go back and forth between Helvetica and San Fran to try to get a feel for how San Fran might look. I at least have it installed as a font, though.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.