How to Install TrueType or OpenType Fonts in Windows

Add fonts to your Windows computer in the right way to avoid problems

Typing on the keyboard of the PC
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Whether you download fonts from a website or have a CD full of typefaces, before you can to use them in your word processor or other software programs you must install TrueType or OpenType fonts in the Windows Fonts folder. It is a simple procedure, but heed the following notes and tips when you install the fonts. 

Apple developed the TrueType font standard and licensed it to Microsoft. Adobe and Microsoft worked together to develop the OpenType font standard. Although OpenType is the newest font standard, OpenType and TrueType fonts are both high-quality fonts that are suitable for all applications. They have mostly replaced the older two-part Postscript Type 1 fonts because of the ease of installation and use.

Expand Your Font Options in Windows

To add OpenType or TrueType fonts to your Windows computer:

  1. Click on the Start button and select Settings > Control Panel (or open My Computer and then Control Panel).
  2. Double-click the Fonts folder.
  3. Select File > Install New Font.
  4. Locate the directory or folder with the font(s) you want to install. Use the Folders: and Drives: windows to move to the folder on your hard drive, a disk, or CD where your new TrueType or OpenType fonts are located.
  5. Find the font(s) you want to install. TrueType fonts have the extension.TTF and an icon that is a dog-eared page with two overlapping Ts. They require only this one file for installation and use. OpenType fonts have the extension.TTF or .OTF and a little icon with an O. They also require only this one file for installation and use.
  6. Highlight the TrueType or OpenType font to install from the list of fonts window.
  7. Click OK to complete the TrueType or OpenType font installation.

Tips for Font Installation

  • Put Installed Fonts on Your Hard Drive. If you are going to install TrueType or OpenType fonts from a CD be sure the Copy fonts to folder box is checked; otherwise, fonts may not be available to use if the CD is not in the drive at all times.
  • Use the Right Fonts for Windows. There are slight differences in the TrueType fonts designed for each OS. Therefore Mac and Windows users cannot share TrueType fonts. However, OpenType fonts are cross-platform. The same font file works under both MacOS and Windows operating systems.
  • Restart the Computer. If you have programs running while you install fonts in Windows, they may require that you exit the application and restart for the new fonts to be available in the font menu.
  • Avoid Font Duplication. OpenType fonts install in the same manner as TrueType fonts and coexist peacefully with TrueType and PostScript Type 1 fonts. However, it is wise not to have the same font installed in multiple formats. That is, don't install both Helvetica in TrueType format and Helvetica in Type 1 format at the same time. This could cause font conflicts when you try to use the fonts.