How to Download And Install Fonts in Windows 10
Windows 10 makes it easy to download and install fonts to use in programs and apps. Learn the various methods and websites you can utilize to grow your fonts collection on your Windows PC.
How to install a font in Windows 10
Let’s go through how to install a font in Windows 10 using the methods below. Here is a quick overview:
From the source file and Windows Font Viewer
If you download a font, it will probably come in .zip format. Go ahead and extract the zip file. You’ll probably find either .ttf or .otf files. You can simply right-click on each of those files and click Install. This will install the font in your Windows 10 repository and be immediately available in all your programs.
From the Windows 10 Settings app
If you’ve downloaded the font files separately as above, you can also drag the .ttf or .otf files onto the cutout rectangle on the Windows Settings -> Fonts screen.
From the legacy Control Panel
Yes, old school still works, to a point. Microsoft hasn’t yet removed the legacy Control Panel for fonts in Windows 10 (and Windows 11 for that matter). Click Start -> search for ‘Control Panel‘ -> Open Control Panel -> in the upper right corner type ‘fonts‘ -> click on ‘Fonts‘.
From there, you can see all fonts installed on your PC, and you can just drag and drop new fonts in that window to install them on your machine.
How to manage and delete fonts in Windows 10
Let’s finish off by showing you how to manage and delete fonts in Windows 10.
From the Settings app
Click Start -> Settings -> Personalization -> Fonts.
Click on one of the installed fonts and you’ll get a new window with information about the font. You can also type in the ‘preview text’ box at the top and Windows will display your text, with various iterations (Normal, Bold, Italic, etc.), right there for your viewing pleasure!
To uninstall a font, you just need to click on the Uninstall button below the Font file details.
From the legacy Control Panel
If you navigate again to the legacy view, Start -> search for ‘Control Panel‘ -> click Control Panel -> Search for ‘fonts’ in the upper-right corner -> Click Fonts, you can double click on one of the Fonts, then double-click on one of the iterations (Calibri Bold), and you’ll get the older preview window, which dates back to maybe Windows XP…?
What about Windows 11?
Well, Microsoft hasn’t really updated the general fonts experience in Windows 11. At least not for the ‘original release’, version 21H2 released last Fall (This is what’s available to the public and enterprises). In the recent Dev builds as part of the Windows Insider Program, there have been some changes.
A few quick things of note:
- The window to drag font files to is considerably larger than the general release of Windows 11.
- They made the link to ‘Get more fonts in Microsoft Store’ more prominent, to fit the new Windows 11 style/UI.
- They also consolidated the ‘additional/related settings’ links to the Windows 11 style/UI.
- For each font family, they added a small menu in the upper right that includes ‘Hide’ and ‘Uninstall’. This will either remove the Font from view here (but retain the font as available in Programs) or remove and delete the font from Windows.
Why you may need more fonts on your PC
Everybody (generally) knows about fonts and typefaces. Microsoft Windows has offered fonts support for decades. Over time, they’ve developed newer interfaces for installing fonts, viewing currently installed fonts, and offering more places to find new fonts.
Instead of working with the default set of fonts that come with Windows 10, let’s help you install some new ones to spruce up your documents, your spreadsheets, your resumes (don’t tell your boss…), and other projects that demand a more polished presentation.
The default fonts on Windows 10
Doing a cursory examination on my Windows 10 version 21H2 PC, (Click Start -> Settings -> Personalization -> Fonts) it appears there are approximately 67 font families that come with Windows.
This includes fonts for several different languages besides the region of my PC (English-United States). You’ll find such staples as Comic Sans MS, Arial, Courier New, Segoe, Tahoma, Symbol, and Times New Roman. And yes, Wingdings are still there! But, towards the top, did you see Calibri? This is the font family Microsoft chose as the default across Windows 10. And Segoe UI Variable was chosen as the default in Windows 11.
The most common font type formats
The four most common font type formats are PostScript, TrueType, OpenType, and Web Open Font Format.
PostScript fonts were created by Adobe. They have two separate parts: One part for printing, and the other one for displaying characters on screen. After OpenType was created through a partnership between Adobe and Microsoft, the usage of PostScript has dwindled a lot over recent years.
TrueType fonts were developed by Apple (you may not have known that…) and eventually licensed to Microsoft (Ahhh…). Only one file is needed, but a separate file is needed for each instance of the font. So, if you want a high-quality Normal, Bold, or Italic example of the font, you will need separate files for each.
OpenType is a newer font type built upon the TrueType format. This type supports more features like small caps, ligatures, and other hidden gems inside the font. OpenType fonts were initially developed by Adobe and Microsoft using the Unicode standard. These are compatible across platforms (something TrueType is not) and also contain all the different iterations of a font in one single file, making managing and administering these much easier.
Web Open Font Format (.woff) is what’s used mostly on web pages. These fonts are compressed by design, so web pages load faster. Instead of font vendors debating about licensing TrueType or OpenType fonts for web use, they’re fine with using Web Open Font Format fonts.
Where to search for and download new fonts
There are many places to search for, download for free, and pay for new fonts on Windows 10. Let’s go through some of the more common and helpful (re: intuitive and efficient) methods available.
The Microsoft Store
The first location I’ll discuss here is the Microsoft Store. Go ahead and launch the Microsoft Store, type ‘fonts’ in the search box at the top, and press Enter.
Go ahead and click the ‘Explore new fonts’ button in the middle banner, and you’ll get a nice laid-out view of some nifty fonts. Note, some are free, some come at a cost.
Click on one of the fonts and get a nice overview of it, where it comes from, other users’ ratings of it, and some examples of how it looks. Click the Get button to install it on your computer!
Feel free to browse Google’s library of fonts, which features almost 1,400 font families as I write this in mid-February 2022. This is one I wasn’t aware of.
Here are a few other good starting places on the Internet for discovering more fonts for your collection.
My Fonts is another popular online fonts repository, and there are currently over 130,000 available as of this writing.
Adobe’s Behance also has lots of stylish fonts available to download. Type ‘fonts’ in the main search bar and you’ll see a wide range of various fonts and typefaces for your perusal.
Free and paid fonts
So, there are free fonts and there are paid fonts. There will be an upfront cost associated with the higher quality or ‘professional-grade’ font families. Be advised, even though some may be ‘free’, let me point you to the next topic below…
Why do you need to check the licenses?
Some of the ‘free’ fonts you find will only be available for ‘personal’ (or non-profit) use. If you wish to use them commercially, in a public presentation or document, you very likely would need to purchase them. There will be links from the more prominent font families to direct you to their website to purchase them for commercial and enterprise usage.
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