Your operating system and all its applications usually maintain a set of fonts that you can use as system fonts and in various desktop and web applications respectively. Let us suppose you want to use a new font in any of your applications, that you saw on the internet. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just selecting a downloaded font and then start using it in the application. You need to first install that font on your operating system in order to use it.

In this article, we will explain how to add and use a downloaded font on your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

It is important to note that adding too many custom fonts can slow down your system. This happens because the operating system has to keep a track of all the installed fonts and load them when you open an application requiring the use of fonts. Therefore it is best practice to install very few custom fonts and preferably delete the ones you are done with using. However, you should not delete the set of fonts that come with your system by default.

Viewing Fonts Installed on Your System

While working on LibreOffice Writer, you can select a font from the fonts drop-down. These fonts are a part of the fonts installed on your operating systems.

View installed fonts

You can view which all fonts are available on your system by accessing the Gnome Fonts file through the Ubuntu Dash as follows:

Gnome fonts

When you open Gnome Fonts, you can see all the fonts available in LibreOffice and all other applications as follows:

Font overview in Gnome Fonts

Installing a New Font in Ubuntu

Step 1: Download a font file from the internet

You can download a font from the Internet through the following two ways:

1. Using a web browser

In order to download a font from the Internet, you can access a reliable website such as https://www.1001freefonts.com/ and then search for the font you want to download. For example, we are downloading a font named Art Brewery through this website.

Download Font with Web Browser

Click the Download button for saving the .zip file of this font.

Save the Font

The .zip file will be saved to your Downloads folder.

2. Using a Command Line Application

Open your Ubuntu Terminal application either through the Dash or the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Enter the following command:

$ wget -O ~/Downloads/bakery.zip https://www.1001freefonts.com/d/17943/bakery.zip

Then unzip the file through the following command:

$ unzip -p ~/Downloads/bakery.zip bakery.ttf > ~/Downloads/bakery.ttf

Download and unpack Font File on the shell

Your Downloads folder will now contain the bakery.ttf file.

Step 2: Download Font Manager

The Font Manager provides a very effective way to install a downloaded font to your system. The Font Manager can be downloaded through the Ubuntu Software or through the command line by entering the following command in the Terminal:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt -y install font-manager

Install Font Manager

The Font Manager will be installed on your system and can be accessed through the Ubuntu Dash.

Start Ubuntu Font Manager

Step 3: Install a Downloaded Font

Once the Font Manager is open, you can use the ‘+’ button in the top bar to add a downloaded font.

Install the downloaded Font

Here we are adding the Bakery font to our system by accessing its .zip file from the Downloads folder. After selecting the zip file, the font will be installed to your system.

Please note that only the user that has installed the font can use it, as the font installed this way is stored in that user’s /local/share/fonts directory.

Now this font will also be visible in the fonts list of LibreOffice

Font is available in LibreOffice now

Install Fonts for All Users

You can install a font that can be used by all users of the system by entering the following commands in your Terminal:

$ sudo mkdir /usr/local/share/fonts/example
$ sudo cp ~/Downloads/Bakery.ttf /usr/local/share/fonts/example/

Through this article, you have learned how to download and install a font that is otherwise not available in your system fonts. You may wish to install it only for yourself or for all users accessing your system. You can download a font both through a web browser or through command line depending on what you prefer. Please remember to remove all the unused custom fonts as they might slow down your system.

How to Install Custom Fonts on a Ubuntu System