Finding and Installing Fonts

This is the first PennWIC post from Alexis Morris, a graduate intern at the Education Commons. On April 3, Alexis will hold PhotoShop Design Office Hours at the EC.

Have you ever wanted to use a different font for a presentation other than what is available on your computer?  Here is a quick how-to on finding and installing fonts onto your machine.

Finding Fonts

There are many sites that offer free font designs.  A simple Google search will yield many results, however I have found that my two most favorite sites are 1001 Fonts and Da Font. Both offer fonts from the simple to the ornate, giving you many options to add some style to your work.  I prefer these sites because of the great displays and ease of navigation.

By simply following the link provided on the font of your choice, you will be prompted to download a compressed file that contains the font file, (usually) a note from the creator, and perhaps other variations of the font.

How to Install the Files

Once you download the compressed file you will need to unzip it or open it into a folder.

Both Windows and Mac operating systems use the font files which have the extension .ttf.  Once the compressed file is open, you will be able to see the fonts inside.  Do not be surprised if you see more than one font file.  Some authors offer variations such a bold, skinny, or other slight alterations.  These files are generally independent fonts, but you may want to check any text files that would explain any dependency the alterations may have on the main font.

On both operating systems you will want to make sure you reset the program in use to allow the next fonts to be loaded.


To get to the font folder on a Mac operating system go to:

Finder –> Hard drive (may say Macintosh HD) –> Library –> Fonts

The Fonts folder is where you will want to drag and drop the .ttf file(s)  The operating system will install the fonts automatically.   As mentioned above you will want to restart any program that is open during the installation to allow the new fonts to be used.


To get to the font folder from a Windows desktop go to:

My Computer –> Hard disk –> Windows (folder) –> Fonts

Similarly, the Fonts folder is where the .ttf files need to be placed.  Dragging and dropping them into the folder will install the fonts onto the computer.  Restart all programs to view the newly installed fonts.

Important Tip!

If you are working with installed fonts and save the file, ALL COMPUTERS that open the file must have the font installed if the file is not saved as an image.  This means that if you are working in Photoshop the working .PSD file will not load the fonts unless that specific computer also has installed the fonts wanted. (If you rasterize the font in Photoshop making the text and image it will be fine.) The same principle would apply to Word, Powerpoint, etc.

However, if the file is saved as an image– .jpeg, .gif, .pdf, etc.– the fonts will remain unchanged regardless of the fonts available on the computer.

I hope this quick how to was helpful.  Stay tuned for more quick tips on simple design principles to make your projects stand out!

About Alexis

Classically trained, Library Science studying, fantasy loving nature hippie, meditator, surfer, and wanna be monk in Sun Moo Do training.

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