How to install new fonts

Download and add new fonts to your computer by following these few steps

You can easily find and install new fonts on your computer with just a few clicks. There are many free typestyles available online on sites such as Font Squirrel, DaFont, 1001 Free Fonts and FFonts. You can also browse the range of hundreds of Open Source fonts at Google fonts that are free for use for print and web designs. However, don’t get too carried away with your use of fonts. Remember your reader will get frustrated if they can’t read your words. Also read the license carefully. Many free fonts are licensed for personal use only and don’t include commercial use.

If you have never downloaded a font file before, here are the basic steps.

On a Windows computer

Windows 7 and Windows 8

There are several ways to install fonts on both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Keep in mind that you must be an Administrator on the target machine to install fonts. The easiest way to install a font is to double-click on a font file to open the font preview and select INSTALL.


You can also right-click on a font file, and then select INSTALL. Another option is to install fonts with the FONTS CONTROL PANEL. Follow these steps to open the Fonts Control Panel.

  1. On Windows 7, select CONTROL PANEL from the START menu, then select APPEARANCE AND PERSONALISATION and then select FONTS. On Windows 8, you can get to the Font Control Panel simply by searching for FONTS
  2. Drag a font file and drop it into the Fonts Control Panel

tips_001If you receive an error message, make sure the font file is not compressed. Many font packages you download from the Internet may be contained in compressed .zip files to reduce file size and make downloading faster. If you have downloaded a font that is saved in .zip format, you can “unzip” it by double-clicking the icon for the font and following the instructions on the screen. Also, make sure you have Administrator privileges (Control Panel/User Accounts).

Windows Vista

To install a TrueType or OpenType font on Windows Vista, right-click on the font file and then select INSTALL. You can also drag or paste a font into the Fonts Control Panel. In Windows Vista if you double-click on a font, the INSTALL button is not available in the font preview.

Windows XP

  1. From the START menu, select CONTROL PANEL, then select the APPEARANCE AND THEMES category
  2. Select FONTS from the SEE ALSO panel at the left of this screen
  3. On the FILE menu, select INSTALL A NEW FONT…
  4. Click the drive and folder that contain the fonts you want to add


To select more than one font to add, press and hold down the CTRL key, click the fonts you want, then click on OK

On a Mac computer

Before installing any new fonts on a Mac, close any applications you have open. Newly installed Mac fonts may not appear in your software font menus if the program is running during font installation.


Locate the fonts you want to install in the Finder and select each one. OpenType and TrueType fonts will have one file while PostScript Type 1 fonts for the Mac will have both a printer and screen font. To preview a new font that you downloaded or have on a disc, double-click the font file. Font Book will display a sample of the font. You can change the typeface (if others are available) via the pop-up menu at the top of the preview window.

If you want to install the font so that it can be used in documents you create or view, click the INSTALL FONT button that appears below the preview of the font.


tips_001You can also use FONT BOOK to install one or more fonts. Choose ADD FONTS from the File menu, select the font or a folder containing multiple fonts, then click OPEN to install the font(s). When Font Book installs a font, it will automatically validate the font and let you know if it detects any issue with the font file.


tips_001By default, Font Book will install fonts in a location where the font will only be available to the current user account. If you’d prefer to install fonts in a location where they will be available to all users on the computer, choose FONT BOOK then PREFERENCES, then choose COMPUTER from the DEFAULT INSTALL LOCATION pop-up menu.


tips_001Avoid font duplication – OpenType fonts install in the same manner as TrueType fonts and co-exist peacefully with TrueType and PostScript Type 1 fonts. However, it is wise not to have the same font installed in multiple formats. That is, don’t install both Helvetica in TrueType format and Helvetica in Type 1 format at the same time.


Here are three free fonts you can add to your collection…

Bob Font by Zarni Ni

A fun font, inspired by the playful aesthetics of illustration

 download Bob Font


Nixie One by Jovanny Lemonad

This Open Source font is a mixture of neon tubes signage and a typewriter.

download Nixie One


Dancing Script by Pablo Impallari

A casual script with letters that change sizes slightly – for a friendly, informal spontaneous look.

download Dancing Script


When you install new fonts, remember that each font will only work with the computer you’ve installed it on. If you share documents with other people or plan to use or view your document on a different computer, the new fonts you’ve installed on your computer might not be displayed the same way on the other computer. Text that is formatted in a font that is not installed on a computer will be displayed in either Times New Roman or the individual computer’s default font.



Caroline Siassios

About Caroline Siassios

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