FontsTypography is a big love of mine. Naturally one of the tasks I find myself doing over and over again is installing and moving fonts so I can use them. Follow me in this tutorial and we’ll get you some new fonts and show you how to install them.

First, the only way we can produce a professional quality document is by using a professional quality typeface. Since designing a typeface can take years, they often don’t come cheaply, however there are sometimes moderately priced fonts that you can find online. The single cheapest way to get fonts is to look for old software that is on sale that would have bundled fonts with it. Corel Draw and Adobe Creative Suite are excellent finds.

For the purposes of this article we will download a couple excellent typefaces from Jos Buveinga, called Fontin, and Fontin Sans. Simply click on those two links, scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the download link.  Also, if you’re looking for a great head-turning font, Jos also relased Museo Sans, the first 2 font files are free, the remaining 8 are moderately priced, but well worth the cost - be sure to check it out.

In Ubuntu there are two places the computer reads fonts:

/usr/share/fonts/ these fonts are installed in the system, and shared between all users of the computer. This is where you should put fonts that everybody will need, or fonts you won’t need to ‘deactivate’ from time to time because you will need to be logged in as administrator in order to move the files there.

~/.fonts/ these fonts are installed for your user only. This is quick and simple, and for the majority of what you’ll need this is perfect.


Any folder with a ‘.’ at the beginning makes it invisible, or a hidden folder, but we can easily reveal it or visit it either through going view > hidden files or typing the address ~/.fonts/ directly into our address bar.

If this is the first time you’re doing this, the folder may not yet exist and you’ll have to create it.


Now, any fonts that are inside this folder when a program starts, should appear within the font selection drop-down menu.


To keep your fonts organized you can place them in sub-folders, so I often like to place fonts that belong to a certain project together in one folder so I can ‘activate’ or ‘deactivate’ all of the necessary fonts for a project simply by moving the folder from my ~/.fonts/ folder into any other folder.

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