How to Install New Fonts on Windows & Linux

FontTypography refers to the style and appearance of a written language, and/or the art and study of arranging and displaying a written language.

Let me just say (from the perspective of not being an artist) that typography is truly is an art-form that can add to or subtract from just about every language I’ve ever run across.

In this digital age, typography relies very heavily upon the usage of one main component: font.

Font is the graphical representation of text. Each font is a set of characters in a specific style, typeface, or design.

Modern technology gives us nearly unlimited control over the color and size of each font.

Operating systems come installed with a standard set of fonts, but they can quickly become limiting.

The good news, is that there are actually thousands of fonts available.

The problem with having a new font in hand (or downloaded to your computer), is what to do with it.

With a few simple steps, a new font can be installed and ready for use alongside all your other fonts in no time at all.

How to Install Fonts on Windows 7

Installing a new font on Windows 7 is very, very easy. Are you ready for this? Double-click on the font file (it will have a file extension like “.otf”) and when the preview opens in its plain little window, click on the button labeled “Install”. It’s so easy that there feels like part of the process has to be missing!

To look over (and/or delete) installed fonts, open up the Control Panel (Start > Control Panel) and select the “Appearance and Personalization” option. (If that option does not appear, you may first need to switch to “View By: Category”.)

In the “Appearance and Personalization” window, click on Fonts.

You will be able to see a very brief preview, and can double-click each icon to see the complete preview.

To delete a font, right-click and select “Delete”.

How to Install Fonts on Fedora Linux

Installing a new font on Fedora Linux is a painless 3-step process.

Be advised, we’re doing this from the command line because: What other way is there? and It’s more fun that way!

1. Open up your terminal (unless you had it open already, in which case, kudos!)

2. Create (if it does not already exist) a .font directory in your home directory: mkdir ~/.fonts

3. Move your font file(s) into the your home directory’s .fonts/ directory: mv font.ttf ~/.fonts/

4. Close and re-open any open applications (editors, etc.) that the fonts can be used in.

Done. It’s that simple.

To install new fonts for all users on a system, log in as root, create a new directory in the /usr/share/fonts/ directory, and move the new fonts there. Also, you many need to run the fc-cache command with the /usr/share/fonts/ directory as the argument: fc-cache -f /usr/share/fonts/

The fc-cache command builds font information cache files, or essentially updates the system with available font details.

Where to Find Free Fonts

Here is a list of my favorite sources for free fonts.

Google Fonts

Font Squirrel

DaFont

Fonts For Web

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even design your own font!

Caution

If you go wild and crazy installing fonts, and begin to notice your computer slowing down, you probably have too many installed.

To speed things back up, delete the fonts that you don’t need (or don’t often use).

Make sure that you only delete fonts that you installed, and not the ones that came with your operating system, or that someone else installed and needs!

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