How to Add Fonts to Google Docs

August 25, 2020
Kevin Kessler

Are you having a hard time making your text as original in appearance as it is in content? Every day, you probably see posts and texts that look unique and specific. If so, you aren’t the only one. Even the creators of those gorgeous-looking posts once struggled to make their Google Docs document look great.

Adding variable fonts to the document or simply adding a new font that’s authentic is half the job. Fortunately, adding additional fonts to Google Docs is very straightforward.

In this article, we’re going to go over everything related to adding fonts to Google Doc files. The in-detail walkthrough will help you achieve what you want, regardless of what level of Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or overall online experience you have.

Here’s how to add fonts to a Google document.

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What are Fonts?

Fonts are graphical representations of text, commonly found in MS Word and Google Docs. They can have various typefaces, weight, point sizes, color, and overall design.

Apps like Google Docs allow users to change the font style in their texts, making them look and feel more authentic.

Whether you’re a child just learning about various font styles, or a grownup who wants to make their text look more interesting or professional, you need to know about fonts.

But it’s not all about changing the size, color, and the bold effect…

Why Use Different Fonts?

The ultimate goal of everyone who’s looking at publicly showcasing their Google Doc document should be presentability. Whether you’re working on an article or content you’ll display on a business presentation, you want it to look the part.

Formatting, if done right, can evoke a sense of readability. However, given the fact that 100% of your text is, well, text, adding a pleasant yet professional font can go a long way to making your document outline look like a million bucks.

You may want to use a different font family depending on the situation. Using the standard font everywhere doesn’t inspire confidence. There’s the perfect font for your needs out there.

The impact of fonts in communication

Writing is the power of expressing ideas through words. 

The right words, supported by the right design at the right moment, can evoke powerful emotions and influence your reader’s perspective. 

And fonts play a huge role in this process. 

From Germany in 1440 all the way to modern day, designers, advertisers, and publishers have used different font types as a means of self-expression and communication.

For example, take a look at Tesla’s logo:

Tesla logo

(Image Source)

Now, compare it to Twinings’ logo — considered the oldest logo still in use. 

Twinings logo

(Image Source)

If we leave imagery and design aside and focus on the fonts, we’ll notice each logo tells a different story. 

It’s open to interpretation, of course, but (to me) Tesla’s logo communicates modernity — a sense of being a pace-setter, and cutting edge. Twining’s logo, on the other hand, connotes tradition and classiness. The feel of each font is different and evokes different emotions. 

In the same way, the font you choose for your project will tell readers and viewers a lot about you and your message. Even if people don’t notice it consciously, you’re sending subtle clues about your intention. 

For instance, if you use a display font, like Geostar, for a formal document (more on this later), people could interpret it as sloppiness. Or if you use Dancing Script for a personal letter, you might spoil readability. 

The point is that you should carefully analyze your intention and then select a font that matches such intention. This way, you’ll increase the clarity of your message. 

What Are The Different Font Types?

Now that you understand the importance of fonts in communication, you’re probably wondering: how can I choose the right font for my project?

To be honest, there’s no straight answer, as it depends on a myriad of factors — your audience, the intent of your document, and even specific requirements (i.e. many universities ask students to send documents with a certain font).

But the first thing you must understand is the different font categories available and how to choose each of them. Let’s break them down:

1. Serif

Serifs are the slight lines or “hooks” at the end of a letter’s strokes. They look like this:

serif fonts

(Image Source)

Serif fonts are easy to read and comfortable for the reader’s eyes. So, generally, these fonts are used for printable, long-form body copy (e.g. books, magazines, newspapers, formal documents, etc.). 

Besides, these fonts were originally created as metal types for early printing processes and they can evoke an older, formal feeling to your project. 

Some of the most popular serif fonts include:

  • Roboto Slab
  • Merriweather
  • Playfair Display
  • Lora
  • PT Serif

2. Sans Serif

In French, the word “sans” means “without.” So, in essence, Sans Serif stands for “fonts without serifs.”

serif example

(Image Source)

Serif fonts try to emulate handwriting. 

Sans Serif fonts, on the other hand, get rid of those handwritten features and add a modern look to a text. 

The main goal of Sans Serif fonts is to increase legibility from long distances and are typically used for web-based content (e.g. blogs, email, online magazines, etc.).  

This is one of the most flexible categories, though. 

You can find a Sans Serif font that fits any use case — printable documents, display, and long-form content. 

Some of the most popular fonts in this category include:

  • Roboto
  • Open Sans
  • Lato
  • Montserrat
  • Source Sans Pro

3. Script

The main objective of Script fonts is to emulate cursive handwriting. 

Script font

Now, we can split Script fonts into 2 main categories:

  • Casual
  • Formal

As the name suggests, formal Script fonts add a classy vibe to your documents. 

formal script font

Casual Script fonts are a bit more relaxed and can be used for informal projects where you can add some personality. 

casual script font

This is a casual Script font.

Now, use Script fonts sparingly as they can hurt readability. Some of its more popular use cases include: logos, wedding invitations, book covers, or historical pieces. 

