What happens when Times New Roman, Calibri and the much-maligned Comic Sans fonts become a bit stale?
The solution for use on word processing software, presentations, images and anything else you use to enter text, could be to download a new font.
Downloading a new font is quick and easy once you know what to do - and here's how to do it.
How to download a new font
The easiest way to find and download a new font is to visit a free font website such as www.dafont.com.
Dafont is a huge depository of new fonts collected in categories covering everything from 'fancy' to more modern 'graffiti' styles.
To download a font in Dafont simply search for the font you want. All fonts on the website have a handy image to show you exactly what the font will look like to help you make your choice.
If you have seen a font and have an image of it the Defont website has a handy forum where you can post the image and users will help to identify the font.
Once you've found the ideal font, simply click on the download button and an automatic download should begin.
If Dafont doesn't help, try using http://www.abstractfonts.com/ for even more fonts.
How to install a new font
The font file that you have downloaded will be saved as a 'zip' file. This is the name given to a bundle of files tied up into a single package to make it easier to download.
To access the files needed to install the font, you have to 'unwrap' that bundle once it is downloaded. This is known as 'unzipping' the file and to do this you will need specific software such as WinZip or WinRAR.
Once you have downloaded software capable of opening a zip file, open the font file using the software. Most software will have an option entitled 'extract file' or some variation of this.
Select the font from the list and click 'extract file'. Choose a folder to extract it to - you can create a new one and call it 'fonts' to make it easier to find in future.
Once the font is extracted from the zip bundle, it is time to install the font.
The method for installing a font differs depending on the computer you are using but it is a straightforward process.
- If you have a PC with Windows 7 or Windows Vista installed, right-click on the font and select install. This should automatically install the font file for you.
- For Windows XP users, you will need to manually put the font files into C:\Windows\Fonts, which can be found by clicking on the start button and then 'My Computer'.
- For Mac OS X users, simply double-click the font and click the 'install font' button.
Once this has been done the font should be available next time you wish to use it.
How do I turn my handwriting into a font?
Sometimes the wide range of fonts available isn't enough. If, for example, you wish to preserve the letters of a loved one or you want to send an online message with a personal touch, it is possible to create a font out of your own handwriting.
This is a bit more complex than downloading a font. First, you will need to download a template from a website that offers a handwriting to font service, such as www.YourFonts.com.
The template will include spaces for you to clearly write a letter in each square. The clearer and cleaner the letters the better the font will come out.
You will then need to scan the page using a scanner to create a digital copy of your handwriting. If you do not have a scanner, try your local library or a printing shop.
Once the page is scanned you can upload it to websites such as YourFonts, where a file will be created to allow you to download it as a font.
Once this file is downloaded, simply follow the steps above to install the font and there you have your very own handwriting as a font.