Installing additional fonts

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This article is part of the Tips & Tricks series.
Installation Usage PDF issues Other

Installing fonts

  • Launch scribus, go straight without opening a document to the menu Settings>Fonts... and click on the tab Additional paths.
  • Click on the Add... button and choose the directories, where your fonts are located. Done!
  • For more, see the Scribus Online Documentation

Using Fontconfig to install fonts in 1.3

Scribus 1.3 still supports, and will continue to support, the ability to add extra font paths in the Scribus preferences. However, many people will want to install fonts for their entire system, not just Scribus.

An easy way to do this is with fontconfig. In most cases, just copy the fonts into a folder called .fonts in your home directory. If .fonts doesn't exist, create it. Once you've copied the fonts into the .fonts folder, just run fc-cache. You do not need to run it as root.

When you next launch Scribus, it should find the new fonts. Most other applications on an even remotely modern Linux desktop will also use fontconfig to find fonts, though some major apps still may not (especially vanilla, rather than distro-customised, builds):

  • Mozilla / Firefox / Thunderbird
  • OpenOffice.org
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 5

Multiple font directories with Fontconfig

Fontconfig doesn't restrict you to just one fonts folder. You can have multiple fonts folders if you want, and this can be an immensely useful way to organize a growing collection of fonts from numerous sources. Fonts will still appear the same in Scribus.

To add some extra font directories, first create the directories and put the fonts in them. For now, I suggest using names like .fonts-collectionname. I have, for example, .fonts-unfonts, .fonts-mac-converted, etc. Copy fonts into the directories as appropriate.

To tell fontconfig how to find the directories, all you need to do is add them to the fontconfig config file, usually .fonts.conf in your home directory. This file probably does not yet exist. If it does not exixt, create it with the following contents:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
    <dir>/home/craig/.fonts-mac-converted</dir>
</fontconfig>

Change the <dir>blah</dir> entry to match where your font folder(s) are. You do not need to list /home/$USERNAME/.fonts, it will be found automatically. If you need more fonts folders, just add more <dir>blah</dir> entries, eg:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
    <dir>/home/craig/.fonts-mac-converted</dir>
    <dir>/home/craig/.fonts-unfonts</dir>
    <dir>/home/craig/.fonts-adobe-japanese</dir>
</fontconfig>

The biggest advantage of sorting your fonts this way is that you can keep fonts from different sources clearly separated, and easily enable/disable large blocks of them.

Once you've saved the fontconfig config file, run fc-cache and you're done.