How to Download Fonts From the Web

Installing fonts on your computer is really easy

Typeset number and letters of various sizes.

Free-photos/Pixabay

Your computer came with lots of functional preinstalled fonts, but if you're tired of using the same ones repeatedly, you can download novelty fonts and other fun typefaces for any project.

Once you've downloaded a font to your computer, you have to install it in order for your word processor, image editor, or another program to use it.

How and Where to Download Fonts

You can find fonts for your computer in lots of places. Some of the more popular sites are dafont.com, FontSpace, and 1001 Free Fonts.

Most sites have fonts that are for sale or request a shareware fee, but many of them, such as the ones linked above, also offer a selection of free fonts. For free fonts, there's usually a Download button next to a preview of the font.

macOS recognizes TrueType (TTF) and OpenType (OTF) font formats. Windows can install fonts in those formats as well as bitmap fonts (FON).

How to Install a Font

The steps for installing a font are nearly the same in Windows and macOS. The basic idea is to open the font file and select the install button, and if the font is in an archive, you need to open the archive file first.

  1. View the font file you've downloaded in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS)

    Windows File Explorer displaying a font to be installed.
  2. Double-click the font file. (Windows and macOS)

    Alternatively, for Windows, right-click and select Install.

    If the font file is in an archive (e.g., ZIP, BIN, 7Z, or HQX), double-click it to view the file. In Windows, you can instead right-click the archive and click Extract All. Another option is to use a file extractor tool.

    The right-click context menu with Install highlighted in Windows.
  3. Select Install (Windows) or Install Font (Mac) to install the font file. You will briefly see an Installing Fonts progress bar during installation. Once installation is complete, this will disappear.

    Viewing a font file before installation in Windows.

You can now use the font just like any other one that was pre-installed.

If the program in which you're wanting to use the font was open when you installed the font file, exit the program and reopen it. The font might not show up as an option in the software until you restart the application.