Fonts in Chromebox and Chromebit

Fonts in Chromebox and Chromebit are different than what we are used with Windows or Android. Also, the web is very thin with posts about this issue (more likely that you will find posts about Chromebook font issues rather than Chromebox font or Chromebit font issues), that’s why we have published this post.
Chrome OS fonts
In Windows, you just need to copy the font TTF files to the C:\Windows\Fonts folder and you can immediately start using them (here is how to add fonts in our Windows digital signage app). In Android, you also need to copy the font files to somewhere in the file system (here is how to add fonts in our Android digital signage app) to be used by a certain app or to the system font folder, if you want them to be used by the whole Android (for that, your device should be rooted).

But when it comes to Chrome OS, it’s not straight forward as one might expect it to be. The thing is that you cannot add fonts directly by copying and pasting the font files (as far as I know).
You might need extra fonts in case you use your Chrome OS device for Chromebox digital signage or Chromebit digital signage or in some other cases.
In order to add fonts to Chrome OS based device such as Chromebox or Chromebit, you have to take another turn.

Before everything, one must know that the Chrome OS uses WebFonts (which can be TrueType or OpenType fonts, like in Windows for example) or actually called “Woff” or CSS fonts. Woff is just a container with compression; Chrome OS supports all TTF, OTF and WOFF fonts as well. Another thing is that there are “system fonts” while there are just “fonts” for applications, etc. System fonts are the fonts which are being used by the Chrome OS operating system to display the operating system itself. Google has an extensive font database for that. You can change your system font settings by going to the profile icon on the bottom right corner of the screen, then choose the “Settings” and type “font” into the “Search Settings” textbox at the top of the screen.

The more interesting are the “other” non-system fonts which should be useful in apps, like Chromebox digital signage and Chromebit digital signage apps.

When it comes to Chromebox, all is based on the web as the app’s lifecycle scope is within a web browser. Even though, you install an app (as a digital signage app) that opens in the app’s window and not in a browser, still it is a local website which you watch via the Chrome browser.
Therefore, the attitude should be looking at website fonts. If you need to use a font on a website, all that matters is not that the font is on your Chromebox, but that it is in the web service or website you’re in. In digital signage app, when the app plays locally, you need to have the fonts somewhere, in the cache probably.

So, what to do? Either the app should have the extra fonts in the cache or you should install an app that adds more WebFonts to your Chrome browser. If you search for “install font” in the Chrome Web Store (https://chrome.google.com/webstore) you may find few things, but not necessarily those fonts which you are in need of. So, if you’re the app’s developer, make sure the WebFonts are already included in your app.

Nurit.

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