Posted by: evtechie | August 28, 2008

Installing Fonts

Image of Anywhere FONT

I often have clients who are not sure how to add to their font list. Their computer comes with a list of www.dafont.com (a favorite of mine) and NOW they want the font to be on their list for personal use.

Before providing the instructions, let me make a few points [or point out a few rules] in the digital age of font use. These are important because I think a lot of people assume that everyone has the same cool stuff as they do, and so they create elaborate documents in a fancy font frenzy, only to later find it printed out in the dullest of exhibits.

  1. Not everyone has the same fonts you have! When you install applications for any kind of publishing or design, they often install a host of fonts that are unique to the application. If Jane finds herself “PrettyJane” Font, designs a document, and sends it to George, [George, meanwhile, never installed the same software so his computer doesn’t have “PrettyJane”] poor George’s computer will default to anything it thinks is similar to “PrettyJane” which could be equivalent to “DINGBATS.” Nope – that won’t work!
  2. If sharing documents on-line, via email, or other digital means, try to use Web Safe Fonts or Standard Fonts. The standards might be boring, however it means everyone gets to view the document the same way. See HERE for common fonts list.
  3. If you insist that your document must have “PrettyJane” or “InsertHere”, then you will need to package it up with your documents so the end-user can get it installed. Be attentive that some fonts are not free-ware and are part of a software package, not for sharing.
  4. Use a PDF generating tool to embed the fonts into your document for the end-user. I recommend CutePDF software (they have a freeware version that works great – the paid version is less than $50 and allows for similar features to Adobe Acrobat!)

So now that we know the general rules, lets make sure you can install a font you have gotten (or copy one for use on another machine). In fact, I have now made it a habit to BACK UP my Fonts folder quarterly, or yearly, depending on how many new fonts I have installed.

Saving a FONT to your FONTS folder in Vista –

  1. Make sure to first SAVE your Font somewhere on your system where you can easily find it, such as the desktop.
    1. If you have gotten it as an attachment in an email you will want to RIGHT CLICK the font item, then select SAVE AS –> and then browse to your desktop [Desktop should be listed on the LEFT side panel as a quick link]
      Save to Desktop Quick Link
    2. If you got it on a pen drive or CD you can follow the next step.
  2. Go to your desktop/ or the font on the CD or Pen Drive and RIGHT CLICK it –> Choose INSTALL.
    Right Click Menu

    Right Click Menu

    The font will be installed in your FONTS folder automagically.

  3. You will need to quit and restart any running applications that need fonts to see it on your new list.

To Grab Fonts to share with others, follow these steps

  1. Open MY COMPUTER [or go to START on XP, MY COMPUTER]
  2. Open LOCAL DISK [C:/]
  3. Double click the WINDOWS folder
  4. Find the FONTS folder and Double click to open [you will see all your fonts]
  5. Find the FONT you want to share. They are not always named EXACTLY as you find them on your applications [like MS Word, or Powerpoint] but they should be similar. [ie. High Tower looks like HTOWERT.TTF]
  6. RIGHT click AND HOLD the font and drag a copy to your desktop. When you release you will have a menu and tell it to┬áCOPY HERE. With this technique you ensure you don’t accidentally remove it from your FONTs folder.
  7. Now open up the email or program you want to use to save the font for sharing with others. If emailing, simply click the icon for creating an attachment [in outlook it looks like a paperclip icon, in AOL it should have a button that says ATTACHMENTS]
  8. Navigate to your desktop and grab the font. Send the email…
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