If you love fonts and want to download them all, it may be a good idea to use a font manager program to only enable the fonts you want to use specifically when you need them. When I first got into collecting fonts, I installed them all, and found that by doing this it greatly decreased the performance of my computer. Later on I discovered a great free font management app fell in love with it and have been using it ever since.
The free program that I use for font management is called NexusFont. You can download it here: http://www.xiles.net/nexusfont
When installing fonts natively in windows, the user is required to reboot their system to get the fonts to register in the applications being used. This is a pain!!
Nexus makes the fonts you want to use available on the fly. It also has tools for installing fonts, moving fonts to specific groups and viewing the font’s character map. You can view fonts in different sizes and also preview a word or a sentence.
Organizing Your Fonts
Once you have the program installed, you may not know how to readily add fonts. After learning a lesson the hard way, I began to organize my fonts by classification. I still need to set up sub-folders for some of my dingbat fonts because they are very resource intensive. You may order your fonts however you like on your computer. I have categories such as “Western” and “Vintage”, and I also have a folder containing a group of fonts that I use on a regular basis.
Keep Your Fonts on a Local Drive
It would be preferable to keep these fonts on your local hard drive and not an external drive. The reason for this is that in windows your drive letter can change if you plug in an external drive into a different USB port. Also there are varying speeds with different types of external hard drives, which can greatly effect performance.
I personally have a special partition for all of my design resources, that way if I reformat my computer, everything I have is ready and available with no need to back up my files. So my drive letter/path for fonts will likely differ from yours.
Step 1. Add Group
Right Click on “Library” and select “Add Group”. This will create a folder where you can add groups of font folders.
Step 2. Add Folder
Right click on the folder you created in step one and select “Add Folder”. You will be prompted to browse to the directory where your fonts are located. Yours will likely be somewhere on your C: drive
If you have a ton of fonts and they are categorized in one top level folder DO NOT select the entire folder as shown below!! Click on the drop down arrow and choose the sub folder. Whichever folder you choose will become the folder name for the subfolder in Nexus Fonts.
In my /FONTS/ folder (on my computer) I have many many folders. For this tutorial I chose a folder titled “Sugar Frog Fonts”. In the screenshot below it has been added to the top level group. You can continue the steps above to add folder groups in this manner.
These are the basics for setting up Nexus font. Whichever folder you select while Nexus Font is running, will make the fonts available in office apps, most web apps (like Pixlr) and photoshop. This app will not work for Gimp, but there’s a workaround and I’ve posted it at the end of this tutorial.
Using Nexus Font’s Character Map Tool
You can select a font to see it’s various glyphs and get the character to copy into your working application.
In Nexus Font, right click on the font you want to use and select “Charmap“.
Click on the character you’d like to copy and then the select button on the right. You can highlight the character, copy it and paste it into your office app or graphic design program.
You will need to have the corresponding font selected in the application you are using.
Using Nexus Font with Gimp
Once you’ve chosen what font(s) you want to use, right click on the font and choose “Copy to Folder”. You can select multiple fonts to copy all at once. There are little buttons that display red check boxes on the left when they are selected. See screenshot Below
Browse to your user directory and look for gimp version number and then “fonts”.
Restart gimp or refresh your fonts. To refresh your fonts go to Windows>Dockable Dialogues>Fonts. From there you can click on the little refresh button at the bottom of the fonts dialogue. If you have not moved a very large amount, they should refresh without restarting gimp.
Hopefully you’ve found this tutorial useful. It will likely save you some time and headaches when managing a rather large font library in windows.