Installing fonts in GIMP is, thankfully, a very simple process – especially if you are using a Windows machine (if you are using a MAC, I recommend checking out my article on How to Install Fonts in GIMP for MAC). However, if you still aren’t quite sure how to do it – or don’t want to risk screwing anything up when trying to install custom or third-party fonts – fret not! In this tutorial, I show you how to install fonts in GIMP (using the latest version of GIMP at the time of this tutorial).
You can watch the video version of this tutorial below, or scroll down past the video to read the text version (with photos) – available in multiple languages (via the dropdown in the top left corner).
Step 1 – Find the Font You Want to Use from the Web
There are several websites that allow you to download free custom fonts, or purchase premium fonts, to install and use in GIMP. Downloading creative assets from the web usually has an element of risk to it, so make sure anything you download is run through an anti-virus program or file scanner before extracting or opening the files on your computer.
Previous font websites I have used in the past in tutorials or for my own personal projects include DaFont.com and FontSquirrel.com – though I cannot personally vouch for these websites as the safety of the font downloads depends on each font file individually (meaning that while one font download on a site may be safe, another on that same site may not be). In my experience, though, most font downloads are safe – especially if run through a virus scanner first.
Step 2 – Download and Extract Your Font
Once you have located the font you want to use, download the font package to your computer and scan it with a virus scanner (I know, I sound like a broken record). Fonts are typically downloaded as ZIP files that need to be extracted. For this tutorial, I downloaded a font called “Lobster,” which is a pretty popular font, from Font Squirrel (shown in the image above – the download link is denoted by the red arrow in the image above).
One I have the font downloaded to my computer, I’ll locate the ZIP file by clicking on the arrow next to the file download at the bottom of my browser window (denoted by the green arrow in the image above). Then, I’ll click on “Show in Folder” (denoted by the red arrow in the image above). This will take me to the ZIP file.
Right click on the ZIP folder for your font and go to “Extract All” (denoted by the red arrow in the photo above). You will then be prompted to choose a file location where you would like to extract your font files (you can stick with the downloads folder) – hit the Extract button to extract to this file location.
Step 3 – Install Your Font
After you have extracted your files, double click on the OTF (OpenType font file – denoted by the red arrow in the image above) in the extracted folder (which should pop up automatically after you have extracted the ZIP file).
Next, click the “Install” button at the top of the font window. This will install the font on your computer, meaning any program that uses OTF fonts will now have this font installed (including GIMP).
Step 4 – Find + Use Your New Font in GIMP
Finally, open up GIMP and bring up the Fonts dockable dialogue (denoted by the green arrow in the image above – if you don’t see it open already, go to Windows>Dockable Dialogues>Fonts). Your new font should now be installed in GIMP. If not, click on the green “Rescan all fonts” arrow to reload all fonts in GIMP (denoted by the red arrow in the image above).
Fonts Still Not Loading?
If you are still unable to see your fonts, there is one last thing you can do to get new fonts to show up in GIMP. Go to Edit>Preferences and scroll down to the “Folders” menu option near the bottom.
Expand the Folders menu and scroll down to “Fonts.” Click on this folder.
Double check that the file location where your fonts were installed are listed in GIMP. If it is not there, click the “Add a new folder” option and then click the “Open a file selector to browse your folders” option.
From here, you can navigate your computer until you find the file location of your font. Once you have selected the proper file, click OK.