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How To Install Custom Fonts for Google Docs

Posted by Robert Hayes on May 12, 2019

Fonts are everywhere these days, and they come in just about every sort of style you can imagine (and some you probably can’t imagine)! The world of free fonts has never provided more choice than it does today, and they’ve never been easier to access. One excellent source for fonts is the Google Fonts website, which has an extensive repository of 915 font families as of early 2019. This repository of open source fonts is a huge, easily accessible, and easily browsable resource for anyone using typography. While intended for use in the Google Docs word processing program and on HTML websites, the Google Fonts repository is open for anyone to use however they wish. In this article I will show you how to use the Google Fonts repository in your Google Docs documents, as well as how to install them to a Windows 10 machine for local use.

Add New Custom Fonts to Google Docs Documents

Before you install any new fonts on Windows, preview them in a Google Docs document first, just to make sure you like the way it looks. If you have been living under an abandoned barn for the past twenty years and don’t have a Google account, you can create a free account here, and you’ll be rolling in no time. Once you have a Google account, visit Google Docs and click Blank to open the word processor as in the snapshot directly below.

Click the Font drop-down menu (it probably says “Arial” on your document, as that’s the default for Google Docs) on the Google Docs toolbar. Then click More fonts to open the window shown directly below. There you can select a full collection of Google fonts to add to Docs’ Font drop-down menu.

Click the Show button to open a drop-down menu of categories. Then you can search for fonts in more specific categories, as trying to browse through all of them in one lump category would get more than a little be overwhelming. Select a font to add to the document, and press the OK button. Enter some text in the document and format the font to preview it in the word processor.

Add Fonts to Google Docs Using Extensis Fonts

Google’s built-in additional fonts are very useful, but they come with two problems: one, not every Google font makes it into the Google Fonts system, and two, you have to go into Google Fonts every time you want to use a different font. The Extensis Fonts add-on for Docs fixes both of these problems by putting all your fonts in an easily-accessed menu, as well as auto-updating whenever a new font hits the Google Fonts library.

Installing Extensis Fonts is very easy. In an open Google Docs document, select Add-ons and type “Extensis” into the search bar and hit return. Click on the +Free button and it will automatically install after asking you which Google account to install it on and asking for permission to install. After you install Extensis Fonts, activating it is simple. Go to the Add-ons menu and select Extensis Fonts -> Start.

Extensis Fonts will open in the sidebar with a preview of all your fonts and the ability to sort and select them effortlessly.

Add Fonts to Windows from the Google Fonts Website

Using the Google Fonts repository in Google Docs is simple; you just use the fonts as outlined above. However, if you want a little more control over customizing the document as a whole then you may prefer a desktop word processor such as Microsoft Word, and in that case you’ll need to download the fonts you want to use to your local machine. Just navigate to Google Fonts to get started.

Now you can browse through an expansive directory of fonts by clicking Directory at the top of the Google Fonts website. To find some of the fonts you entered in the Docs word processor, click the Show search and filters button at the top right of the page. That will open the search sidebar, as in the shot directly below. Enter the font name in the search box to find it, or select a specific category filter for a more general font search.

Click the Select this font + buttons to choose fonts for download. Then you can click a minimized Families Selected window at the bottom of the page to open your selection of fonts, as shown directly below. Click the Download this selection button to save the selected fonts to your hard drive.

The fonts are saved within a compressed ZIP file. Open the folder you downloaded them to in File Explorer, and click the new font ZIP file. Extract the compressed ZIP folder by pressing the Extract all button, which will open the window shown directly below. Click the Browse button to select a folder to extract the ZIP to, and then press the Extract button.

Open the extracted font folder, and then right-click one of the Google font files and select the Install option on the context menu. To select multiple fonts, hold and press the Ctrl button. Alternatively, you can drag-and-drop Google fonts from the extracted folder into the Windows fonts folder instead. The path for the Fonts folder is: C:\Windows\Fonts.

Next, open your word processor in Windows and click its font drop-down menu to select the new Google font from there. Note that you can also select the fonts in image editors and other office software.

