Tools & Tips

How to Install New Fonts in Inkscape

I wrote a post a few months ago about using SkyFonts to install new fonts that could be read by Inkscape, a freeware graphic design package that is a great substitute for Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. When a client was asked me about this, I directed them to my original post, only to discover that those instructions no longer work. Typical! The question then, is how to solve this persistent issue with Inkscape when the SkyFonts (which I find has become unreliable and unstable) workaround doesn’t work?

The new solution involves nothing more complicated (on Windows) than installing them in the standard fonts directory (C:\Windows\Fonts) but it also seems that in some cases this also fails to work. In my client’s case, it was because the fonts were not installed for all users. This means when you have downloaded a font, instead of double-clicking then clicking Install you have to right-click and choose Install for all users instead. Fine, but my client didn’t have this option! If this is the situation you find yourself in, here are instructions for adding new fonts that will be read by Inkscape (and Gimp). If they work for you (or if they don’t!), drop a comment below.

Install new fonts in Windows that can read by Inkscape and Gimp

Download and unzip your new font files.

When you download a new font, it usually comes as a zip file. a. Download the zip files then extract all the files.

Install the fonts.

a. Navigate to the folder containing the new font files. These will usually be in TTF format.b. Select all the files, then right-click and click Install.If you see a shield icon next to the Install instruction you will be installing it as an administrator and the font will install for all users by default. If you do not see this option, you do not see this option, try holding Shift when you right-click, the choose Install for all users. As above, you should then see the shield icon next to this instruction.Finally, if this doesn’t work, move the fonts folder you created to somewhere on your C drive (I suggest C:\Temp) and they repeat this step. This will remove the fonts from what may be a user-assigned directory.

Open Inkscape and use your new font!

If you had Inkscape open, close it, then launch it again. Your new fonts should be listed.

How did it go? Are your fonts all installed?

If you’ve not heard of this software before, it’s worth a look. You can download Inkscape from here and Gimp (like Photoshop but without the price tag) here.

A chalk board with the text: Use SkyFonts with Inkscape
Tools & Tips

Link SkyFonts to Inkscape

Two pieces of free software I like to use are SkyFonts, a font manager that you use to manage any non-system fonts downloaded from Google Fonts or Font.com, and Inkscape, a free vector graphics tool that is a good freeware substitute for Adobe Illustrator. I find Inkscape to more akin to the old Corel Draw vector software, which I always found more intuitive than Illustrator. But of course this is freeware, which means sometimes workarounds are necessary to accomplish a few tasks that you might take for granted when using paid for software. One such task is linking the SkyFonts manager to Inkscape.

By default, fonts that you add into SkyFonts won’t show up in the fonts list in Inkscape. This is because Inkscape looks in your %USERPROFILE%/.fonts directory for your typefaces. For Inkscape to find typefaces stored in your SkyFonts directory, you just need to creat a symlink.

To do this:

  1. Launch the command prompt.
  2. Type cd.. and hit return, and repeat until you get to the root directory (usually C:).
  3. Type (or copy) this command at the prompt: 
    mklink /D "%USERPROFILE%\.fonts" "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Monotype\skyfonts-google"
  4. Hit Return and the symlink has been created.
  5. Check your list of fonts in Inkscape, and you should now see all your SkyFonts listed.

That’s it!

Are you looking for software advice or troubleshooting advice? Contact me for help and advice.

Tools & Tips

Spring Clean Your System: Part One

Clean Up Your Hard Drive

Regularly cleaning your computer’s hard drive, removing unwanted and outdated files, is an important computer maintenance task that can be easily overlooked but that is quick to do and has lots of benefits in terms of security and the smooth-running of your equipment.

When we use our computers – writing documents, editing photos, checking our e-mails, browsing the Internet, or whatever – the programmes that we use create and store temporary files that build up unless we manually delete them. Sometimes these introduce security vulnerabilities but more often than not they just fill up the computer and slow it down. They’re a fact of life; the computing equivalent of that fluff ball that always appears in the corner of the room.

