How Do I Get Fonts into My Silhouette?

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As I scanned a Silhouette FB page, while sipping my morning coffee, these two questions appeared more than 3 times each with varying wording:

I downloaded a font. How do I get it into my Silhouette?

I bought a font on Etsy and I can’t get it into my Silhouette.

The answer for both questions begins with:

You may have to unzip them first

So, locate the download (likely in the download folder) and see if it ends in “.zip” On both a Mac and PC, you can double click to unzip it (How to unzip a file). Pay attention to where the unzipped contents end up. If you don’t specify, they will be in the same folder you zipped file was.

This is where the steps differ depending on whether it is an Etsy “Font” or a real font. For a regular font, either that you purchased from places like Mighty Deals, Creative Market, etc, or downloaded from Dafont, locate the font, double click it and select install, or right click it and select install:

How to Install a font on a PC        How to Install a font on a Mac

Close your Silhouette program and reopen it. When you reopen it, your fonts will be listed when you click your font button. If the bold or italic options are available, that will be to the side of the font.

Your font folder in your library is just for fonts purchased from the Silhouette store. To the best of my knowledge you can’t add outside fonts to it. If someone knows this is incorrect, please post a comment.

OK, so that’s regular fonts. What about “fonts” you purchase on Etsy. Notice that I put the word fonts in quotations. That’s because, with very few exceptions, you are not purchasing a font. You are purchasing a vector file. They don’t behave the same way. A font is a much more complex thing and you can expect to pay more. With a vector file, you have to first unzip the file, then open the SVG file in you software, ungroup it and lay it out the way you want.

Many of these Etsy files are being used in ways that are prohibited by their licensing. Some are even just outright stolen and resold. Look at this one.

Kim Geswein is one of our best resources. She gives us gorgeous fonts free for personal use and charges only $5 for commercial use. This example burns my butt! (pardon my language). And there are hundreds more just like it on Etsy.

Do be cautious with “fonts” from Etsy where the copyright clearly doesn’t belong to the person offering them. The Etsy seller may give you commercial rights, but the real rights belong to the developer. They can still go after you and prevent you from using them.

I love fonts and I love creating with them. I am thankful for font designers who make these available to us at no cost or low cost. I respect developers of expensive fonts and if they “speak” to me long enough, I buy them – my most expensive to date being Desire Pro. Clearly a lot of work went into this.


5 thoughts on “How Do I Get Fonts into My Silhouette?

    lbfast said:
    June 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Love Kimberly Geswein fonts – she is so talented. And I especially love that you can pay a reasonable amount for a commercial license and feel good about using her fonts. But, I’m not sure that’s her monogram font, I think it is possibly monogram kk by – regardless, it’s available free for personal use on dafont.


      signoftimess responded:
      June 20, 2015 at 1:43 am

      You are correct. I looked at the KK and since Kim has so many that begin with KK, assumed it was hers. I’m still incredulous that someone is selling a “commercial license” for a font that isn’t theirs.


    […] If you’ve already purchased an Etsy font, be sure to check out how to use it in this post. HOW TO USE ETSY FONTS […]


    Mo said:
    January 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    So an etsy “font” is basically like a picture of each letter and you have to lay them out one by one instead of typing them?


    signoftimess responded:
    January 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    That is correct, Mo. They do not function the way you would think of as a font.


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