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How to Install New Fonts in LibreOffice and OpenOffice

by Felix Omondi

Photo by Romain V on Unsplash

Are you using LibreOffice or OpenOffice but bored out of your brains with its plain fonts that eat the fun out of your Word Processing or Numbers Crunching on a Spreadsheet? This easy-to-follow tutorial will show you how to install new fonts in LibreOffice or OpenOffice.

Let us get one thing clear. Microsoft Office suite is the ‘GOAT’ within the office suite space. However, it comes at a premium. Something not many of us can afford. Hence, many people – especially on Windows – try to make do with pirated copies of the MS Office suite.

There’s Nothing like a Free Lunch

Speaking of pirated software, did you know it’s not actually free? Pirated software usually comes implanted with bloatware, spyware, malware, and even cryptojackers. A cloak-and-dagger technique used by black-hat hackers to steal, spy, and exploit you. All the while masquerading as a Robinhood saving you from the big greedy tech giants.

The free MS Office you’re using could land you into a hotbed of trouble. For one, Microsoft’s copyright agents could catch up with you and have you arrested. Secondly, you could be bleeding out critical private data to unknown third parties eavesdropping on your every digital move.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice Open-Source Software

If you cannot afford the premium office suite, alternative open-source freemium software exists. This article will feature LibreOffice and OpenOffice. These are pretty robust office suites that leave quite a few to be desired when compared to the premium MS Office suite.

However, they don’t have the most appealing UX/UI experience, especially when compared to the MS Office suite. Well, they are open-source software after all! Nonetheless, this article will show you one trick that could improve your user experience by a few notches.

Installing New Fonts in LibreOffice/OpenOffice

This tip works whether you’re on Windows, macOS, or Linux. All you need to do is search online for download fonts for LibreOffice and OpenOffice. You should find dozens of such websites; we’ve listed below some of our favorite websites for downloading free fonts:

Installing Office Suite Fonts in Windows

  • Go to any of the websites giving fonts, and download the fonts you like in a ZIP file.
  • Open the ZIP file (it should have a .otf or .tff extension) and then click on ‘Install’ option.
  • To ensure the font is properly installed, close any open LibreOffice or OpenOffice application.
  • The next time you open any of the office suites and would like to use the newly installed font. Simply search for the font in the application’s dropdown menu.

Installing Office Suite in macOS

The beauty of macOS is that Apple gives you a free office suite, the iWork Suite. However, you can still run both LibreOffice and OpenOffice in your MacBook if you like using open-source software. If that’s you, then the following steps illustrate how to install new fonts on LibreOffice or OpenOffice in macOS:

  • Download the ZIP file for the font of your choice from any of the above-mentioned websites.
  • Unzip the file and install it.
  • Now open any of the LibreOffice or OpenOffice applications and select the font in the dropdown menu.

Installing Fonts in Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, etc.)

For the true renegades using Linux, you have no option other than using open-source office suites like LibreOffice and OpenOffice. That is so since the mainstream office suite applications are unavailable on the Linux platform.

Thus, if you want to spruce up your LibreOffice or OpenOffice experience with new customized fonts, the steps are as follows:

  • Download the ZIP file for the fonts of your choice and save it on your local storage.
  • Extract the content of the ZIP file. Right-click on the unzipped file and select ‘Copy’ in the jump menu.
  • From your home directory, navigate to /usr/share/fonts/” or “~/.fonts/”.
  • Within the font directory, right-click and select ‘Paste.’
  • There are instances where the Linux system will not recognize the newly-installed fonts until you update the system’s font cache. To update the system’s font cache, open Terminal, and type in the following command “fc-cache -f -v”. 
  • If open office suite applications exist, close and re-open them.

Wrapping up …

There’s absolutely no reason to have a lousy font experience while using LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Yes, they are open-source software, not as finely baked as MS Office or iWork Suite. However, there are innovative ways you can spruce up your UX/UI experience while using these applications. Changing the font is one way to go about it.

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