How to Install Fonts

I love playing with fonts, especially free ones!  Installing fonts on your computer takes just a few clicks. Then they’re available to use in all types of programs – word processing, desktop publishing, digital scrapbooking, photo-editing, etc. Here’s our tips on installing fonts.


Safety first! Use caution when installing and downloading from the internet:

  • The file you are downloading should end in .zip, .otf or .ttf only. If it ends in anything else, like .exe, do not download it. Zip files are packaged and you need to extract them. OTF or TTF files are font files.
  • Be sure you are not clicking on an ad. Many ads online have big buttons that say download.


  1. Save the file to a fonts folder in your downloads folder to make it easy to find.
  2. If the file ends in .ttf or .otf, right-click on the file and choose Install.
  3. If the file ends in .zip, you need to extract it first to get to the font file.
  4. Right-click on the .zip file and choose Extract All
  5. A box will pop up with the Windows Extractor. Make sure the “Show extracted files when complete” box is checked. A window with the files extracted will open.
  6. Right-click on the font file, usually a .ttf or .otf, and choose Install
  7. Ta-da! Have fun with your new font!


  • Browse your fonts from Control Panel. Yyou can find a Fonts folder in there. Double-click on any font to preview it.
  • When installing fonts, you might have to restart any graphics program to see the new fonts.
  • Use Character Map to see all the images inside “dingbat” fonts.  It’s a built-in Windows program. The little images in the font are mapped to different letters and symbols.  Use search to find Character Map on your computer. Pick the font from the drop-down list. Click on the image you want to use then click Copy. Then you can paste it into any document or image.

Browse our featured free fonts for more.

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