Installing Fonts for Photoshop Only

Capital A and Z font

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Graphic designers find value in maintaining a large library of fonts, but on Windows computers, a lot of fonts significantly slows down the speed of computer start-up. By design, Windows loads all the installed font files. When you've got a few thousand of them — well, grab a cup of coffee while you're waiting for the desktop to load.

When you download and install fonts on your PC, you are often installing them for use in several programs from Photoshop to Microsoft Word. Improve your computer's performance by segragating the fonts you'll use solely with Adobe products.

Managing Fonts with Adobe Typekit

screenshot of formatting font window in Adobe Typekit

The licensing terms of Adobe Typekit, which is the standard method of managing fonts with Adobe Creative Cloud's portfolio of applications, forbid offline use of a font file unless you've purchased the file outright from its original foundry. Adobe's Creative Cloud desktop software stores licensed but unpurchased Typekit fonts in a temporary folder only, and deletes them when Adobe applications close. As such, there's no legal way to access Typekit fonts on your local machine.

Installing Fonts in Older Versions of Photoshop

However, with older versions of Adobe Creative Suite — predating Creative Cloud — you could install most of your special graphic-design-related fonts in an Adobe-only folder so Windows won't "see" them, but Adobe Photoshop will, meaning the fonts will be available in Photoshop's menus but they won't be accessible from other (non-Adobe) Windows applications. This process bypasses Windows auto-loading the font files on startup, thus improving system performance.

Save your font collections here at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Fonts.

By going this route, you can have a large font collection available to you in Photoshop and related Creative Cloud applications without sacrificing performance by installing them into the Windows Fonts directory. The drawback is that Photoshop may take longer to load.