Specify TrueType Fonts Location

This topic describes the default behavior of Aspose.Words when it looks for TrueType fonts, including operating system specific differences, and demonstrates how to specify user font sources.

The FontSourceBase class is used to specify various font sources. There are several implementations of the FontSourceBase class:

Implementation details for some classes are explained below.

Load Fonts from System

There is a special SystemFontSource class that is always used by default. It represents all TrueType fonts installed on the system. Therefore, it is possible to create a source list with SystemFontSource and any other required sources:

A single instance of the SystemFontSource class is defined by default in FontSettings. On different operating systems, fonts may be located in different places. However, using a FontSettings instance for each document is not an optimal solution. In the majority of cases, using DefaultInstance should be enough.

Per-document instances are needed only if it is required to use different font sources for different documents, which is a rare case. Using several FontSettings instances decreases performance because they do not share the cache.

Where Aspose.Words Looks for TrueType Fonts on Windows

In most cases, Windows users do not face significant problems with missed fonts or incorrect layouts. Typically, Aspose.Words goes through a document, and when it encounters a font’s link, it successfully fetches the font data from the system folder.

On Windows, Aspose.Words first takes all available fonts from the _%windir%\Fonts folder. This setting will work for you most of the time. You only specify your own fonts folders if you need to. Aspose.Words also looks for additional fonts registered in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts registry key. In addition, Windows 10 enables the installation of fonts for the current user. Fonts are placed into the %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Fonts folder and also specified in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts registry, where Aspose.Words will look for these fonts.

If a document contains embedded fonts, Aspose.Words can read relevant font data from the document and use it to create the document’s layout. Documents may also contain links to fonts that are not in the system folders, in which case the following scenarios come to work:

  • Users can set up new font sources through the FontSettings class
  • Aspose.Words can try to replace the missed font with a similar one

Fonts on Non-Windows Systems

Aspose.Words will look for the fonts in the system font folders. A list of these folders may be seen by the GetSystemFontFolders method. If no supported fonts are found, Aspose.Words will use the built-in default font Fanwood.ttf.

Since the font metrics of Windows and non-Windows OS are different, Aspose.Words does everything possible to find a similar font and build a layout similar to the original. However, this is not always possible. In these cases, the FontSettings class should be used to add custom fonts or substitution rules.

Where Aspose.Words Looks for TrueType Fonts on Linux

Different Linux distributions may store fonts in different folders. Aspose.Words looks for fonts in several locations. By default, Aspose.Words looks for the fonts in all of the following locations: * /usr/share/fonts* /usr/local/share/fonts* /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fontsThis default behavior will work for most Linux distributions, but it is not guaranteed to work all of the time, in which case you might need to specify the location of true type fonts explicitly. To do this, you need to know where TrueType fonts are installed on your Linux distribution.

Where Aspose.Words Looks for TrueType Fonts on Mac OS X

Aspose.Words looks for fonts in the /Library/Fonts folder, which is the standard location for TrueType fonts on Mac OS X. While this setting will work for you most of the time, you may need to specify your own fonts folders in the case when you need to.

TrueType Fonts on Android

On Android, fonts workflow is encapsulated in Typeface class. There are five types of typefaces, each typeface represents a group of similar font families:


For instance, according to Android’s fonts.xml config file, “times” belongs to “serif” family so NotoSerif-Regular.ttf will be used when “times” is requested:


<family name="serif">
        <font weight="400" style="normal">NotoSerif-Regular.ttf</font>
        <font weight="700" style="normal">NotoSerif-Bold.ttf</font>
        <font weight="400" style="italic">NotoSerif-Italic.ttf</font>
        <font weight="700" style="italic">NotoSerif-BoldItalic.ttf</font>
<alias name="times" to="serif" />
<alias name="times new roman" to="serif" />

To search for similar fonts, the strategies described earlier are used. 

In addition to them, Aspose.Words has its own list of replacements for the Android platform.

Let’s say the document contains the PMingLiU-ExtB font, first of all, Aspose.Words is looking for the required font within the system sources.

