Installing Fonts in The Gimp

The Gimp comes with very few fonts installed. Here is what I did to enhance my copy of the Gimp with more installed fonts.

First, I searched the Internet to find fonts to install.

Once found, these fonts were easily installed using a step-by-step procedure. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Decide which fonts to install.

    Two keywords I searched on together when looking for fonts were freefonts and tar. Searching on these 2 terms with a major search engine gave me very good results and brought me to a copy of some free fonts called (not surprisingly) freefonts.

    The steps I used to install freefonts are described below.

  2. Decide where Gimp fonts will be installed.

    Rather than install my fonts system-wide, I choose to install them in my Home directory. Why? Because then I could make mistakes without screwing up my whole system.

    Using this approach, I am able to limit whatever damage might occur to one user account. Not that installing fonts is all that challenging or dangerous. I wanted to do it this way more on general principle than anything else.

    My fonts were installed on my Linux Slackware 9.0 system. I would imagine that if I were installing under another operating system, I'd have to make some adjustments to the procedure outlined here.

    The place I installed my fonts is in a directory called fonts which I created under my Home directory:

    mkdir fonts

  3. Use type1inst to make the fonts usable.

    First, I installed type1inst. This is a perl script that is freely available.

    I searched on type1inst with a search engine to find myself a copy of this program.

    Next I ran the command, type1inst, in my fonts directory mentioned above.

  4. Make your fonts part of your font search path.

    To this end, I obtained and modified a file called .xinitrc.

    To get started, I found a copy of .xinitrc on my hard drive by running the following command:

    find / -iname xinitrc -ls 2>/dev/null

    Next, I copied .xinitrc my Home directory. Note the dot added to make it a hidden file:

    cp /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc $HOME/.xinitrc

    I added the following line of code to my .xinitrc in my Home directory:

    xset fp+ $HOME/fonts/

    Rather than make the above line of code the last line of code in my .xinitrc, I made it the next to last line of code.

    My last line of code in my .xinitrc is:


    Thus, it the two lines of code together look like:

    xset fp+ $HOME/fonts/

    When I wanted more information on xset, I ran the following command:

    man xset

    When I wanted to see if xset had successfully set up my font path I ran this command:

    xset q

Getting Help Installing Gimp Fonts

I found the following helpful in gathering information to install my fonts:

A search on the terms zach and beane and type1inst under Google Groups was helpful in obtaining information about the type1inst utility on the Usenet.

Also, a search on any major search engine on these 4 terms together-- grokking and gimp and loading and freefonts--was also very helpful and brought me to the appropriate page of Carey Bunks book, Grokking the Gimp.

In general, I discovered that finding help installing Gimp fonts is really a matter of knowing where to look.

©Edward Abbott 2004