Windows 7 Tutorial

How to add fonts in Windows 7 (install a new font to your system)

Windows 7 ships with plenty of fonts itself; programs you install on your computer, like Microsoft Office or Adobe's Suite packages, will themselves automatically add new fonts to your system. But since you cannot view certain documents properly unless you have a specific font file available to your PC, Windows 7 also allows you to install a number of font file types, including TrueType (.OTF files), OpenType (.TTF and other formats), older .FON files, etc. In this tutorial, we will show you several ways to install new fonts on a Windows 7 computer (applies to all editions of Windows 7).


Manually add a new font to your system

Once you have acquired a new font file, you can go the old route: right-click on the file and choose "Copy". Then, load your system font folder and Paste the font in the C:\Windows\Fonts\ folder:

Paste a new font in the Windows 7 Fonts folder

Another, simpler way you can use in Windows 7 is simply to right-click on the font file itself, and choose "Install" from the context menu. If this option doesn't appear, the font file is either corrupted (and you'll need to re-download it or re-transfer it from the source media), or that the file type is not recognized as font by Windows: depending on your security settings, you may have to enter the computer administrator's password or click "Yes" when the UAC prompt asks for confirmation / permission to load the font file.

Manually install a new font in Windows 7

If you receive the following error message, it means that the font is already installed on your computer, or that another font with the same name is already installed (which is much less likely to happen). Since fonts already on your computer are more likely to come from trusted sources, and less likely to be corrupted or illegal copies, we recommend that you never overwrite a font file unless it has problems. (Click "Yes" to reload the selected font, or "No" to keep the current instead.)

Confirm to add new fonts to your system

Warning: like software, many fonts are distributed with a commercial license. This implies that you cannot use the font in a for-profit project unless you or the client who gave you the font has purchased it, and or purchased the necessary rights to use it in that context!

For efficiency's sake, applications do not typically monitor your Windows Fonts folder, and instead load all available fonts when you start the program in question - examples include Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. So, if you do not see a font or characters in the corresponding dropdown menu or dialog, simply exit the program and restart it. If the program still refuses to show fonts you know you've added, there are two common possibilities: either the font file was corrupted, or the program only loads a maximum of "x" fonts, which you've exceeded - just remove one or more fonts from your computer: from inside the Fonts folder, right-click on the font families you no longer need, and choose "Delete" (but make sure to first copy-paste that file to another location as backup!)

Note: the more fonts are installed on your computer, the more memory will be required by both Windows 7 and any application that uses fonts installed on your machine. While you need to install a lot of fonts to reach that kind of problem, keep it in mind for tablet PC's and netbooks, which typically don't include much RAM.

Tutorial last updated on December 8, 2011
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