Tools & Tips

How to Install New Fonts in Inkscape

I wrote a post a few months ago about using SkyFonts to install new fonts in 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:WindowsFonts) 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.

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.