How To Install Custom Fonts for Google Docs
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. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get started.
Add New Custom Fonts to Google Docs Documents
Before you install any new fonts on Windows, preview them in a Google Docs document first. This will help you make sure you actually like the way it looks. If you don’t have a Google account yet, 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 shown 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.
From there, you can select a full collection of Google fonts to add to the 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. This is much more convenient as trying to browse through all of them in one big category would get more than a little be overwhelming.
Select any font you like 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: first, not every Google font makes it into the Google Fonts system, and second, you have to go into Google Fonts every time you want to use a different font.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to these issues. The Extensis Fonts add-on for Docs fixes both of these problems by putting all your fonts in an easy-to-access menu and 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’ in the upper left-hand corner 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. To do so, just 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. This extension also gives you the ability to sort and select them effortlessly.
Add Fonts to Windows from the Google Fonts Website
What if you want to use Google Fonts locally on your Windows machine?
Fortunately, 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. 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 shown 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 the fonts that you want to download.
- Next, you can click the minimized Families Selected window at the bottom of the page to open your selection of fonts, as shown in the screenshot directly below.
- Click the Download this selection button to save the selected fonts to your hard drive.
The fonts will be 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. Doing this will open the window shown directly below. Click the Browse button to select a folder to extract the ZIP to and press the Extract button.
Open the extracted font folder, 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:WindowsFonts.
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.
That’s all there is to it. Just follow the steps outlined above and you’ll be able to use Google Fonts on your Windows computer in no time.
Add Google Fonts to Windows With SkyFonts
You can also add the Google fonts to Windows with extra third-party software. SkyFonts is a 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.
After downloading the software, 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 that you probably aren’t aware of. If you want to take your documents to the next level, take a look at these cool and unique font and text effects.
DocTools is a free add-on 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.
Download the add-on and play around with its features to see the amazing things you can do with this free tool.
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. Once you do this, Magic Rainbow Unicorns (again, really) will automatically convert the text color into a beautiful rainbow.
Of course, you could do this yourself with text highlighting, but it would be very time-consuming. This add-on makes it much easier and quicker.
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.
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 add-on 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, it allows you to 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.
Google Docs is an excellent, cloud-based document service. The entire Google suite offers sheets (similar to Microsoft’s Excel) and even Google Forms. With so many customization options, understanding all of the capabilities are going to improve your productivity.