How to install fonts into Microsoft Office

Adding fonts into Microsoft Office is easy but the standard advice doesn’t always work.  We’ll show you how to install a font and avoid the trap.

Font installation has nothing to do with Word, Excel or PowerPoint.  It’s all done in Windows.

Firstly, download the new fonts.  There are many fonts, free and paid around the Internet.

The fonts may come in a .ZIP file download. Unpack that so the fonts themselves are saved on your computer.

Windows fonts are normally in  .OTF OpenType format  or the older but commonly used TrueType or .TTF format.

Here’s the contents of a typical font .ZIP download:

There are sample images and, in this case, an example document. We’re interested in the .ttf files.

Installation trap

The common ‘install a font’ advice is to double-click on the .ttf file which is the Windows default action.  However the default is sometimes overridden by another program which handles fonts.

The clue is in the font icon. Look at the above image, the two .ttf fonts have an icon for our image editor (ACDSee).  If you double click on the font file, it will open up in the program, not install the font.

Install the font

The quick way to install a font is to right-click, choose Open With … then the Windows Font Viewer.

In the Windows Font Viewer, there’s a preview of the font and the all-important Install button.

Via Control Panel

The other way to install a font is via the Control Panel | Fonts panel.

Drag the .otf or .ttf file from an Explorer window into the Font window.


In both cases, the font will be copied into the Windows system (that’s the default setting). You can delete the original font file.

Viewing a new font in Word, Excel or PowerPoint

These days, Office will update the font list automatically when a new font is installed.

However, if there’s an open document which uses the new font you’ll have to close the document and re-open.  That will force Office to re-render the document using the newly arrived font.