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How to identify a font in Photoshop and online

how-to-identify-font-photoshop-featured-image-designalot

We all go through the frustration of not knowing the name of the fonts used in some designs, so I thought of writing an article on how to identify a font in Photoshop and online! Here we’re going to talk about what options we have to find the fonts we see in designs and what’s the best way to do it.

I am going to structure this article in 3 main chapters:

    1. How to identify a font in Photoshop
    2. Sites where you can identify a font
    3. Identify a font on reddit

1. How to identify a font in Photoshop

Let’s start with the most handy tool, which is identifying a font directly in Photoshop. I have only recently discovered myself that you can actually do that, and the tool is really easy to use. It’s a standard option in Photoshop, therefore you won’t need to install anything as it’s already there. The tool is called “Match Font…” and it’s available in the toolbar, under the “Type” option. See a screenshot below on where you can find it:

how-to-identify-font-photoshop-match-font-type-designalot

The “Match Font…” tool was introduced in Photoshop’s version CC 2015.5, any version newer than that one should have it in.

Now let’s get started on how to use it. First of all, open in Photoshop the image on which you want to identify a font. The better the picture, the much higher chance of identifying your font. Now, once you’ve opened the image, go to Type > Match Font… to activate the tool. When the new window has opened, a frame over the image will also be placed. Start working with that frame until you’ve place your text inside it. The tool will already start to show you font results as soon as you first edit the frame. But the results you’ll get may not be the best matches, yet. Now you will just have to edit and reposition the frame up until a suitable match is found.

I’ve used a picture that has the text “ALPHA” written on it, in a futuristic font. Here’s a preview of my result:

how-to-identify-font-photoshop-matching-designalot

In the above image you have:

  • In the first tab it’s the image I’ve used for identifying the font, with the text framed in using the Match Font’s frame
  • On the right side we have the Match Font tool, which is showing fonts that are similar to our selection. You can see that we’ve managed to find an exact match here
  • The bottom tab is the first font from the list applied to the text, to see if it’s a match. This time it was.

One important thing to mention about the Match Font tool is that it only identifies with fonts you already have in your system and fonts available on the former Typekit, now Adobe Fonts. It unfortunately doesn’t search online, for all the fonts available. Hopefully this option will be available in the future. For now, it’s safe to say that this tool is quite fast and helpful, and it should be your first step in identifying a font.

If you’ve had no luck with this option, it’s time to get to the next step: sites where you can identify a font!

2. Sites where you can identify a font

If identifying a font in Photoshop didn’t bring you any satisfying results, maybe this option will! There are already many websites out there that can identify fonts from images, and I’ve made a selection of some that I’ve used and think are the best so far.

2.1. Whatfontis.com

In my opinion, this is the best website to use for identifying fonts. It works with all types of fonts, both free or premium, and gives a bunch of results and similar fonts for each search. I think this website uses all the major font databases around internet and should bring you the expected result. All you need, which is an important factor in any font identifying tool out there, is a visible image of the text you want to identify.

2.2. Myfonts.com’s WhatTheFont

This is also a great font identifying tool, probably the first one that was released. They also give great results, but I think they only use their own database for identification. Still, MyFonts has the largest collection of fonts – as they say – therefore they will have plenty of options to match your texts with.

2.3. Fontspring’s Font Matcherator

Probably the least great tool from this three websites, but fontspring’s font identifying tool can still do the job. It searches through both free and commercial fonts and this tool is also used by fontsquirrel.

These websites are the best 3 websites for identifying a font. There are others out there, but maybe not as good as these. If you know of another that tops these or gets close to them, feel free to share it in a comment!

3. Identify a font on Reddit

Until now, you should have already find a font match for your text! But we all know that there are cases where a font just doesn’t want to be found. If that’s your case, now is time that we reach out to reddit – also nicknamed as the first page of the internet. How? By getting other designers to be your font matchers!

/r/IdentifyThisFont is the place you want to reach! A subreddit with tens of thousands of designers that are subscribed and ready to help you out. A bunch of font identification requests are posted daily and most of them are resolved quite fast. Here you can go to post your own requests to see if anyone can identify the font you have been looking for, or maybe you can help out if you recognise any of the fonts that are posted. This place is also a great source of inspiration for fonts and typefaces, as most of the requests are for great looking ones!

Conclusion on identifying fonts

From this article you’ve learned that there are many ways in which you can identify a font that you’ve been looking for. You can do that in Photoshop, online using the websites I suggested or on reddit by asking thousands of designers if they’ve come across the font you’re looking for. The one thing you have to understand is that for the best results, you need an image where the text is as visible as possible! A blurry image may give you no font matches. If your image is not so great, try to enhance it in Photoshop until you get a decent result, then try again.

Basically that’s it! If you’ve got any other ways for identifying a font or want to share your thoughts about this article, leave your comment below.

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