Most applications that you use for day to day business come with a vast array of fonts already installed, however, now and again you will come across the need to install a new font. As a virtual assistant, a classic example is if a customer uses a particular font as part of their branding and uses it for letters and invoices etc. In order for you to create these documents on their behalf, you’ll need to use their font.

There are many fonts that can be downloaded form the internet, some are free, others paid for or licensed. Most will come in a similar format and usually in a .zip file in order to reduce the file size for sharing.

Once you have downloaded your font files, they need adding to your computer. Fonts are actually added as part of the operating system of your computer, rather than into Microsoft Office itself, and so you need to do this from the control panel of your computer. Once it is loaded here, the font should work in Office directly, and also in any other applications that you use on that computer.

How to install a custom font in Windows:

For Windows Vista:

  • Unzip your file by going to the zipped folder, double click to view the files within and then follow any instructions that pop up. (The exact process will differ according to your computer/operating system but there is usually an option to ‘extract files’)
  • Go to Start button > Control Panel > Fonts
  • When you are within the fonts folder, right-click anywhere inside the and choose Install New Font
  • Next your will be prompted to choose the location of your font from a file explorer box.
  • Browse to the location of your font file and select it
  • Click Install > Close

For Windows 2007 and 2010:

  • In more recent versions of Windows it’s even easier! Start as before by downloading your file and unzipping it
  • Open the zip file and locate the font file (these could be a number of different formats, but commonly OpenType (.otf) or TrueType (.ttf)Install Font (2)
  • Rick click the file
  • From the menu choose Open > InstallInstall Font (1)
  • If you receive any prompts or warnings, allow or accept them (although of course you should be sure that you trust the source of the font-file before accepting any unusual warnings!)Install Font (3)
  • Open an application such as Microsoft Word and you should see your new font now in the list of available fontsInstall Font (4)

Note: you do need to keep track of any fonts that you have installed if you intend to share files with other people. If you create a document using one of your custom fonts, and then share the file, the other person won’t see those custom fonts in the document, they will simply be displayed in the default font for their computer (usually Arial or Times New Roman) unless they also install the font file or you embed the font into your document.