Thursday, May 7, 2009

Installing Fonts in Ubuntu

Unlike Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, Ubuntu does not come with a GUI font manager that enables users to install and delete fonts easily. Indeed, as someone who have used Ubuntu almost exclusively for over a year, I would have to admit that this is one thing I miss. I hope at some point Canonical will come up with a GUI font manager comparable to Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows, especially if Ubuntu is to attract a wider audience beyond the techno-literate folks.

For the non-techie, there are basically two ways of installing additional fonts in Ubuntu:

  1. Installing additional fonts using the Synaptic Package Manager.

    Use this if you want to install open-source fonts (Red Hat fonts) or restricted fonts (e.g., Microsoft fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) that are found in the Ubuntu and other third-party repositories.

    For step-by-step instructions: Installing Fonts via Synaptic Package Manager (from Ubuntu Wiki)

  2. Installing Third Party/Commercial Fonts

    If you want to install third party or commercial fonts in Ubuntu, there are two basic ways to do it:
  • The Simple Way (if you are the sole user):

    (a) navigate to your Home Folder (Places > Home)

    (b) Under the "View" pulldown menu, ensure that the "Show Hidden Files" option is enabled.

    (c) Create a new folder with the name ".fonts" (with a "." in front of "fonts")

    (d) Copy your third party or commercial fonts into this new .fonts folder

    (e) restart your system

    (f) alternatively, if you don't want to restart your system, you should go to Terminal (Applications > Accesories > Terminal) and type in the following command:
    sudo fc-cache -f -v

  • The Advanced Way (If you want the fonts available for all users):

    For detailed instructions, see Installing New Fonts in Ubuntu Manually (Ubuntu Wiki).

For Further Reference:
Ubuntu Fonts

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