I am currently working on the cover of a book.

I'd really like to include the typeface Rockwell Extra Bold which is installed on my system. However Rockwell Extra Bold seems not to be installed through OSX nor through the Adobe Suite (CS4).

Is there a way to find out how this typeface ended up on my system and thus whether I am allowed to use it in the context of a printed book?

I definitely did not download any typeface by hand to this system so it must have come through some software I legally purchased and installed.

I do wan't to be sure though before using it in such a context.

Thank you very much for any advice, I appreciate it very much!

Have a nice day! Tom

  • 1
    Windows Office supplies Rockwell. Do you have this installed?
    – theyve
    Nov 27, 2014 at 15:47
  • 1
    possible duplicate of How to find out whether a font is authentic?
    – Scott
    Nov 27, 2014 at 16:39
  • I do not have Microsoft Office installed. But thank you for the information that Rockwell is included there.
    – Tom
    Nov 27, 2014 at 19:23
  • 2
    Unfortunately the following did not provide a solution for me, but it might work for someone else: Check the last modification and/or the creation dates of your typeface files and compare them to the files in your app folder. This could give you a clue where the typeface might came from...
    – Tom
    Nov 28, 2014 at 10:47
  • If you do not know for sure what license a font has, the best way is to just google it. The website myfonts.com shows the licensing. This would be your best guess
    – user37657
    Jan 28, 2015 at 22:43

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately there is no way to easily know what piece of software installed the typeface to your system. And as you guessed you do not have license to use a non-system font for purposes beyond the scope of the program which installed it.

If you are unsure whether or not you have license to use a typeface it is best to assume you do not. As you acquire typefaces from various places save them into a folder designated for them and have two sub-folders for typefaces you have license to use and those you do not, respectively.

To help with typeface management there are several programs available, some free and some paid, that allow you to sort, group, and filter typefaces you have installed on your machine. This could allow you to group the typefaces you know came installed on your system by your OS and for other software. This is however not helpful to this particular situation because you have to know what installed a typeface to group them this way.

Some other answers have suggested getting typefaces from websites that offer free fonts. In my experience many such websites offer mostly poorly designed typefaces—often blatant rip-offs of popular paid typefaces—with very limited character sets, poor or non-existent kerning, and have many other significant problems. There are, rarely, hidden among them well designed and full featured typefaces.

If no other typeface will suffice, I would suggest purchasing it. If you are doing this work for a client you can charge them for all or part of the price of it. If price is a significant concern many foundries offer small subsets of a typeface, usually broken up by weight, for sale independently from each other at a reduced cost.

  • The only 'free font' website I go to is FontSquirrel.com because they claim their fonts are well-curated. Do you think they offer 'blatant ripoffs' too?
    – LWTBP
    Nov 4, 2016 at 8:41
  • i do not have a lot of experience with fontsquirrel in particular and so i make no claims about them either way. Feb 5, 2017 at 0:33

As far as I know, if you have bought a font through some software package, you are licensed to use that font in whatever ways the software permits you to use it.

If you get to a point where you just can't figure out if you can use it or not, you can look at a royalty-free font download site, like this one; http://www.1001freefonts.com.


If you don't have the license for a particular font, Get new fonts for new jobs. I, like many others use DAfont.com which provides free fonts for download.

You can search for similar Slab Serif fonts, like Rockwell and tick the box in the search that says "100% free". This means its an open source font so the developer doesn't mind you using it for any purpose.

I do this for two reasons, firstly I'm not using off the shelf fonts that appear in lots of design work. I have peice of mind knowing i'm using royalty free fonts and when I have a font in mind such as a Slab Serif or a light Sans Serif I can browse many similar fonts till I find one which is 100% right for the job.

I hope this helps

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.