A previous post on installing fonts in Windows and Ubuntu discussed Ubuntu not having a logical method of font installation. The recent release of the new Ubuntu 9.10, “Karmic Koala”, has seen a great improvement in font management.
Opening a font file now throws up a different preview screen, one more detailed than that of Ubuntu 9.04. This screen also includes a button which has long featured on the Windows preview screen - “Install Font”.
There are still some areas in need of improvement to bring Linux up to speed with Windows’ font management. Firstly, Linux lacks an option to install a font when you right-click on its icon. This has been present in Windows since XP and is a useful shortcut when installing a select few fonts from a large selection.
Another issue is one which could confuse less tech-savvy users. If a font has already been installed and the “Install Font” button is pressed, the button changes to read “Install Failed”. This is true, however the font still remains installed. In similar situations Windows informs the user that the font is already installed and the old file should be removed to install the new one.
Although still rough around the edges, Linux font management has vastly improved with this new version of the operating system (OS). The “Install Font” button has made it possible for people who have never used Ubuntu to figure out how to install a font. This improvement is a sign of Linux’s progression from a IT professional’s server OS to a standard desktop frontend.