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All about Fonts, Fonts & More Fonts

There are a million sites about fonts, so why am I adding another one? Well, its time someone gave you the real skinny.

To give some background, I love fonts. I love to play with them, look at them and make things with them. I do documents with standard fonts so thats not new. But I recently started designing graphics for printing on Tee shirts. That got me interested in Fonts again. I have a collection of fonts so big that I will never be able to look at them all. I have a dozen CDs with thousands of fonts on each. Many programs install their favorites, so over the passing of time, you collect some favorites.

What started me on this new page is that I lost all my old fonts installed in Windows because I had to reformat & start over. I had backed up all my documents and pictures as I TELL EVERYONE TO DO!!! I even backed up my favorites. What I forgot to back up was my fonts. So it became necessary to rebuild the font list.

Now backing up your fonts is really easy or was until Vista came along. So I'm going to tell you how to back up your fonts. But first I want to provide some info for beginners.

BE CAREFUL DOWNLOADING FONTS FROM THE WEB. Many of the sites that provide the FREE stuff like wallpaper, screensavers, clipart & FONTS are run by scumbags. You'll find 2 problems on many of these sites. First they display and link you to pornography. The second thing you may find is spyware. THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. These guys get their money somewhere.

If you want new fonts, buy one of the $10 CDs at many computer software outlets. Office Max and Office Depot have racks of these $10 CDs.

Now to backing them up. In windows versions from 95 to XP, it was easy.

First you need to understand backup. There are various uses for the term. Some backup programs make a compressed backup in one file and the only way to use it is to "restore" it with the same program.

Backing up a file, document, picture, favorite or font also can mean just making a second copy of it and that is what we are going to discuss here. That raises the question of where to put the copy. You can put it on your main hard drive, but if the drive fails or you have to reinstall Windows, you will lose the backup copy.

You can put the backup copy on any other media that holds files. A second hard drive, a floppy (remember those?), a CD, a DVD, a jump drive, a Zip disk, Jazz disk, USB drive, etc. Probably the most secure is a CD/DVD. My choice is to do multiple copies. One on the main hard drive as I note next. In addition, it is good to have a copy on CD/DVD. For real protection, have another copy in a different location in case of fire.

First create a new folder in your My Documents and name it Fonts. You may choose to have a folder called backups and put the fonts folder there as well as things like Favorites. In Vista, do this under "Documents" since "My" has been dropped. The reason for doing this instead of just backing up to en external source is that when you back up your documents, you automatically back up this stuff.

Just use Windows Explorer to navigate to C:\Windows\Fonts (or Winnt\fonts) and highlight them all (CTRL A). Then copy them to your new folder. You can use Copy/Paste or drag them if you know how. It may be easier to open 2 windows of Explorer and drag from one to the other.

I tried this in Vista and it didn't work. I kept getting an error message that the fonts can't be copied to the destination folder. So I did a little investigation and discovered it can be done, but by a different method.

Use Computer (notice no "My") or Explorer to navigate to the windows fonts folder. In the meus, select Edit-Select All. Then select Edit-Copy to Folder and select your new folder. Complet the operation and you now have a copy of your fonts on your hard drive.

Then you should make another copy on one of the media mentioned earlier. I use a number of machines so I carry the fonts on a jump drive.

Lastly you should make a CD or DVD backup of your documents. In 95-XP, this should give you a backup of your photos as well unless some camera program puts them elsewhere. Canon and HP ar notorious for this.

In Vista, the document and pictures folders are separate. Be sure to include them in your backup.

Here are a few pages you may want to review about this subject: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Want to see a few of my favorite fonts? Click here to get the word document. If you see one you like and can't find it, e-mail me for a copy using the link below.

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