How-to: Install Microsoft Windows Fonts in Ubuntu

However many Open Source fonts you acquire, there's no getting away from the fact that a lot of documents and web pages are designed with the Microsoft Windows standard fonts and substitution can produce strange results - particularly when you start exchanging documents with MS-Office users.

Which is why 'Install Windows TTF fonts' always appears in those lists of "Ten things to do after installing/upgrading..."

In Ubuntu you can install Microsoft Windows fonts in several ways.

Selective Manual Copy
If you are dual-booting, or networked to a Windows install, you could copy the fonts directly from Windows.

  • Create a new folder in your Ubuntu Home folder and name it “Fonts“
  • Copy your Windows True Type font (TTF) files directly from Windows into the Fonts folder
  • You won't want all of them, just the common ones; Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, Verdana, Wingdings, Webdings and the like.
  • Rename the folder “Fonts” to “.Fonts” to hide the folder; this is what Linux expects.
  • You can either re-start Ubuntu or refresh the font-cache using the terminal command:
    sudo fc-cache -fv
  • You will certainly need to re-start Libre Office programs, browsers and anything else running while you did this to force a read-read of the font cache.
Alternatively, after you copy and paste the Windows True Type fonts (TTF) files from windows into that new “Fonts“ renamed to ".Fonts", then as long as you change your file manager's Show Hidden Files status to 'On', you can then double click each font file individually to open it in the Ubuntu font viewer. Click the 'install font' button bottom-right of the font viewer.

Terminal Method
There is a traditional command-line method for the die-hards which will install a whole bundle of common Windows fonts.

Open a terminal and use the command:
sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
(to open terminal go to Applications->Accessories->Terminal)

Using Software Centre (or Synaptic Package Manager)
A quick search in Software Center (or Synaptic Package Manager) for the package ttf-mscorefonts should bring up ttf-mscorefonts-installer; choose Install (in Synaptic, select mark for installation then click on Apply.) RC