Microsoft's fonts for the Web:
- Andale Mono (formerly Monotype.com)
- Arial Black
- Comic Sans MS
- Courier New
- Times New Roman
- Trebuchet MS
- Adobe Minion Web
by Stephen Bucaro
A font is actually a graphic shape, for example a triangle,
which can be used to create a typographic character. A
group of fonts of similar design can be used to create
a typeface. A set of typefaces in different sizes and
weights, created from the same group of fonts, is a type
family. These terms are often misused, the term "font"
being used to mean a typeface.
There are two basic kinds of fonts, "bitmapped"
fonts and "scalable" fonts. Bitmapped fonts
are constructed as a pattern of dots. Bitmapped fonts
can be enlarged, but this produces jagged looking type.
Scalable fonts are stored as outlines of the characters
along with rules (known as "hints") used when
displaying the font. This allows the fonts to be displayed
over a wider range of sizes and still look good. Scalable
fonts can be used for both the computer screen and the
printer, making it more likely that the print will closely
match what's seen on the computer screen.
A font file will usually contain a set of fonts in several
different point sizes. A font's size is the height of
the characters in "points". There are 72 points
per inch. The font size refers to the height of characters
when printed on paper. Unlike paper, computer screens
come in different sizes and can be set to different screen
resolutions. Also many applications allow the user to
magnify the document; therefore, the size of type on the
screen will only rarely
be the same as the point size.
Adobe invented the first scalable font technology called
"PostScript", but PostScript basically became
obsolete when Microsoft provided its "TrueType"
scalable fonts for no extra charge with the Windows operating
system. One important feature of TrueType fonts is the
embed the font into the document itself.
The fonts used in a document are embedded in an encrypted
form that prevents the recipient of a document from removing
the font and using it without paying for it. The font
developer can configure the font to be read-only, where
the receiver of the document with the font may view and
print it but not edit it, or read-write, where the receiver
may edit, as well as view and print the document.
Bitmapped fonts are stored in files with the extension
.fon. TrueType fonts are stored as font descriptions in
files with the extension .ttf. To install a font, simply
copy the font file to the c:Windows\fonts or :WINNT fonts
folder. You could store a font file in a different folder
and include a shortcut to the font file in the fonts folder.
To view a font, simply navigate to the fonts folder and
double-click on a font file. You can also view fonts by
selecting Start | Settings | Control Panel and opening
the Fonts utility. The Fonts utility provides many extra
features, such as the ability to select similar fonts.
When you select the "font" menu item from within
an application, the Font dialog box will display a list
of the the fonts stored in the fonts folder. The Font
dialog box in some applications will actually display
the typefaces for you to choose from.
When you install some applications, like graphics programs,
hundreds of fonts may be installed along with them. To
keep the number of fonts manageable, you may want to
delete fonts you don't use. To delete a font, simply delete
the font file, but remember, if you used that font in
a document, when you open or print that document, Windows
will be required to select the closest matching font to
the deleted font, and you may get unexpected
System fonts are used by the Windows operating system
for text like window titles and menu items. To determine
which fonts are being used by the system, select Start
| Control panel and open the Display utility. In the Display
Properties dialog box, select the Appearance tab. In the
Item: drop-down list, select items that use text, like
"Title Bar", "Menu", "Message
Box", and so on. The name of the font used for each
item will appear in the Font: text box. Don't delete a
font being used by the system.
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About the Author
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