How To: Install Fonts in Windows

It’s come to my attention that not everyone is blessed with an innate knowledge of font installation, and for this reason I’ve crafted a simple guide for Windows users to install all these great free fonts that you’re finding. Installing fonts is not a complicated process, but it does have a few quirks that can throw off even competent computer users. I’ll take you through it step by step.

1. Save the font’s .zip file to your desktop.

Right-click on the link to the zip file and save it your desktop:

The zip file should now show up somewhere on your desktop:

If you see something similiar to the above on your desktop, you’re doing good so far.

2. Unzip the .ttf file.
Double click on the .zip file to open it up.

Find the .ttf file (the font), and drag it back on to your desktop.

3. Copy the .ttf file to your fonts folder.
Open up your C:\Windows\Fonts folder and drag the .ttf file into it. If everything goes right, Windows will let you know.

Now you can delete all the crap you just cluttered up your desktop with and start using your new font!


Rachel C / March 10, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

I usually hit refresh on the fonts folder so that the fonts appear in the list of fonts I can use immediately, without closing the program or restarting :)

Kai Blankenhorn / March 10, 2005 @ 11:38 pm

If even this is too complicated, you might try FontLoader:

Brian Donnelly / March 11, 2005 @ 3:44 am

In XP, when you have the font folder open you can also do :

file>install new font

and then find the directory where the fonts you want to install resides. The drag and drop method makes my machine hang sometimes for some god forsaken reason only known to Microsoft.

Dave Lartigue / March 11, 2005 @ 5:55 am

I also used to use The Font Thing:

But I haven’t re-installed it since I switched to XP. It’s a nice util for quickly and easily handling a large library of fonts.

jake / March 11, 2005 @ 6:39 am

One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that with Windows XP and 2000 you can install Postscript fonts that you used to need Adobe Type Manager for. It’s basically the same process, you need both font files, pfb and pfm, and you drag (I think) the .pfm file over and it’ll install it just like a Truetype or Opentype font.

Many times users odn’t have their machines set up correctly for this process. To fix it and remove any old references to ATM, try out the following web site. It fixed everything for me.

Matt C / March 11, 2005 @ 9:22 am

I’ve had a couple occasions in XP where fonts I dropped into the font folder did not automagically appear, even after refreshing, so I’ve taken to copying the font files into one folder, then using Control Panel > Fonts > Install New Font to read and install the fonts I’ve dl’d. Works like a charm, though the folder navigation in the Install New Font dialog needs some updating (no long file name support, etc, etc)

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Stefan Hayden / March 11, 2005 @ 11:28 pm

I know in the windows 95 flavor if you installed too many fonts the folder broke. does any one know is the same limitation is in xp? I’ve never been able to find any documentation about it.

bt / March 13, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

Another method I use is to create a shortcut to the Fonts folder, and place the shortcut in my “Send To” folder. That way, wherever the font is (Desktop, CD, another drive…) I could right-click the font and choose “Send to… Fonts” and it would then be installed.

obinow / March 21, 2005 @ 3:52 am

can someone please help me, am in a soup…
i have downloaded a few .ttf files and saved them in my font folder(c:windows/fonts) yet am unable to use them… i have microsoft word 2002 version 10.2627.2625 along with the os as windows 98 se. i have tried changing the .ttf properties to read-only, archive, none , still to no respite….please help

Seth / March 26, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

This is what I do. Highly recommended since you don’t need more software, no overhead, and very easy.

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