Using Custom Fonts in Android

By default Android comes with three standard fonts: Droid Sans (default font), Droid Serif, and Droid Sans Mono. They all can be applied to any view that supports styling, such as TextView, Button, by specifying the “android:typeface” attribute in the XML declaration with any of these values: sans, serif, monospace.

   android:typeface="sans" />

   android:typeface="serif" />

   android:typeface="monospace" />

android standard fonts


Using custom fonts in Android is pretty straightforward. First find a free font and put it in the assets/fonts directory. (It’s not mandatory to have a /fonts directory, but if I have a lot of stuff in the /assets directory I organize them in separate directories). Then get a reference to your TextView and create a Typeface object specifying the font path. Lastly, apply the typeface to the TextView.

In this particular example I used the font: christmaseve.ttf

TextView textView = (TextView) findViewById(;
Typeface tf = Typeface.createFromAsset(getAssets(), "fonts/christmaseve.ttf");

android custom fonts


RuntimeException: Native typeface cannot be made

If you get this exception while trying to integrate the custom font into your application, make sure the path to the font file is correct, and the font name is spelled correctly. I noticed I was getting this exception when my font path was misspelled, for example writing “.tff” instead of “.ttf”, or forgetting to add the “fonts/” prefix to the path.

Custom font used in this example provided by:

4 thoughts on “Using Custom Fonts in Android

  1. Hey hey, I’d like to complete this post a little bit.

    In case the font has to be changed all over the app, it is easier to override TextView’s method setTypeface and use this custom TextView in xml ( by doing instead of ), which bring us to the important part :
    The createFromAsset method consumes a LOT of resources, and you basically don’t want it to be called more than once, especially during scrolling. I’d advice to create a typeface singleton that retains the typeface used so the font is not generated from the font file every time.


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