Whenever you freshly install an OS – be it Ubuntu or Windows – your previous collection of fonts can’t be expected to just suddenly appear there. But it’s really quick and simple to get them back, and you won’t even need to reboot before you can start using them.
All you will be doing is copying files from a source folder to a destination folder, which is just a basic bit of file management. First, locate your original fonts folder on your Windows partition, which should be C:\Windows\Fonts\. Next, you will need to create a hidden folder in your home folder on your Ubuntu partition, which you can do by entering the following command into a terminal:
If you’re wondering why a folder had to be created, especially since the system has fonts installed (so they have to be residing somewhere already), the short answer is just to make things easier for you. Fonts that come with the system, and a few that get installed by programs, are found in /usr/share/fonts – which, being a protected system folder, means you’ll need to ask for permission before you can do anything with it (like copy files into it).
The new .fonts folder, while being hidden (denoted by it starting with a period), is owned by you, so you can drag files in and out without being told you don’t have the appropriate permissions for that task. And of course Ubuntu will immediately recognise that you have a fonts folder of your own, and incorporate those with the ones already installed.
Once you have a folder window open for both source and destination, simply select your fonts and drag them from your Windows partition to the new fonts folder, and copies will be placed there. At this point, you can either choose to be selective, dragging over only those you will actually use from the collection that has accumulated over the years, or just select them all with Ctrl+A.
If you’re not sure about certain fonts, as filenames are shown, not font names, you can double-click those for a preview, then click the Install Font button at the bottom right.
Once you’re finished, the fonts are ready to use. If you had a word processor or similar open while doing this, the fonts won’t be recognised yet, so simply close and reopen it, and you’ll see all your fonts there. Note that this will also work with Windows programs running under Wine, meaning next time you run Adobe Photoshop or what have you, all the fonts accessible in Ubuntu will be available to it.
If you’d like to do all this the easiest way – via the terminal – a command like the following will do the trick:
mkdir ~/.fonts && cp -rT /media/Windows/Windows/Fonts/ ~/.fonts
You will probably need to change the path of the source, depending on where it is mounted (in this example, it assumes your Windows partition is mounted as /media/Windows). Also, if there are spaces in the path (like if the mount point is /media/Windows XP), you will need to enclose that path in single quotes, and make note of any case issues (if C:\Windows is actually C:\WINDOWS, you will need to put it as such). Here is a revised command taking all those into consideration:
mkdir ~/.fonts && cp -rT '/media/Windows XP/WINDOWS/Fonts/' ~/.fonts
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