Add Google Fonts to Windows With SkyFonts

You can also add the Google fonts to Windows with extra third-party software. SkyFonts is free font management software that you can use to install and maintain your fonts. Using SkyFonts is recommended because if a font family changes, SkyFonts will automatically keep you up to date with the new or corrected fonts. That’s one less thing to worry about forgetting. Just visit the SkyFonts site and click Download SkyFonts to add the software to Windows. You’ll also need to set up an account on the SkyFonts website by clicking Sign in. 

Thereafter, press the Browse Google Fonts button on the SkyFonts site to open the window shown below. To add one of the listed fonts to Windows, click its SkyFonts button. Then press the Add button to install that font on Windows.

The Google Fonts directory is a great collection of web fonts which anyone can use for their own purposes. Now you can include those fonts in your documents, and even add them to your images, using Windows word processors and image editors. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this Tech Junkie guide even tells you how to install Harry Potter fonts!

Other Cool Font and Text Effects in Google Docs

There are a lot of other cool things you can do with fonts in Google Docs. Here are just a few of them.

DocTools

DocTools is a free addon for Docs that adds more than a dozen helpful text features to your documents. DocTools lets you change case, adjust font sizes, change numbers to the equivalent words and vice-versa, add and remove highlighting, and more with just a single click.

Magic Rainbow Unicorns

Magic Rainbow Unicorns (really) lets you turn your boring text into a literal rainbow of color. Just select the area of text you want to rainbow-ify (rainbow-ize? imbue with rainbowness?) and pick your starting and ending color range, and Magic Rainbow Unicorns (again, really) will automatically convert the text color into a beautiful rainbow.

Fun Text

Fun Text is an add-on that lets you add all kinds of neat visual effects to your text, including rainbows, random colors, fades, and much more. You can make your letters grow, turn upside down…it’s really quite, well, fun.

Auto LaTeX

OK, this add-on isn’t particularly fun (no rainbows) but it is really powerful and useful for folks doing scientific, mathematical, or engineering work in Google Docs. One of the dominant word processing programs for academic work is called LaTeX, and its main claim to fame is that it handles formulas and equations really well. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do that in Google Docs? Well, you can with Auto LaTeX. This addon takes any LaTeX equation string in your document and turns it into an image that you can work with transparently.

Insert Icons for Docs

One reason people want custom fonts is that many fonts have special characters that can be used in documents. This add-on bypasses that kind of clumsy solution, instead letting you just directly import all the special characters you want. Icons for Docs lets you import more than 900 icons from Font Awesome and 900 icons from Google Material Design, change their color, and resize them directly in the document.

Signature

Signing documents online is usually a pain in the rear. Signature changes that. Install the add-on, activate it in the document, and then draw your signature with the mouse. Done.

Looking for more information on how to get the most out of Google Docs? We’ve got you covered!

Want to communicate with your coworkers? We’ll show you how to send a message in Google Docs!

One common need for Docs users is to export their work to HTML. Here’s how to convert your Google Docs into HTML.

We’ve got a tutorial on how to put an image behind text in Google Docs.

Did you know you can use Google Docs as a source code editor? We’ll show you how to set up formatting syntax in Google Docs.

If you need columnar information, you’ll want to read our guide to creating columns in Google Docs.

Not crazy about Google’s flagship office suite? Check out our guide to five alternatives to Google Docs.

Been working with someone and now need to block their access? Here’s our tutorial on how to kick someone out of a Google Doc.

 

4 thoughts on “How To Install Custom Fonts for Google Docs”

Kelly says:
I created my own font in Calligraphr and downloaded it to my Mac but I can’t figure out how to use it in google docs.
Reply
dph says:
It’s not possible to add a local or custom font to Google Docs. That’s because Docs uses only special web-based fonts, not locally stored fonts. You can only add fonts from those that Google offers.
Reply
Lola says:
Re: Julia’s post. I’d like to know this, too!!
Reply
Julia says:
Hi, I purchased a font from ‘creative market place’ and I want to use it in Google docs… I’m wondering if it’s possible to upload this font from my hard drive? The struggle is real!
Reply
Stefanie says:
Same here!
Reply
Marcy Peterson says:
Same here. too!

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