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How to Install Fonts in Windows XP

Melanie has a BS in physical science and is in grad school for analytics and modeling. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.

Pre-installed fonts are just plain boring

Pre-installed fonts are just plain boring

Fancy or fun fonts allow you to spice up documents, presentations, and whatever else you'd like to write.

Most computers come with fairly bland fonts pre-installed (Arial, Times New Roman, Script, etc.) Comic sans is about as fun as it gets and it's overused and really not that comedic.

You can get unique, fresh fonts that will really let you get your message across. All you have to do is download and install new ones!

There are tons of awesome fonts available all over the Internet. Some are free (there are seriously a lot of awesome free ones floating around out there) and some fonts cost a bit of money. (I recommend using free ones, because, well... they're free!)

Free fonts do often come with strings attached. Usually, you're required to buy certain fonts if you want to use them for commercial purposes (such as using them on your blog where you have ads, selling t-shirts that use the fonts, etc...)

Installing new fonts is a piece of cake. So, let's get started!

Downloading a Font

You're going to want to get a hold of a font you would like to use. If you're not sure where to find a font, just make a quick Google search for something like "free fonts." There are seriously tons of sites that have fonts you can download.

Download a font that's compatible with your operating system. This tutorial uses Windows XP, so I downloaded a font for Windows users.

Unzipping Your File

If your font came in a zip file, you'll need to unzip it before you install it. (If they weren't zipped, you can go ahead and skip to the next section on installing.)

  • Right click on the file and select "Extract All"
  • Click "Next" in the next window. (It's just a "Welcome to the Extraction Wizard" type thing.)
  • In the next window, you'll be asked to select the destination. Click "browse" to select where you would like the extracted files to go. (I just chose my Desktop.) Click "Next."
  • You'll be able to select whether you wish to view the extracted files in the next window. If it's selected, a new window will pop up with all the extracted files. You can deselect this if the files are saved somewhere handy like the Desktop. Click "Finish."
The extracted files on my desktop: two .ttf files and a ReadMe.

The extracted files on my desktop: two .ttf files and a ReadMe.

Installing Fonts

Now that you have your fonts unzipped, you're ready to install them.

  • Navigate to the Control Panel by clicking "Start" and then "Control Panel"
  • If the Control Panel window says "Pick a Category", click "Switch to Classic View" on the left side of the window.
  • The next Window will have several large icons. Select the icon named "Fonts."
  • A folder will open. This folder contains all your font files. Drag your new font files from the Desktop (or wherever you saved them) into this folder. Only drag the font files, not any ReadMe that may have come packaged with your new font.
  • After dragging each font file to the Fonts folder, you may see some bars showing that your fonts are installing. When the fonts are done installing, you can delete the font files you have saved on the Desktop. You can delete the ReadMe (or read it if you want.)

Now that your fonts are installed, you can go ahead and test them out. Open your word processor and select your new font to play around with it. If your word processor was open while you installed the font, you'll probably have to restart it to be able to use your new fonts.

© 2012 Melanie Palen


Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on May 06, 2013:

I am bookmarking this article for future reference. Thanks!

kumar24894 from Fuck of HUBPAGES on June 30, 2012:

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Needed this information . Thanks a lot .

RTalloni on June 30, 2012:

Thanks for info that will expand creative ability!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 30, 2012:

Melbel, interesting and useful hub. I now know how to download and install fonts. No longer gonna get stuck with these staid ones that are preinstalled.

Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

Natasha from Hawaii on June 30, 2012:

Thank you! Earlier this week I downloaded a font and didn't know how to instal it. Now I do!

kelleyward on June 30, 2012:

Wow Melbel I didn't know you could do this either. Thanks for the helpful tips. I'm bookmarking this one, sharing it, and voting it up! Kelley

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on June 30, 2012:

I know how to install fonts but did not know how to unzip. Thanks for this useful and informative article.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 30, 2012:

Excellent. Will be bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks for posting.

Up, useful and socially shared.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on June 29, 2012:

Wow, very interesting! I had no idea you could do this. I figured I was just stuck with whatever fonts came with my computer. Thank you for some very useful information!

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