There are various free tools we can use to remove them, all of them safe and secure. In this post, the first in the Spring Clean Your System series, I guide you step-by-step through the process of cleaning out the junk files. In this post we’ll be using CCleaner, which is a free application you find online.

Install and Run CCleaner

The very first task, if you haven’t already got the program on your computer, is to download and install CCleaner

Once this is done, open the CCleaner application.

When you first open it you will see that there is a list of programs under the Windows tab, a menu on the left hand side, and a Check for Updates link on the bottom right.

If this isn’t the first time you’ve used CCleaner, click Check for Updates and update the program before using it, to ensure you have the latest version.

Run CCleaner on Windows and your Applications

When you first open the application, the options that are selected are the recommended defaults for cleaning, so you see things like Internet Cache, Internet History, etc. apps selected. There are also a number of options that aren’t selected and are slightly greyed out underneath those that are checked. I usually check these but whether you do this or not is up to you. I would recommend you leave the as they are and just go ahead with the defaults. This will give you system a good clean but will also keep some of the useful data that is stored, such as Saved Passwords and Autocomplete Forms History, intact. Of course, if you’re happy to delete that information, go ahead and tick those extra boxes.

CCleaner1.gif

The same goes for the Applications tab; just leave the defaults as they are unless you want do a very deep clean, which would mean also deleting some potentially useful data, like stored passwords.

To run the application, make sure your Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) is closed. If a browser window is open you will get an error when you try to run CCleaner as it won’t be able to clean the files associated with it.

Click the Analyze button. This does a dummy clean, which you can check before doing it for real. With this in progress, the Analyze button changes to a Cancel button and the status bar appears, showing you how much of the clean is complete (in the screenshot below you can see it’s at 35%).

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When this is done you’ll get an overview. In the screenshot below you can see the list of programs that have been analyzed and how much data can be deleted in the clean. It’s been a while since I ran this, so you can see I have ~14GB of data to clean!

Also note, that I didn’t take my own advice when running the app, so Google Chrome, which as open at the time, has not been cleaned. I will have to run it again a second time, with the browser closed, to clean that up.

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Now click the Run Cleaner button to remove the files from your hard disk.

When the process has finished (you will see a progress bar, as you did when you first analysed the clean) the Cleaning Completed screen, as shown below, is displayed.

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That’s it! We’re halfway there. Now to clean up the registry.

Run CCleaner on the Registry

Click on the Registry tab from the left menu.

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Again, we’ll just use the defaults. This will check the computer registry for errors.

First click the Scan for Issues button. If your system is anything like mine quite a lot of files will come up! These are usually files that are added when a new application is installed or an software update is performed.

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At the end of the scan you’ll see a list of issues.

Next click the Fix Selected Issues button to run the program again.

At the prompt, click Yes. CCleaner will run the Registry scan again, this time fixing the issues that have been identified.

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Navigate to or create the folder where you wish to save your registry file backup, then click Save.

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At the next popup window, click Fix Issues (to go through every issue one at a time) or click Fix All Selected Issues (recommended.)

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CCleaner will start to go through the list of issues and will show this screen when it has finished.

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At this point you could close CCleaner and move onto the next step, but it’s always useful to run the Registry Cleaning steps again and then again until no files are found. On my system, on this occasion, I ran it a total of four times. The first time it found 991 issues. The second time it found a further 29 issues. The third time, 12 issues. Then we were done – no more registry issues, yay!

Update and Run your Anti-Virus Software

Now, one last job because it’s easily overlooked and now would be a good time to do it: update and run your antivirus software. There are too many packages available for me to be able to document instructions so if you need help specific to your system, want some help go through the steps outlined in this article, or would like me to do all of this for you, in person or remotely, call or email to arrange a personalised session. 

A full PC clean, at your home, on up to three computers, will cost 100 euros. Call today to arrange a time!

Download Links

CCleaner  https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/download


Why are we doing this? Read Spring Clean Your System Series: Introduction to find out.

Image credit: iStock.com/valio84sl