The iPhone allows you to select from three default fonts: Noteworthy, Helvetica and
Marker Felt for programs like Mail and Notes. I will cover two methods of changing fonts
in this tutorial: using a program on Cydia called BytaFont, and manually swapping them out
using OpenSSH. I found a great collection of iPhone fonts at
I will be using YummyFTP to upload the files in this tutorial. These instructions can be
applied to any files you want to add to your iPhone, provided you already have SSH
installed. If you have not installed OpenSSH, or used YummyFTP before, then
you must read this tutorial first.
There's a program on Cydia that make changing fonts push button simple - BytaFont.
You install the program, browse for the font you want and install it. The thing that I
like is that fonts you install can change what the text looks like system wide. It will
install an icon on your springboard.
Press the Browse fonts button and you can search all the fonts available. After you've
selected one and installed it the springboard will respring. This is the Neuropol font.
If you go to the advanced tab you can change fonts on specific parts of the iPhone
instead of system wide.
Another way to change fonts is by using OpenSSH. I have found that if you change the
Helvetica, and Helvetica Bold fonts with a customized font, it has the single greatest
impact on the look of the iPhone. However, beginning with 4.0 firmware Apple has decided
to use the .ttc extension on some fonts (like Helvetica) thus complicating the issue of
swapping out fonts easily. Put simply, .ttc is a True Type Collection - a file consisting
of several fonts packed into it. In order to change Helvetica, you'd need to decompress
the .ttc, switch out the font you want to change and then repack all the fonts together as
a .ttc. There is a Mac program called FontLab Studio, which sells for a mere $650 which
simplifies this. I won't be covering how to manipulate .ttc files until someone can
simplify it for us. If you'd like to read more about this, check out this discussion over
Once you have the font you want to install, launch YummyFTP and navigate to
/System/Library/Fonts/Cache. I renamed the _H_MarkerFeltThin.ttf file to
_H_MarkerFeltThin ORIGINAL.ttf so I could switch it back if I wanted to.
Rename your replacement file to the correct font name then copy it over to the iPhone.
You will then need to respring your iPhone for the changes to take effect. SBSettings
has a respring feature built in.
Here's my before and after. This font is called Walt Disney and is available on the
iPhone Ruler.net website.