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How to install additional fonts onto Windows CE devices


Applies To

  • Windows CE 1.0, 1.01
  • Windows CE 2.0, SP1
  • Handheld PC Professional, SP1
  • Handheld PC 2000
  • Windows CE .net 4.0, 4.1, 4.2


Additional fonts will allow your Handheld PC to view documents, Internet resources and applications in the way the developer intended it to appear. This article describes the process by which you can install additional or updated fonts onto your Windows CE device.


If you require additional typography support from Windows CE by installing additional Windows Fonts, or need to upgrade the default font set that exists within your devices ROM then you will need to install additional Fonts.

Windows CE uses the standard Windows True Type (.ttf), Font (.fon) or Font Library (.fnt) file type. In general the font file itself has been specially compiled for use on Mobile Devices in order to maintain a low footprint.

Under widely accepted Internet and web design guide lines, any web page you visit on the Internet should not, if the developer correctly adheres to recommended guide lines. Require additional fonts to render the output correctly.
These design guidelines specify a narrow set of fonts that should be used on web pages, which have cross platform alternatives. These are:

  • Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
  • Times New Roman, Times, serif
  • Courier New, Courier, mono
  • Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif
  • Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
  • Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, san-serif

The use of the following is also possible on Windows systems

  • Tahoma, Arial, Sans Serif, Helvetica

To Install Additional Fonts

The installation process of Fonts onto Windows CE is much simpler compared to it's main stream Windows counterpart.
Detection of fonts and inclusion into the available fonts list occurs automatically once the file has been saved into the Windows CE Fonts folder.

To install a new font:

  1. Copy the font file onto your Handheld PC either using external storage media, TCP/IP connection of via ActiveSync.
  2. Move the Font file into the \Windows\Fonts\ folder
  3. Close Windows CE Explorer and Soft Reset your device
  4. The font will now be available in Pocket Office applications as well as through Font mark-up attributes embedded in web pages.

Upgrading Windows CE Fonts

If for any reason you need to upgrade one of the embedded font files that ships in your Handheld PC's ROM you should install the updated font file as outlined above.

The default Windows CE font files are located in the \Windows\ folder. By placing the font file into the \Windows\Fonts\ folder and subsequently soft resetting Windows CE will load the updated font file in \Windows\Fonts over that of the file in ROM.