You come across an endless number of images with text on them on the Web. Those images could be advertising or something else. Either way, it’s nothing out of the ordinary to see a font on a picture that you want. The only problem is that you have no idea what that font is called. Luckily, you can identify a font from an image with the following free services.
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If the name alone isn’t enough to reel you in, then we don’t know what is. In all seriousness, FontSquirrel is a great site that lets you download hundreds of different free font types and chat with fellow font fans on FontTalk.
Crucially, it has a very good font identifier tool that lets you drag and drop an image right into it then scan it for fonts. It’s very slick and accurate, offering you multiple typefaces that best match the one you entered, letting you purchase them right away. If you’re lucky, you may even get them for free.
To make it easier to select the font that best mirrors the one in your image(s), FontSquirrel shows your selection as you scroll down the results, so you can compare with ease.
If FontSquirrel couldn’t identify a proper match for you, try asking for help on the forum, which has a dedicated “Font identification” section.
WhatFontIs is a great tool to identify fonts, although it shows quite a few ads. With the web app, just upload the image that has the font you wish to identify and click “Next Step.”
After highlighting the fonts you want it to recognize, the app gives you a list of possible matches. There’s a PRO version that you can upgrade to that removes the annoying ads and gives you access to a few other perks, such as Google Fonts search. Speaking of which, the website also features a Similar Fonts function and a Webfont Generator.
Finally, you can also use WhatFontIs as a Chrome extension if you want to identify a font that is not in an image.
3. Fontspring Matcherator
Fontspring Matcherator works similarly to other font identifiers online. Simply upload your image, then crop the letters of interest and allow the program to do its job.
You can easily purchase the font you’ve identified from Font Matcherator simply by clicking on the version you prefer. The website also lets you search for fonts using keywords and more. You can filter by Font Styles, Tags, Languages, and many other aspects. If you’re looking for the newest fonts in the house, you can browse the “Fresh and Hot” list and get up to speed with what’s trending.
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One of the most popular font-identifying tools is WhatThe Font. Finding a font is super easy: just upload your image, crop the text in question, and you’ll instantly get your results.
You’ll see the name of the font, the name of the creator, and the price. To buy the font, just press the “Get it” button. If you feel you don’t have a good match, the app gives you the option to consult an expert on the WhatTheFont forum. You’ll need to sign up with a free account for that.
The website that hosts WhatTheFont is called MyFonts and is actually a font aggregator and shop that lets you find the best fonts for your projects.
Identifont requires a little manual work to identify fonts. The downside is that the process may be a bit slower; on the bright side, it’s less prone to algorithmic error.
It works like this: search for fonts via different categories from the home page. Probably the most useful is the “Fonts by Appearance” option on the far left. It allows you to find fonts that may feature a particular picture or symbol using a keyword.
As you may know, Quora is where most users go to get answers to their questions. Under Quora’s many subjects, there is a category called Typeface Identification, where you can upload an image and ask if anyone knows the name of the font featured in it.
With so many users, there’s a good chance that an expert on the subject could see it and help you out. You can get an expert opinion without having to pay for it. However, keep in mind that the section may feature other types of questions, as it’s not limited only to font identification, despite the name.
If you don’t like Quora, Reddit offers a similar solution. Enter the Identify This Font subreddit – a forum dedicated to helping Redditors find fonts from images. Upload a picture and wait for someone to reply to your thread.
The subreddit boasts more than 100K users, so your chances that someone may have the answer are pretty high. And unlike Quora, most of the posts are limited to the subject at hand.
Tip: upgrade your browsing experience with the best Reddit clients for Android and iOS.
FindMyFont is a little freemium program that you need to install on your PC or Mac. It comes with a 30-day trial, after which you’ll need to upgrade to a subscription.
Once you install the program, upload your image from your machine or snap a screenshot of your display, then select the font you want to be recognized by clicking on each letter. Fill in the “Text to Match” section, then press the “Match Fonts!” button.
The program will match your text with fonts from its database and online. The results will be shown in the upper-right corner, and you can easily browse through them and compare them with the original. Once you find a font that matches, right-click on it in the list and press on the “View/Find this font Online!” button. The program also acts as a font database that allows you to browse and install fonts.
If you’re a font enthusiast who is just trying to figure out what fonts the world’s major brands are using, then this option is for you. FontInLogo is dedicated to sharing this information with you. Just use the search bar to look for a particular brand.
You’ll get some info on the font and which other brands are using the same font, if any, but there’s no purchase button. If you want to own that font, you’ll need to search for it yourself. You can also browse fonts and see which companies are using them.
The website also offers a bunch of website templates. If you want to create a new website, it may be worth taking a look.
10. Bonus: Fonts Ninja
You may not always need to identify fonts from images, or you may get curious about a certain font used on a website. If that’s the case, Fonts Ninja is exactly what you need. This software lets you try all kinds of fonts in any design software. They also have an extension (Chrome | FireFox | Safari) that once installed can identify the fonts of any website you access.
Just add the extension to your browser, then navigate to the page in question and press the Fonts Ninja button from the browser’s toolbar. Fonts Ninja will instantly show you the result, complete with name, info, and trial links.
You may want to make your image transparent to make the font more easily identifiable. If that’s the case, here are the best ways to remove an image’s background without Photoshop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the fonts I've identified for free?
It depends. Some of them might be free, but in most cases, you’ll need to pay if you want to use them in your work. If you’re not ready to spend, then you can use a site like AlternaType to find free alternatives to commercial fonts.
Can I use font identification tools on my mobile device?
Only WhatTheFont offers a dedicated mobile app, but you can also use the web tools that we’ve included in our list in your mobile browser. You’ll need to upload the images with fonts from your phone, which is quite convenient, given that you can quickly take a screenshot of a webpage or take a picture of any font you may have noticed in the wild. However, you can’t use the extension options we’ve outlined in this article or FindMyFont (a Windows/Mac program).
How easy is it to install a new font on my PC?
Usually, it’s pretty easy. If you’re using Windows, unzip the folder containing the fonts, then double-click on a font, right-click it and select Install. On Mac, you can use Font Book to install a font using a similar process.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
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