Working with Google Fonts on your Computer

Google has a great collection of web-fonts that can be used by webmasters on their websites. Ranging from scribbled fonts for your informal websites to professional typography fonts with good readability, Google has it. While these can be used on the web, what if you want it to be used for your prints? Until a couple of weeks back, Google Fonts were available for use as a web-font (WOFF file type). These web-fonts cannot be used on your computer, since your computer would require a True-Type Font (TTF file type). Google, now allows users to download the source fonts as a TTF file, meaning, you can use them on your computer, in iWork or Microsoft Office or virtually any application.

So how would you go about downloading them to your computer? Google lets you download from their code repository, but here are a rather couple of simple steps. You may follow either of them, but I would personally suggest the GitHub way – simple and quick.

SkyFonts App

Note: You’ll require a account (free) to work with the SkyFonts app!

Google has partnered with to allow Google Fonts to be synced using its SkyFonts app delivered over its a patent-pending font delivery technology. To sync Google Fonts using SkyFonts, go ahead and download the SkyFonts app for your Mac or Windows. Throw it into your Application directory on your Mac, or install it on Windows.

When you open your application for the first time, you will have to authenticate yourself with your account (But if you don’t want to, you can choose the GitHub way). You can create one if you don’t have an account. Once you have logged in to your account, you can sync Google Fonts to your computer clicking on the SkyFonts button against a font name. If you prefer to download all fonts in one go, use GitHub.

Download via GitHub

Thanks to Andrew Wong, Google Fonts is available as a Git repo. Visit the googlefontdirectory repo and choose to download as a ZIP. This will download the entire repository to your computer as a ZIP file. Extract the ZIP and install the fonts just as you would with any other font.

Or clone on GitHub

GitHub Clone

If you prefer to sync instead, download the GitHub application for Mac or Windows, install it and choose ‘Clone in Mac/Windows‘ on the repository page. Your GitHub application will clone the repository on your computer and once done, install the fonts just you normally would.

Once you have installed, you can use the Google Fonts just like any other font on your computer.