How to Add Fonts to Silhouette Studio

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Hi, my name is Lycia, and I am addicted to fonts!  Sketch fonts, curly fonts, block fonts, color fonts, fat fonts, thin fonts – I LOVE them all! Once you know how to add fonts to Silhouette Studio, you’ll find out just how versatile they are and how they can be used to enhance your projects. But beware…you may become addicted too!

What fonts can be used in Silhouette Studio?

The most common file types for fonts are True Type (.ttf) and Open Type (.otf). Any True Type or Open Type font installed on your computer can be used in Silhouette Studio

Downloaded fonts will often include both the OTF and TTF versions. In most cases, the OTF is the preferred version because it allows better access to the swirls and special characters known as glyphs.

All of the fonts installed on your computer and available for use in Studio will show up in the Text Style Panel, but only fonts purchased directly from the Silhouette Design Store will appear in the Silhouette Library

Where to find fonts to use in Silhouette Studio

You can find literally thousands of fonts online, from hundreds of sources, in both free and paid versions. Not all fonts are created equal, however, so always exercise caution and only download fonts from reputable sources. 

Here are a few of the sites I trust:

How to add fonts to Silhouette Studio (Basic Process)

There are four basic steps to add a font to Silhouette Studio:

  1. Download the font.
  2. Unzip the font file (if necessary).
  3. Install the font.
  4. Restart Silhouette Studio.

How you actually go about the process will depend on whether the font is purchased from the Silhouette Design Store or from another source.

How to Download Fonts from the Silhouette Design Store

The fonts sold through the Design Store are separated into two types: Craft & Premium. Craft fonts usually consist only of letters, numbers, and basic symbols, while Premium fonts include glyphs.

Most of the time, Design Store fonts can be used in applications other than Silhouette Studio, such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, etc, but are only guaranteed to work in Studio.

When you purchase a font through the Silhouette Design Store, it will automatically be added to your Silhouette Library. If you are running a version of Studio that is 4.1.441 or higher, Design Store fonts should also automatically install to your computer at the time of purchase. 

However, there are some instances when you will need to download the font file to your hard drive and install it as a separate step in order for it to be available to all applications.

To download the font file at time of purchase:

In this example, I’m using the Wonky Chocolate font by Erin Doran, Design Store ID 396540.

  1. Click on the thumbnail of the font you want to purchase.
  2. If you have credit in your Design Store account, click on the Express option to bypass the checkout process, then click Proceed
Wonky Chocolate font by Erin Doran
Proceed from express checkout silhouette design store
  1. When you see the second popup message, click on Download Item, then Direct Download. (You can also set up your account to automatically download your order each time.) Be sure to note the name of the download file and which folder you specify for the download so you’ll know where to find it when it’s time to unzip and install.
Silhouette Design Store Express Checkout
SIlhouette Design Store Direct Download
  1. If you don’t have credit in your account, you will be given the Direct Download option once you complete the traditional checkout process.

To download the font file after time of purchase:

In this example, I’m using the Samantha Signature font by Behind the Ink, Design Store ID 394078

  1. Click on the thumbnail of the font you want to download.*
  2. Click on the Download button.
  3. When asked if you want to download the file, click on Download. Be sure to make a note of the folder name (which is actually the Design Store order number).
Samantha Signature font by Behind the Ink

*If a previously purchased font is no longer available for sale in the Design Store, you can still download it from your Purchase History:

  1. Click on the avatar next to the shopping cart icon at the top right of the Design Store website.
  2. Click on Account Settings.
  3. From the Account Settings window, click on Orders.
  4. Under My Designs, click on the words Click here to view all the designs you own.
  5. Optional: Using the checkboxes on the left of the screen, filter the view to show only Fonts.
  6. Locate the thumbnail of the font you want to download and proceed as above.
downloading previously purchased files from the silhouette design store

Once the file is downloaded, follow the directions below for unzipping and installing.

How to Download Fonts from Other Sources

The process of downloading a font is fairly straightforward, although each site will look a little different. Free fonts should have a button on the page that says “Download”, “Download OTF”, or something similar. 

Downloading a font

When you purchase a font, you’ll usually be taken to a download page with a download button or an order confirmation page that gives instructions on how to download the purchased font. 

Specify the location on your hard drive where you want to save the file, then follow the directions below for unzipping and installing.

Downloading a font to a Windows PC

How to Unzip and Install a Font (Windows)

Font file downloads are often compressed to save space. If the font file you downloaded looks like a folder with a zipper on it, that means it is a “zipped” (compressed) file and it will need to be unzipped before you can install the font file. 

  1. Go to the location on your computer where you saved the zipped font file.
  2. Right-click on the name of the zipped folder and choose Extract All. Select a destination folder (or make note of the default destination) and click on Extract.
How to Extract a font file
How to extract a font file
  1. When the unzipped (extracted) folder opens, select the font(s) to be installed (choose the OTF version, if available), right-click on the font name and choose Install for all users.
Font file install for all users

How to Unzip and Install a Font (Mac)

  1. Go to the location on your computer where you saved the zipped font file.
  2. Double-click the font file to unzip.
  3. Open the unzipped folder and double-click on the filename of the font to be installed (choose the OTF version, if available). When the preview window opens, click on the Install Font button at the bottom.
How to install a font on a Mac

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’ve followed these steps to download and install a font, but can’t find the font in the font list of the Text Style Panel, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. If Silhouette Studio was open when you installed the font, be sure to completely shut down the program and restart for the font to show up in the font list.
  2. Patience is a virtue. Depending on how many fonts you have installed on your system, it may take a few minutes for the font list to populate when Studio is first opened.
  3. Some fonts don’t appear on the list in the order you would expect them to. Often the first few letters of the font are the designer’s initials, rather than the font name. For instance, Lori Whitlock’s Sweet Tea font is listed as “LW Sweet Tea”. Other times the font my have a file name that’s somewhat different from the font name. For example, many of Illustration Ink’s fonts begin with “LD” (since Illustration Ink was formerly known as Lettering Delights), “PN”, or “ZP” (which I can only assume has something to do with their own personal naming convention).
  4. When a font is part of a font family, or includes variations, the variations will be listed as a style option once the main font name is selected. To view the style options, select the main font name and then click on the drop-down arrow next to the B I U options in the Text Style Panel (see example below).
  5. More font and glyph troubleshooting tips can be found on the Silhouette America website.

Other Font Posts

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I hope this tutorial has helped you feel more confident in how to add fonts to Silhouette Studio. If you have any questions, drop a comment below or come visit me over in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group and I’ll be glad to help!

Until next time,

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