How to Get Fonts

by Linda Donahue

Thousands of fonts exist and thousands are available for free or for purchase over the Internet. Fonts are usable in most applications. When choosing a font for a project, choose one that fits your project's style or theme, and for large blocks of text, choose a font that is easy to read. Generally, font styles include serif fonts, sans serif fonts, script fonts, and stylized fonts. Some fonts replace letters with symbols.

Finding Fonts

There are many Web sites from which you can download fonts. Some sites that sell fonts will have you download the font files, while others will mail you CDs with the font filess on them. (Some such sites are listed in the Resources section below.) You also can buy fonts at electronics stores and some book stores.

Most sites will organize the fonts by some sort of category. For instance, they may group "drippy" and "creepy" fonts together under the heading "Horror." Likewise, there could be group for medieval-like fonts, or decorative script fonts. Each font will have a specific name, such as Ghouly Booty or Algerian, that will appear in your font menu after you install the file. Some sites require you to choose fonts for Window or for Macintosh.

If you download a font file, you will have to save it somewhere on your computer. This is not installing the font, it is merely saving it so you can install it later. If you purchased fonts on a CD, then the product will be mailed to you.

Another way to get more fonts is to create them yourself. You will need a software package, such as Font Lab or Fontographer (see link below) or a font-generation service, such as Some of these applications allow you to hand-draw your fonts (or simply your own handwriting) to be converted into font files.


  • check If you are looking for several fonts, save them in the same place to make intalling easier. If you have a lot of fonts on your computer, you might want to install a font-management program.


  • close The more fonts installed on your computer, the longer it will take for font-dependent applications to load. You may also experience delays when accessing font menus.

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