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Q. How do I make downloaded fonts show up in my software font list?

From Jacci Howard Bear,
Your Guide to Desktop Publishing.
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A frequent question I receive in email is how to make fonts show up in the software font lists, especially after downloading them from the Web. This FAQ shows you step-by-step how to obtain fonts, open archived fonts, and install fonts for Mac and PC so that you can use them in your word processing, desktop publishing, and other software programs.

Obtain the Font
Fonts come from many locations. They can come with your software. You may have them on a CD. They can be downloaded from the Web.

• When fonts come with your software they are often installed at the same time the software is installed. Usually no further action is required by the user.

• Fonts on CD or other disk need to be installed to your hard drive (unless you plan to always have that disk in the drive). The disk may come with an installation program for the fonts or you can use the methods described further down this page.

• Fonts downloaded from the Web may be ready for installation; but, usually, fonts from the Web are stored in archives that must first be opened. This is where many new font finders run into problems. Occasionally fonts on disk may also be in archives so you'll need to follow step 2 for them.

  1. How to Download Fonts From the Web
    Free and shareware fonts are offered for download on this site and many others on the Web. If you've never downloaded a file from the Web before, here are the basic instructions to download fonts.

  2. How to Expand Font Archives: Windows | Mac
    Most free fonts on the Web are in a compressed archive to make them smaller. BIN, HQX, SIT, and especially ZIP are the most common filetypes. Learn how to open them up so you can install your new fonts.

Install the Font
Simply having the font file on your hard drive is only part of the installation process. To make the font available to your software programs requires a few extra steps, especially for Windows users. The installation process also depends on the type of font you have: TrueType or OpenType or PostScript (Type 1). Most fonts downloaded from the Web are Windows TrueType fonts. They are a single file with the .TTF extension. If you use a font manager it may have a font installation option you can use. Otherwise, follow the appropriate instructions shown here:

Occasionally installation will hit a snag. See the answers to I can't use the fonts I just installed. What's wrong?

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