A. In Windows, the font file must be placed into the system Fonts folder in order to be installed.
Most fonts downloaded from the web come packaged in an archive file, usually ZIP for Windows or SIT for Mac. So the first step is to open the archive and extract the font(s).
Windows Millenium and Windows XP can handle ZIP archives natively. Right click the ZIP file and choose Extract All. Follow the Extraction Wizard to extract the files into the folder of your choice.
All other versions of Windows require a third-party application to handle ZIP archives. The most popular one is probably WinZip, which is free to try but costs $30 to purchase. There are also some freeware alternatives, such as JustZIPit. These third-party ZIP applications are usually more feature-rich than the ZIP support native to Windows, and are worth checking out even if you have Millenium or XP.
NOTE: For America Online users, the AOL software should extract any archives you've downloaded automatically when you log off. The files are extracted into a new folder inside of the folder to which you downloaded the archive.
TrueType font files end with a TTF extension. OpenType font files end with an OTF extension.
NOTE: Windows annoyingly hides file extensions by default. This is a security risk; you should always show extensions to avoid confusion over file formats. In any Explorer window (ie. My Computer), open the Folder Options dialog (either in the View or Tools menu), click the View tab, and uncheck the box that says "Hide file extensions for known file types."
In most installations of Windows, the system Fonts folder is C:\Windows\Fonts. An easy way to navigate to the Fonts folder, regardless of where it might be on your particular system, is to go to the Control Panel (Start Menu, Settings, Control Panel) and double-click the Fonts icon (if you don't see a Fonts icon in Windows XP, click Switch to Classic View in the top left corner of the Control Panel).
The File menu in the Font folder contains a handy dialog for installing fonts (File, Install New Fonts). The dialog box is a bit backwards, so start at the bottom — select the drive and folder where the font is located. The font(s) should then appear in the list at the top. Select the font(s) (or click Select All) and then click OK. The font(s) should now be installed and ready to use in applications. You may need to restart any applications that were running during the font installation before they will see the newly-installed fonts.
Alternatively, if you're comfortable using Windows Explorer and a mouse, you can simply drag the font from its original folder into the Fonts folder.
To make a font available temporarily without actually installing it, simply double-click on the font file to open a preview window. The font should then be available to use in any application opened thereafter, until the preview window is closed. Note that once the preview window is closed, the font will no longer be active, and any text set in that font will be displayed with a default system font.
A. See this step by step tutorial for instructions on how to set Waltograph UI as your Windows XP titlebar font. Waltograph UI was designed especially for this type of screen use. You can experiment with other fonts installed on your system; however, certain fonts are better suited than others.
A. There is a free utility for Mac OS X called TinkerTool. Similar to Windows' TweakUI applet, TinkerTool unlocks access to some of OS X's hidden settings, including the ability to change many of the default system fonts.
A. The recipient of the message must also have the font installed in order for it to display on his or her computer.
This is also true for websites that specify the font in markup. To ensure that the proper font appears on your web page, you must create a graphic file or embed the font within a Flash file (see Mike Davidson's sIFR for an elegant Flash embedding method).
A. You can use keyboard shortcuts for many of the extended characters; this is done by holding down the Alt key while typing in a four digit character code on the numeric keypad. The codes for some of the special characters are listed in the text files accompanying the fonts on this website.
To get a better look at all of the characters available in a font, use the Character Map utility included with Windows (Start Menu, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Character Map). Choose the font from the drop-down menu, then click on any character to see a larger sample. Double-click on the character to add it to the Characters to copy field at the bottom. Then click the Copy button to copy the character(s) to the system clipboard so that you can paste them into your application. You might also note that the keyboard codes for selected characters are listed at the bottom right side of the status bar.
Some applications have their own character palette. Current versions of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign feature a Glyph Palette, which can be toggled in the Window menu. Some Microsoft Office applications have an Insert Symbol/Special Characters dialog that features similar functionality.
A. Mac OS X has a Character Palette that displays and inserts extended characters. In many applications, the Character Palette can be accessed from the Edit menu under Special Characters, or with the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+T.
The Character Palette may also be accessed through the Input Menu in the Menu Extras near the clock. To activate the Input Menu and Character Palette, go into the International settings inside of System Preferences. Click Input Menu and check Character Palette (which also automatically checks Show input menu in menu bar). The Input Menu should now be displayed as a flag icon near the clock in the menu bar. Open your program and select the font, then click the Input Menu and open the Character Palette.
Advanced users may find it convenient to toggle the Character Palette using Applescript. Methods for doing this may be found with a bit of searching.
A. In most cases you can't. Reasons:
In any of these cases, you will not find a typeface that exactly matches the lettering.
Occasionally, custom lettering may be extrapolated into a full typeface, however:
So, even if a particular logo or sign is derived directly from a typeface, that typeface may not be available as a digital font.
So, in order to freely download fonts used in logos or lettering for [whatever], one of two conditions must exist:
A. The fonts available directly from this website are free for personal, non-commercial use only. They may be freely copied and distributed in their original archives with their accompanying text/license files, but the original author retains copyright. These fonts may not be resold or distributed with any commercial product without consent of the copyright holder. Use of these fonts in for-profit design work is prohibited without permission from the copyright holder. If you wish to use one of the fonts for commercial purposes, you may email an inquiry regarding commercial licensing, describing your product or service and which font you wish to license for commercial use.
The one exception to the above is Bradley Gratis, which is public domain and may be freely used, reproduced, distributed, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial.
Fonts not originating from this website, such as the fonts linked from the Disney Fonts list, will likely have their own individual license terms.
A. You may have noticed that some of these fonts borrow elements from existing designs, to varying degrees. Here are some important points regarding the legality of such practice:
Let me state for the record that I am not a lawyer and make no claims to the accuracy of the above information. For more insight into issues of intellectual property law in regards to digital letterforms, read through some of the cases at Luc Devroye's page on copyright and trademark in the type world.