Windows includes a great selection of fonts, but sometimes you need something that lies outside the standard assortment. Font choice is an important finishing touch for presentations, correspondence, and personal projects. With tens of thousands of free fonts available, you have no reason to settle on one that isn’t quite right. Because adding and removing fonts in Windows is straightforward, exploring new fonts in order to find the perfect fit is certainly worthwhile.
A Web search for fonts will yield plenty of sites where you can preview and download fonts at no cost. Avoid sites that bombard you with pop-ups or that ask you to install other software before downloading fonts; many low-hassle alternatives are available. Feel free to explore on your own. For this article, we’ll demonstrate how the procedure works with the free fonts available in PCWorld's Downloads library.
1. Go to the Downloads library's fonts page. You can search for fonts by name, see collections that PCWorld editors have assembled, and check out the latest additions to our fonts collection from there.
2. Find a font you’d like to try. You can preview the font by clicking the font name.
3. Once you’ve found an attractive font, click Download Now.
4. Save the .zip file to your PC.
5. Unzip the folder. The font files (which will typically be in the .ttf, .otf, or .fon format) will appear.
Downloading free fonts from other websites typically works in a similar fashion.
Once you've found the perfect font, the hard work is done. In Windows 7 and Vista, adding a new font is very easy.
1. Right-click the unzipped font file.
2. Click Install.
Windows will take care of the rest. The font will now be available for use in programs such as Word.
Sometimes a font isn’t as great as you thought it would be, or you’d like to clear out some fonts that have outlived their purpose. If you followed the installation procedure above, all of your fonts will be in the Fonts folder. Here’s how to open the Fonts folder and delete a font.
1. To open the Fonts folder in Windows 7, open the Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, and then select Preview, delete, or show and hide fonts. To open the Fonts folder in Windows Vista, open Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, and choose Install or remove a font.
2. Right-click the font you want to remove, and click Delete.
Tips for Windows fonts
In the Fonts folder, you can preview the fonts you have installed; just double-click a font’s icon.
If you download a font to use in a certain program and you have that application open during the font installation, the program might not register the font right away. If this happens, restart the application.
Don’t save multiple fonts under the same name.
Don’t hoard fonts. If you start to accumulate hundreds of fonts, your system will slow down significantly.