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Batch installing type 1 fonts in Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7

This was such a massive pain, I sank way too much time into it so I figured I would share it. The font I was trying to install was needed by the customer, the font itself is called Helvetica light 45 as below:

Previously when installing this in server 2003, I just used the tried and trusted script from the Scripting guys here and it went off without a hitch. But with windows vista and above interactive session detection foils our lovely plans.

So moving on, what other options do we have? You could use:

  • The managed API AddFontResource (nope, type 1 fonts dont register the same way as typical fonts)
  • Using Visual Studio to create an MSI: (nope, see above)
  • Using a third party msi builder: (nope, see above)
  • Copy the files from the fonts directory from one machine to another (nope, something is missing)

So, after much hair pulling I hit a dead end.

I’ll spare you the details, but here’s an easy way to do it going forward:

  • install the font on a test machine:
  • Open command prompt as an administrator and browse to c:\windows\fonts
  • find the font files here and copy them out to a working directory

  • Open regedit and browse down to:

hklm:\software\microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\type 1 installer\type 1 Fonts:

  • Export this key to your working directory:

Move to the target machine:

  • Copy the fonts from the working directory to the fonts folder as above.
  • Import the registry key.
  • Restart the machine.


If you know of an easier way to do this, be my guest to share it. But I dont want to look at a font file again for a very long time.

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