How to Change MacOS Sierra GUI System Font to Lucida Grande
Most Mac users are likely accustomed to the San Francisco system font in MacOS Sierra by now, which was first introduced in El Capitan after initially changing to Helvetica Neue in Yosemite. But if you’re a creature of habit, you may still prefer to have the good old classic Lucida Grande font as the system font in MacOS Sierra. With the help of a little third party tool, you can change the MacOS Sierra system font to Lucida Grande again.
This is using the same type of tool that we used to change the system font in El Capitan to Lucida Grande, all it does is introduce a modified system font into the /Library/Fonts/ folder, making it easy to reverse.
This does not offer a perfect change to system fonts, there are some known display issues with password prompts, some dialog boxes, and tabbed windows. If you are not OK with the quirks that may exhibit in macOS by using this utility to change the system font, don’t use it. You should always backup your Mac before performing any modifications like this.
To open the app you’ll either need to use the unidentified developer app bypass with a right-click, or allow apps from anywhere by disabling Gatekeeper in MacOS.
Once the macOSLucidaGrande app is open you can choose to “Switch to Lucida Grande”. You will want to log out (or better yet, reboot) to have the changes take effect throughout MacOS and applications.
To reverse the change and return to the default system font in MacOS Sierra, re-open the macOSLucidaGrande app and choose “Switch to San Francisco”.
The difference between the two system fonts is very subtle and many users wouldn’t even notice the difference, the gif below demonstrates the two of them changing back and forth in a Finder window.
If you have no particular opinion about the system font on the Mac, you should not change your system font, mostly because using Lucida Grande in Sierra is unsupported and has some known quirks that can lead to unusual font display issues including the inability to display password entry characters. Thus this is not for novice users and it’s not for users who want a perfect experience with their system fonts. This is really for those of us who really prefer Lucida Grande for whatever reason, and not for casual use.
(For some quick background and font history, Lucida Grande was the GUI system font in Mac OS X from the introduction of the Mac OS X system software a decade and a half ago all the way through Mavericks, and is well known for being readable, crisp and easy on the eyes. Yosemite changed the system font to Helvetica Neue, and El Capitan changed to San Francisco, which persists in Sierra onward.)
Do you care about the subtle differences in the system font in MacOS Sierra? Do you like Lucida Grande or San Francisco?