The default list of Android font’s folders is:

  • /system/fonts
  • /system/font
  • /data/fonts

The Aspose.Words looks through user-defined sources which was set with the method:


fontSettings.setFontsFolder("/home/user/MyFonts", true);

In case an explicit replacement has been specified, Aspose.Words replaces the missing font with the user’s suggestion:


fontSettings.getSubstitutionSettings().getTableSubstitution().setSubstitutes("PMingLiU-ExtB", "Liberation Serif");

If none of the rules worked, Aspose.Words check the internal replacement table. If the table contains information about a good fit then the font gets replaced. In our case Aspose.Words will select Typeface.SERIF. But if the table doesn’t know anything about the requested font then Aspose.Words picks up a font based on special MS Word rules or the closest distance in Panose space.

TrueType Fonts on .NET Core and Xamarin

For .NET Core and Xamarin the same rule applies as for Aspose.Words for Java version. By default, all system fonts of the platform on which the application runs are available. The list of folders where the search will be performed can be found by calling the method:



Load Fonts from Folder

If the document being processed contains links to fonts that are not on the system, or you don’t want to add them to the system folder, or you lack permissions, then the best solution would be to add a folder with your own fonts using the SetFontsSources method. This will allow replacing the system source with a user source. Aspose.Words will no longer look for fonts in the registry or Windows\Font folder and instead only scan for fonts within the specified folder(s). The GetFontSources method will return the corresponding values.

Specify One or Multiple Font Folders

The SetFontsFolder and SetFontsFolders methods are shortcuts to the SetFontSources method with one or several FolderFontSource instances. These methods are used to indicate where Aspose.Words should look for fonts. If a folder does not exist or is not accessible, Aspose.Words just ignores this folder. If all folders, including sources for the font substitution, were ignored, Aspose.Words will use Fanwood font as a default.

The following example demonstrates how to set the folder or source, which Aspose.Words will subsequently use to look for TrueType fonts during rendering or embedding of fonts:

An extra Boolean parameter controls whether fonts are scanned recursively through all folders, hence scanning all child folders of a specified folder. The following example demonstrates how to set Aspose.Words to look in multiple folders for TrueType fonts when rendering or embedding fonts:

You can download the template file of this example from Aspose.Words GitHub.

If you don’t want to use system fonts at all, Aspose.Words allows you to ignore them and use your own fonts only:


FontSettings.getDefaultInstance().setFontsFolder("C:\\MyFonts\\", true);

Priority Property

The Priority property is used when there are fonts with the same family name and style in different font sources. In this case Aspose.Words selects the font from the source with the higher priority value. For example, there is an old version of the font on the system folder and the customer added a new version of the same font in a custom folder.

Load Fonts from Stream

Aspose.Words provides the StreamFontSource class, which allows loading fonts from the stream. To use the stream font source, a user needs to create a derived class from StreamFontSource and provide an implementation of the OpenFontDataStream method. The OpenFontDataStream method could be called several times. For the first time, it will be called when Aspose.Words scans the provided font sources to get a list of available fonts. Later it may be called if the font is used in the document to parse the font data and to embed the font data to some output formats. StreamFontSource may be useful because it allows loading the font data only when it is required, and not to store it in the memory for the FontSettings lifetime.

StreamFontSource is an alternative to MemoryFontSource since it is always possible to load a stream to memory and pass it to MemoryFontSource. The difference is that the MemoryFontSource is stored in the memory all the time, and the StreamFontSource is loaded on demand and disposed of right away. But it may be loaded several times, as described above. In some cases MemoryFontSource is preferable, and in others, StreamFontSource.

Save and Load a Font Search Cache

When searching for a font for the first time, Aspose.Words iterates over the font sources specified by the user and forms a font search cache based on data from these sources. Thus, the cache will collect information about the available fonts: font family, style, full font name, and others. On subsequent calls, Aspose.Words searches for information about the desired font by its name in the font search cache, after which it parses the specified files to use the font.

The procedure for parsing all available font files to initialize the cache is quite time consuming. Aspose.Words allows you to save and load the cache using the FontSettings.SaveSearchCache method to solve the performance issue. That is, the user can load a previously saved cache from a file and skip the step of parsing all available font files.

Get a List of Available Fonts

If you want to get the list of available fonts, which, for example, can be used to render a PDF document, you can use the GetAvailableFonts method, as shown in the following code example. The PhysicalFontInfo class specifies information about the physical font available to Aspose.Words font engine: