Steal the Windows or Mac OS fonts

Some Windows fonts are ubiquitous (Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana etc), to the extent that websites and business documents demand them. There are two ways of grabbing them for your Ubuntu system. The first, and easiest, is to use Synaptic to search for and install the msttcorefonts package. This will give you the Microsoft Core Web Fonts, which includes most of the popular ones. Note that during installation you'll be warned about needing to install Debian Font Manager. This can be ignored—just click Next when it appears.

The other way to get the fonts is to steal them from your Windows or Mac OS X installation. This is better in some ways because you can grab all the fonts included with Windows and Mac OS X (including some like Tahoma, that aren't provided by the msttcorefonts package), as well as those installed subsequently by other applications, such as Microsoft Office.

Importing fonts from Microsoft Windows

To import fonts if you dual-boot with Windows, follow these steps:

1. Access the Windows/fonts folder in your Windows partition—it's usually called something similar to Fonts and can be found in the Windows folder. Then, click to View as List in Nautilus and then click runio FiJa siiuïjsar

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Figure 3.28: Selecting Windows fonts for importing into Ubuntu (see Tip 170, on the preceding page)

the Type heading to sort by file extension. Shift-click to select all the TrueType fonts, then right-click the selection and select Copy. See Figure 3.28 for an example.

2. Use Nautilus to browse to your /home folder. Then right-click, select Create Folder, and type fonts as its name. Once it's created, double-click it. Then right-click anywhere in the empty space and select Paste. Once the files have been copied across, return to your /home folder and rename the fonts folder to .fonts. Note that this makes it into a hidden folder—to access it in future in Nautilus, you will need to click View ^ Show Hidden Files.

Your fonts will now be available in all applications, although you will have to restart any applications that are running (Firefox, etc) so they can make use of them.

Import fonts from Macintosh OS X

To import fonts from your Mac OS X partition, a little more work is required. Generally speaking, Mac fonts are usually either in TrueType form (.ttf), as with Windows, or .dfont, in which case they must be converted using the fondu tool.

Here are the necessary steps:

1. The easiest method of importing your Mac fonts is to copy all the fonts into a new folder on your Ubuntu desktop. Do this by mounting the Mac partition (selecting its entry on the Places menu) and copying the contents of both /Library/Fonts and /System/Library/Fonts in the Mac partition to the new folder.

2. Use Synaptic to search for and install fondu. Once it's installed, open a terminal window, navigate to the new folder full of Mac fonts, and type the following to convert them:

3. Open the new folder in a Nautilus window, click to View as List, and sort the fonts by file extension (click the Type heading), so you can then select all the .ttf fonts by shift-clicking. Once selected, right-click the fonts and select Copy. Then follow the second step in the Windows instructions to create a .fonts folder into which you can copy the .ttf fonts.

When using Microsoft or Mac OS X fonts, follow Tip 21, on page 79 to switch Ubuntu to a different type of font rendering. I also found imported Mac OS X fonts looked better if I subsequently switched font hinting to either None or Slight (System ^ Preferences ^ Appearance; click the Fonts tab and then click the Details button)

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