Tip 3: Font-a-licious

Install fonts from HaikuDepot
Gather fonts from some website
Install font manually “system-wide”
Install font manually “user-wide”

All right. So we just installed our brand new Haiku and all the software we needed. We have everything ready to roll, and then we realize there is some buzzing around the head, not mosquitoes, nope:

Picture 1: Default installed fonts

When Haiku is installed for the very first time, the number of available fonts is rather small, check Picture 1. Most likely, anyone would want to add more fonts, be it for sending/reading email, for creating text documents with office suites, do some DTP with software like Scribus, or graphic design with Krita and the like.

It’s clear that Noto, WenQuanYi and Bitstream Charter might not be enough variety to fill the needs of many. Then we need to find a way to add more and more and more fonts until we have the system crowded with fonts in a way that we can’t remember which font we used for what document…. <– Joke πŸ˜‰ –>

1: Install fonts from HaikuDepot

The first and most straightforward way to add fonts to our clean and lean Haiku box is to head to HaikuDepot and search for fonts there:

Picture 2: Searching for fonts at HaikuDepot

Heading to the All packages tab we search the term font and there we have it, the list of available fonts that we can directly install on Haiku. Those fonts available have been packaged by the community, and are ready to roll as soon as you install them.

Problem is, worldwide there are millions, billions, trillions of different fonts, meaning that it’s nearly impossible for the community to package all available fonts. Then, it turns out that maybe the font we need, because we might be working on some marketing campaign and we need some specific font, we might be weird enough to want to use non-conventional fonts, we might be fontaddicted and can’t leave with less than 1.000 fonts hanging around our system, or simply because the font we want to use for a certain task is not available at HaikuDepot.

Then we need to go somewhere else to grab it and make the font available to our system in a different way.

2: Installing fonts manually “system-wide”

Before installing a new font that it’s not available at HaikuDepot, first we need to have that font within our system. On the internet there are plenty of websites that point to thousands of fonts, with different styles, that cover a single language, some multilanguage… with icons… free, free for personal use,… commercial…

For the purpose of this tip we will go to 1001freefonts.com with WebPositive to grab a font:

Picture 3: 1001freefonts.com with the font OrangeJuice we will use at the top

The first font that is there, Orange Juice seems quite interesting for some handwriting, pencil and paper drawing, or whatever purpose, and because it’s summer now and a fresh orange juice feels refreshening, at least more than a snacker or a script. Any font would do though so we will just get Orange Juice and use it as example. You can get the font/fonts you need.

Picture 4: Orange Juice font, already on our system, ready to install

In this section of the Tip we are talking system-wide install, comparing this to user-wide install. Haiku is a single user operating system with multiuser capabilities, meaning that system-wide and user-wide will be the same in the eyes of the user, and the user will not see any difference in the result of installing fonts system-wide vs. installing them user-wide. The process is almost the same for both, differing only on the location where we will drop our fonts within the system folder structure.

For “system-wide” install, we just need to go to the folder system/non-packaged/data/fonts and copy our Orange Juice font there:

Picture 5: Copy our TTF font to the system/non-packaged/data/fonts folder

That’s it. Just copying the font file into the folder system/non-packaged/data/fonts makes the font available to the whole system and ready to be used right away.

3: Installing fonts manually “user-wide”

To install the Orange Juice font “user-wide” we just need to change the location where we are going to drop our font file. Instead of using system/non-packaged/data/fonts, we are going to use a folder in the user Home folder:

Picture 6: Installing font inside user’s Home folder (user-wide)

The folder we will place our font file into is /home/config/non-packaged/data/fonts, as we can see in Picture 6. Most likely, the folder fonts won’t exist in the /home/config/non-packaged/data, meaning we will have to create it before dropping the font file there.

Once the font file is inside the fonts folder, be it the one inside the system folder or the one inside the home folder, the font is ready to be used by the user:

Picture 7: Orange Juice font available inside StyledEdit

And we can use it anywhere across Haiku software:

Picture 8: Using Orange Juice font inside StyledEdit

Now, where do we install those fonts, inside home or inside system paths? The result is the same whether we put the font file in either location, because Haiku is still a single user operating system, so the OS searches for font files in both locations and lets user use fonts from both.

There will be no other user with a different home folder (at least for the time being), therefore, it does not make a big difference. Only if we want to keep the system clean from our stuff (we are the “user”), which is the purpose of the config folder inside home, we would definitely use the home folder path (/home/config/non-packaged/data/fonts).

Go on and start installing your favorite fonts in Haiku! πŸ™‚


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