Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there an application to simply preview a font from a TTF file without installing it?

share|improve this question

I use character maps heavily and decides to make one which you access from anywhere using a web interface and requires no installation. Works best on Chrome.


  • Select your own font file
  • Provides font and character information
  • Character copy-able
  • Supports TTF/OTF
  • Supports Icon fonts
  • Simple interface
  • No installation necessary
  • No server upload necessary



share|improve this answer
Great tool - thanks. Helped me quite a bit :) – Omar Mir Apr 15 '15 at 12:22
Very nice. But I can't see how to navigate through the characters. It shows ranges of 200 chars, but clicking on those ranges doesn't do anything, so only the first 200 chars are ever visible. – Mr Lister May 5 '15 at 11:33
It seems the version on that link has a bug. Running the version from github.com/bluejamesbond/CharacterMap locally works (needs node and npm) – textshell Feb 6 at 21:54

gnome-font-viewer (part of GNOME of course) can do this (this is the default association for fonts under GNOME); indeed, it comes with a button to install the font, which obviously wouldn't make sense if the font needed to be installed already.

fontmatrix lets you organize groups of fonts to be installed or uninstalled, and you can preview them and see their features, whether installed or not.

Most font editors, like fontforge, certainly don't require the fonts to be installed to open them up and look at them...

There are others, I'm sure.

share|improve this answer

Font Manager is very handy for previewing and comparing fonts. It allows you to install TTF files, even if zipped, and will preview them pretty quickly. It does install them in your ~/.fonts directory, but it's pretty easy to remove them.

Font Manager

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.