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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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You are here: General
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/DecompressUtil

Decompression Utilities, Downloading & Font Installation Tips

Lorna A. Priest, 2007-06-15

Downloading Tips

When you select a link for a download, you will have two options. You can choose to  Open  (or  Run ) the download, or  Save  the download.

If you choose to  Open  (or  Run ) the download, your computer will first of all transfer the file from the internet to your computer, and then run the program that you have downloaded. After you are finished, it will erase the download from your computer.

Selecting  Save  allows you to transfer the downloaded program to your computer (you can specify the name the file is to be saved under and the folder on your computer where the file will be saved.) After the file transfers to your computer, you can then  Open  or  Run  the file.

Zip files

“Zip files” or archives are simply a way of packaging a collection of files and folders into a single file, for more convenient downloading; the contents will also be compressed when possible, to reduce storage space and download time. To actually use the software or data, you need to extract the original files from the compressed archive.

Modern operating systems have built-in decompression utilities. When you double-click on a .zip file usually another window will pop-up which contains all the files that are in your .zip file. There is usually a way for you to Extract the files into a folder of your choosing. For example, in Windows XP you would click on File / Extract All..., and then follow the wizard; and in Mac OS X, double-clicking a .zip file expands the archive into a new folder, and you can then use the Finder to move or copy the files as needed.

If your operating system does not have a built-in way to expand your archive then you will need a decompression utility such as:

to expand the archive.

Exe files

If you do not have 7-zip, WinZip, Stuffit Expander or another decompression utility you should download the .exe file which is sometimes also provided as a download option.

An .exe is sometimes an installer and sometimes it is a compressed file which is simply a way of packaging a collection of files and folders into a single file, for more convenient downloading; the contents will also be compressed when possible, to reduce storage space and download time. To actually use the software or data, you need to extract the original files from the compressed archive.

Double-click on the file. If it is an installer it will take you through the installation process. If it is not an installer you will get a message like "WinZip Self-Extractor - <filename>". Then you should extract (unzip) the files in an easy to remember folder.

Deb (Debian) packages

Go to the folder where you have downloaded the .deb package, type sudo dpkg --install <filename>, then type in your password and everything will get neatly installed (on newer versions of Ubuntu you can now simply download from your browser or double-click on a .deb and it will launch the installer).

After Extracting

Now that you have unzipped (extracted) the files, what do you do with them? After unzipping, navigate to the folder where you extracted the files.

Applications

If this is a computer application, you should have instructions for what to do with it.

Fonts

If it is a font package you still have to install the fonts. The files you extracted will probably include an installation guide. You should read that guide for more information. However, here are some steps which may prove helpful.

Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, etc)

Many of our fonts are available in a Debian package which should have done its job automatically and put everything in the right places (fonts, documentation, license and authorship information, FONTLOG, FAQs, etc) but, in case you want to install the font from the zip archive directly, here are some instructions:

Under GNOME
  • launch the file browser (Nautilus) from a menu or desktop shortcut
  • navigate to the folder when you have downloaded the font zip archive
  • double-click on the chosen font file: a font viewing dialog will appear to allow you to preview the font and to see some information about its name, style, size, version, copyright
  • press  Install Font  on the right-hand corner of this dialog box: this will copy the font file to your personal font folder (~/.fonts)
Under KDE
  • launch font install in your menu under Configuration-KDE/System/Font Install (you can also type kcmshell kcmfontinst directly from a shell).
  • Then simply use the dialog boxes to browse to your fonts and install them

You can do the same manually
  • copy the fonts in ~/.fonts. You will have to create the folder if it doesn't exist by typing mkdir -p ~/.fonts
  • And when you're in ~/.fonts, type fc-cache -f -v to update the cache files ~/.fontconfig

Remember that this will only make the font accessible to the current user.

Note that OpenOffice.org version 2+ knows about system-wide fonts (using fontconfig) unlike earlier versions. There is no need to use specific
OpenOffice.org tools to install new fonts.