Some of the most popular script fonts include:

popular script fonts

4. Modern handwriting

While Script fonts try to emulate old-style cursive handwriting, modern Handwriting fonts want to mimic, well…modern day writing. 

handwritten fonts collection

(Image Source)

We suggest you use this type of font only when you want to add a personal touch to your copy. Just be careful, as using it too much can be overwhelming for the reader’s eyes and, depending on the font you choose, you can evoke a wide range of different moods. 

For example, this font is called “Gochi Hand” and it could add a friendly touch to your copy.  On the other side of the spectrum, we have “Berkshire Swash,” which may be too crippy, depending on the reader’s taste.

We recommend you use them for headlines or display and avoid using it too much for body text. 

Some of the most popular handwriting fonts include:

popular handwritten fonts

5. Monspace

A monospaced font — also known as a “non-proportional” font — gives its letters the same amount of horizontal space. 

monospaced characters

(Image Source)

This category brings to mind old-fashioned typewriters and computer programming or web design languages (e.g. CSS, HTML, Phyton, and Javascript). But, when used right, Monospace fonts can add a minimalistic touch to your design and a feeling of cleanliness.

Some of the most popular Monospace fonts include:

popular monospace fonts

6. Display

Display fonts are meant to call for attention. 

We can find this category on most branded, large-scale advertisements (e.g. billboard ads, editorial stories, and logos).

Typically, Display fonts look something like this:

display font example

(Image Source

At a small scale, Display fonts are hard to read, so don’t use them for long-form body copy. 

Some of the most popular display fonts include:

popular display fonts

How to Add Fonts to Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

For all of you who are stuck with a Google Doc document that doesn’t look impressive, adding a new Google font can make all the difference. In this section, you’ll learn how to add fonts to Google Docs in an in-detail, step-by-step walkthrough.

Step 1: Open a New Document

Search for Google Docs in your web browser, go to Google Docs, and you’ll see a Google Docs page open. In the upper part of the page, you’ll see a number of templates that make creating a particular doc type easier. To the left on this list, you’ll see the Blank option. Select this one.

create new  document

Step 2: Open the Font Panel

In the new document, navigate to the toolbar toward the top of the page. Select the entry titled “Arial.” Arial is the default font on Google Docs. Once you’ve clicked here, a dropdown menu will appear, listing the available fonts. Now, select More fonts (the first option on the list).

add fonts

Step 3: Select a New Font

A new window will open, listing a number of fonts to choose from.

Also, you’ll see three dropdown menus at the upper right corner of the main font panel:

  1. Scripts
  2. Show
  3. Sort

The “Scripts” menu helps you find fonts based on language (e.g. Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, etc.). 

The “Show” menu sorts fonts based on the 6 categories we covered earlier (Serif, Sans Serif, Script, Handwriting, Monospace, and Display). 

And the “Sort” menu helps you spot fonts based on different criteria, including: popularity, alphabetical order, trending fonts, and date added. 

To add a font to your regular font list in Google Docs, simply click the desired entry. To remove it from the list, click the “x” symbol next to it in the My fonts column to the left of the window.

available fonts

Step 4: Use the Font Normally

After adding the desired font or fonts to the list on the right, select OK. The window will close. Now, go to the font menu, and you’ll see the added font or fonts appear on it. Select the one you want to use.

Adding Fonts to Google Docs – FAQ

Can you upload your own fonts in Google Docs?

Unfortunately, as of yet, it’s impossible to add a custom font to Google Docs. There are, however, add-ons that can allow you to add custom fonts. The most popular one is called Extensis Fonts. To get it, navigate to Add-ons in the upper toolbar in Google Docs and click Get add-ons. Here, browse for “Extensis” and install the extension. This extension will give you access to a variety of new font styles.

How can I make my handwriting a font?

Turning your handwriting into a font is not necessarily a difficult thing to do. Download a template that you’re going to scan later. Use a website such as Calligraphr.com for this. Fill out the form using a black pen. Scan the filled-out paper and upload the template to Calligraphr.com. So, yes, as long as you have a printer and a scanner, you can turn your handwriting into a font. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, adding custom fonts to Google Docs is impossible, so you won’t be able to use it.

What font looks like handwriting in Google Docs?

Although you can’t import your handwriting as a font in Google Docs, a font called “Kalam” is an option that resembles handwriting.

Are Google fonts free to use?

Every Google Doc font is released as an open-source file. Each Google font can be used for both commercial and noncommercial purposes.

Are Google fonts safe?

Yes, all proprietary Google Fonts are absolutely safe. There’s nothing to worry about.

Conclusion

There are more fonts to be added to Google Docs that bring you extensive and various text formatting options. You can even add custom fonts from various Google Docs extensions. However, adding custom fonts to Google Docs is, as of yet, impossible.

We hope that this article has given you enough information to make use of various font options on Google Docs. Go ahead and make the most out of fonts in Google Docs. However, don’t forget that you can use other formatting options.

Kevin Kessler
Kevin J. Kessler is a published author of five fantasy novels, a professional wrestler, and a puppeteer (not all at the same time). Kevin is a content writer at Codeless.

About the Author

Kevin Kessler
Kevin J. Kessler is a published author of five fantasy novels, a professional wrestler, and a puppeteer (not all at the same time). Kevin is a content writer at Codeless.