Preview Installed Fonts in Ubuntu

If you want to view the fonts installed on your Ubuntu system, you can do so by opening a program like OpenOffice Writer and looking at the list of fonts. However, there is another way.

The Specimen Font Previewer is available in the Ubuntu Software Center for easy installation. Select Ubuntu Software Center from the Applications menu.

Opening Ubuntu Software Center

The Ubuntu Software Center dialog box displays. Enter “gnome-specimen” in the search box in the upper, right corner of the dialog box. As you type, any software that matches what you have typed so far displays in the list below the search box. Select the Specimen Font Previewer and click the arrow button on the right.

Specimen Font Previewer in Software Center

Scroll down on the screen that displays and click the Install button.

Install button for Specimen Font Previewer

When asked for your password, enter it and click Authenticate.

Authenticate dialog box

The progress of the installation displays.

Applying changes

Once the installation is finished, select Close from the File menu to close the Ubuntu Software Center.

Closing the Ubuntu Software Center

To open the Specimen Font Previewer select Graphics | Specimen Font Previewer from the Applications menu.

Opening Specimen Font Previewer

The Specimen Font Previewer opens with the list of the fonts on the left side and the preview list on the left. To add a font to the preview list, select a font from the list on the left and click the Add button. You can also double-click on the name of the font to add it to the list.

Adding a font to the preview list

The standard test sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet is used by default as the sample text for previewing fonts. If you want to preview the fonts using different sample text, enter that text in the Preview Text edit box and specify a point size in the edit box to the right of the Preview Text edit box.

Preview Text edit box

Once you have added some fonts to preview, you can delete a font from the preview list by selecting the font name and clicking the Remove button.

Removing a font from the preview list

If you want to delete all the fonts in the preview list, select Clear List from the Edit menu.

Clearing the preview list

You can customize the background and foreground colors in Specimen Font Previewer. To do this, select Change Colors from the Edit menu. The Change colors dialog box displays. To change a color, click on the button next to Foreground color or Background color.

Changing colors

The Pick a Color dialog box displays. Change the Red, Green, and Blue values to select a color or click on a color in the icon on the left. You can adjust the color using the Hue, Saturation, and Value edit boxes. You can also enter an HTML-style, hexadecimal color value, or a color name such as orange, in the Color name edit box. When you have set the desired color, click the OK button and then click the Close button on the Change colors dialog box.

Picking a color for the foreground

It may be time consuming to find a font in the list if you have a lot of fonts installed. You can search for a font using the Find feature. Select Find from the Edit menu.

Accessing the Find edit box

The Find edit box displays at the bottom of the list of fonts. Start typing the name or part of the name you want to find. The results start to display in the font list as you type. Once you have found matching fonts and added the desired fonts to the preview list, if desired, use the X button to the right of the Find edit box to close it.

Finding fonts

The Specimen Font Previewer provides a better way of previewing fonts than using a program like OpenOffice Writer. For example, if you want to compare some of the available serif fonts, you can search for “serif” in the Find edit box, add the found fonts to the preview list, and then compare the fonts in the preview list on the right.

by Lori Kaufman

Comments [2]

  1. dexter_greycells says:

    Oh man! This must be my lucky day.

    I had been searching for a decent font viewer (I was trying to get hold of a digital/LCD type font) 2 weeks ago and I had to make do with the Openoffice Writer to test them. Now I got this.

    Thanks Lori!

  2. [...] There is another method of viewing fonts, where you can also compare different fonts, using the Specimen Font Previewer. See the article we published about this program, Preview Installed Fonts in Ubuntu. [...]

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