If you want, you can also use GNOME's System->Fonts menu entry or KDE's Configuration-KDE->System->Font to choose your desktop font and adjust the hinting and the anti-aliasing.

Macintosh

In order to install fonts in Mac OS X, you will need to be sure you have both read and write access to the Fonts folder located in the Library folder. Open the Library folder and select the Fonts folder. In the Finder, click on Get Info, then on Ownership & Permissions. In the palette that opens, check to be sure that Access is set to Read and Write. (If the pop-up menus are grayed out, click the padlock icon to unlock the pop-up menus.)

In OS X, fonts may be placed in four different places: (a) the Library:Fonts folder in the Home directory of a user account; (b) the Library:Fonts folder; (c) the Library:Fonts folder in the Mac OS X System folder; and (d) the Fonts folder in the OS 9.2 ("Classic") System folder.

Fonts in (a) are usable only to the user of that account. Fonts in (b) are available to all users. Fonts in (c) are also available to all users, but are essential for system use. Fonts in (d) are used by Classic applications, as well as by applications running in OS X.

In all cases, the fonts must all be "loose" in the System:Fonts folder or Library:Fonts folder — not grouped in family folders — or the system cannot see them.

For installation instructions for the SIL IPA93 fonts, click here.

To install other SIL fonts in Mac OS X:

  • Save the download file to a temporary location on your hard disk.
  • Double-click the download file. A folder with the same name as the download file will be created in the same location as the download file.
  • Open up this folder, and find the font files.
  • Copy the font files to the Fonts folder in the Library folder on your hard drive. You may also want to copy them to the Fonts folder in your OS 9 System folder.

Windows

Windows 2000 and XP

Font installation using the Control Panel is summarized below.

  • Click Start / Settings / Control Panel or Start / Control Panel.
  • Double-click on the Fonts icon to bring up the Fonts dialog.
  • Find and delete any old version(s) of the font you are installing.
  • On the menu, click File / Install New Font... to bring up the Add Fonts dialog.
  • Open the Drives list and select the drive where you have unzipped the fonts. Then under Folders:, navigate to the folder where you unzipped the fonts. In a few seconds the name of the fonts will appear in the List of Fonts.
  • In the same window, Copy fonts to Fonts folder should have a checkmark.
  • Click the font names to select (or  Select All ), and then  OK . In a few seconds, the fonts will be listed in the Installed Fonts list.
  • Click on File / Close or exit the window.

Note

Some people might attempt to bypass the "extracting" step above and just drag the .ttf file from the archive into the C:\Windows\fonts folder. This will not work. Windows requires you to extract the font file before installing it. Another method of installation is to extract the font and then you can drag it to the C:\Windows\fonts folder. Your font should be installed (if you have older versions of the fonts on your computer you must uninstall them first).

Note that certain applications may not see the new fonts immediately. You may have to quit and restart the application for the fonts to become available.

Windows Vista and above

In Vista it is much easier to install fonts. Navigate to the folder where you extracted your files. Select the file and right-click on it. Select Install. Your font should be installed (if you have older versions of the fonts on your computer you must uninstall them first).

Note

Some people might attempt to bypass the "extracting" step above and just drag the .ttf file from the archive into the C:\Windows\fonts folder. This will not work. Windows requires you to extract the font file before installing it. Another method of installation is to extract the font and then you can drag it to the C:\Windows\fonts folder. Your font should be installed (if you have older versions of the fonts on your computer you must uninstall them first).

Uninstalling a Windows font
  • Click Start / Settings / Control Panel or Start / Control Panel. Double-click Fonts.
  • Scroll down to your font (or fonts) and click once to highlight.
  • Click File / Delete. Click  Yes  to delete.
  • Close the Fonts window.

Page History

2007-06-15 LP: added "Downloading Tips" "Exe files" and "After Extracting"

2006-05-31 LP: page creation


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