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Fonts Folder

Displays all the installed fonts.

To Open

Control Panel Fonts[4]

[4] See Control Panel, earlier in this chapter, for information on finding fonts using the Control Panel in Category View.

Command Prompt control fonts

Command Prompt explorer \windows\fonts


The Fonts folder is merely a folder on your hard disk (specifically, \Windows\fonts). However, when viewed in Explorer, it's configured to display a list of installed fonts instead of a list of the contents of the folder. (The two aren't necessarily the same thing.) Select View Details for more the most useful listing, which, among other things, allows you to match up a font name with the file in which it's stored (see Figure 4-37).

Figure 4-37. The Details view of the Fonts folder shows the relationships between your font names and font filenames

Right-click a font file and select Properties to see bunch of additional information pertaining to the font, such as hinting and font smoothing properties, copyright information, font vendor information, and whether such fonts can be embedded.

To view a preview of an installed font, just double-click its name; see Font Viewer, earlier in this chapter, for more information. To delete a font, delete it as you'd delete any file (press the Del key or drag-drop it into the Recycle Bin).

To install a font (as long as it's one of the supported types), just drag-drop it into the Fonts folder. Supported typeface formats include TrueType (.ttf), Adobe Type 1 (.pfm and .pfb), OpenType (also known as TrueType v2), and ugly old raster fonts (.fon) used in early versions of Windows.


  • If a font file icon has a shortcut arrow (see Shortcuts in Chapter 3), it means the font is installed, but not actually stored in the \Windows\Fonts folder.

  • Unlike some earlier versions of Windows, Windows XP comes with built-in support for Adobe Type 1 fonts, so a product like Adobe Type Manager is no longer needed.

  • The View List Fonts by Similarity feature, while a good idea in principle, rarely provides any useful information.

  • If you're sharing documents with other users, you may need to send them copies of the font files you've used as well. If you drag-drop the desired files from the fonts folder onto, say, your Desktop, make sure to hold the Ctrl key (or drag with the right mouse button and select Copy Here) so the font file is copied and not moved (which would uninstall it). Keep in mind that some fonts are commercial products and copying them constitutes software piracy and copyright violation.

  • Use a program like Adobe Acrobat (not the free reader application, but the full version available at http://www.adobe.com/) to share documents without having to share the fonts used.

  • If the Fonts folder appears to be displaying an ordinary list of files rather than the specialized font listing, it can be fixed with TweakUI (see Appendix D).

  • Any non-font files, that, for whatever reason, have been stored in the Fonts folder, will not show up at all, nor will they appear in any search results. To display a normal listing of the files in the Fonts folder, use the dir command in the Command Prompt (See Chapter 6.)

  • Thousands of freeware fonts are available for download on the Internet, from such sites as http://www.pcfonts.com/ and http://www.microsoft.com/typography/. You can also create your own fonts with an application like Fontographer (http://www.macromedia.com/).

  • Fonts for icons, menus, and other screen elements are selected by going to Control Panel [Appearance and Themes] Display Appearance tab.

See Also

Control Panel

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