You’ve been working on a poster for the annual school bake sale, but something just seems off. It’s not the teal background, and you’ve already rearranged the images around a million times, but it still doesn’t look right. That’s when it hits you: This Times New Roman font is way too serious looking! You need something a little more whimsical, but nothing in the list of available fonts looks right. Who knew that choosing a font could be so complicated?
What are fonts?
Simply put, a font is a collection of text characters in a specific design. Fonts can be used to convey a mood, underscore a brand’s identity, or establish a consistent look and feel across written communications. For example, the company you work for may require that you use a certain font when sending emails to customers in order to maintain a unified look across the company’s messaging.
Match the font to the message
With an estimated 300,000 fonts in existence, you’re bound to find one that’s a match for virtually any message, from a bake sale flyer to a wedding invitation. If not, you can design a font of your own. If this is something you’re interested in, click this link to watch a video where we explain how to create a custom font.
When choosing a font, you should keep in mind the associations people make with particular design elements. For example, Blackadder ITC is a very curvy font. It looks fancy, which means that it might look just right on a menu at an expensive restaurant. On the other hand, Eras Light ITC is a light font, which is great for something that’s going to be read on a computer but not great for a warning sign meant to grab the reader’s attention. Something bolder, such as Eras Bold ITC, would be a much better choice for that, but a poor font choice for an essay.
Another thing to keep in mind is that typing in another language might also require a specific font. For example, if one wanted to type in Chinese, it’s necessary to install a Chinese font. It’s a different process than adding a regular font, and we outline the process in this video.
Consider accessibility when deciding on a font. It’s important to think about your audience, as it may include people with visual impairments who might struggle to read some of the more ornate fonts. In general, sans-serif fonts are easier to read on screens, while serif fonts are more
legible in printed documents. If you’re looking for an accessible font that’s easy for most people to read, Microsoft’s choice of font is the Segoe family. There are multiple Segoe fonts, but the characters in all of them have been designed for easy legibility.
Find your fonts
If you’d like to see what fonts are available for you to use on your Windows 10 device, head over to Settings -> Personalization -> Fonts. Or simply type “font” in the Windows Search menu to find and open the Font Settings page.
This page is great for seeing your available fonts at a glance. It’s especially useful if you don’t know the name of the font you want to use.
Download additional fonts
Perhaps none of these fonts quite fits what you’ve been working on: There must be more, right? There definitely are! You’re able to add more fonts to this list directly from the Microsoft Store. If you’d like to see what’s available there, click the “Get more fonts in Microsoft Store” button in the screen pictured above.
All the fonts in the picture above are free to download, but you may come across some that require payment.
You can also download fonts from the web. It might require a bit of work to find some that you like, and most fonts that are offered on websites will require payment.
Once you’ve acquired a font from the web, it’s time to install it. It’s likely that the font was downloaded as a ‘.zip’ file into your Downloads folder. You can double-click on the .zip file to peek inside and look for the font file.
Typically, these end in .otf, .ttf, or .fnt and they can be installed by double-clicking on the file.
This will bring up a window that will allow you to preview the font. A fun little piece of trivia: The sentence it displays is used because it contains all the letters in the alphabet! If the font looks good, go ahead and hit the Install button and the font will be added to your Windows device. You can confirm this by revisiting the Settings page mentioned earlier in the article or by looking for it in the list of available fonts in Microsoft Word.
Now that you’re well-versed in fonts and how to add them, you have a new way to add a little flare to your projects. Whether you’re working on a presentation for work, a term paper for school, or a bake sale poster for a fundraiser, you’ve got new options to give the project a dash of personality while ensuring that it is easy to read.