How to Extract Fonts

by Kate Moody
font image by Pavel Vlasov from

A wide variety of TrueType and OpenType fonts are already installed in Windows operating systems, but you may wish to try different fonts to give your text a unique character. A wide variety of additional fonts can be downloaded for free from Microsoft and other websites. To be able to install the very large font files you download, first you have to extract them.

Step 1

Download the font you want you install on your computer and save the downloaded compressed or zipped (.zip) file to your hard drive. Saving the file to a temporary folder or your desktop is a good place.

Step 2

Right-click on the zipped file and choose "Extract" on Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.

Step 3

Open the zipped file on older operating systems by double-clicking on it. This will open your extraction wizard or unzipping program that can decompress your file. If you don't have an unzipping program already installed, download and install an extracting program such as WinZip.

Step 4

Choose a location to save your unzipped file and make sure your file name matches the font's name. Click on "OK" to unzip the file. Once you have extracted or unzipped your file, close the WinZip utility if it hasn't already closed on its own.

Right-click on your extracted font file and click "Install" on Vista and Windows 7. On older operating systems, choose "Start," "Control Panel," "Settings" and then "Fonts." Select "Install New Fonts" from the drop-down menu. In the window that opens, browse through your hard drive to locate your unzipped font file and select it. Click "OK" to install your new font.


  • Fonts may have to be removed and reinstalled before they work correctly. If a program is open when you install a font, the font may not register in that program. Try closing and reopening the program to get the font to work correctly.


  • You may need to restart your computer for your new font to register with your operating system and software programs. Some fonts require two files to be installed in the same folder---a bitmap file for the on-screen font. and an outline file for the printer.


Photo Credits

About the Author

Kate Moody began writing in 2002. She has written for the "Oregonian" and the "Statesman Journal" among other publications. Moody's feature story on hospice care won a 2009 award from the Society of Professional Journalists. She holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in chemistry from Ferris State University and has worked in research and development for a pharmaceutical company.

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