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Managing Fonts

Windows XP includes dozens of fonts used to display text on the screen and in print. Most of these are TrueType or OpenType fonts that look smooth in all sizes and on all output devices. Windows also supports Adobe’s Type 1 fonts for PostScript printers, with no need for Adobe Type Manager. You manage fonts in the Fonts folder.


  • For more font information, visit www.microsoft.com/typography/.

  • Windows includes a few hideous bitmapped fonts, called raster fonts, for compatibility with older programs.

  • OpenType fonts also are known as TrueType version 2 fonts.

  • To change the fonts used in icons, menus, and other screen elements, see “Choosing a Desktop Theme” earlier in this chapter.

To open the Fonts folder:

  • In Control Panel, choose Appearance and Themes; below See Also in the task pane, click Fonts (Figure 4.76).

    Figure 4.76. The O icon indicates an OpenType font; TT indicates a TrueType font; and A indicates a raster or PostScript font.


    In Windows Explorer, open the \Windows\Fonts folder.


  • To match the font names with their filenames, choose View > Details in the Fonts folder.

  • If you need more detail about the font than you can get by opening the icon, right-click it and choose Properties. (But be warned: Many Microsoft fonts have blank property sheets.)

To view a font:

  • In the Fonts folder, double-click the font’s icon (Figure 4.77).

    Figure 4.77. Font Viewer shows a font’s summary information along with a preview.


    In the Fonts folder, select the font’s icon; then press Enter (or choose File > Open).

    Windows displays the font’s statistics, the full alphabet, and a type sample at various sizes.


  • To print a font sample, click Print in Font Viewer.

  • Font Viewer displays only a predefined set of characters. To display every character in a font, use Character Map. See “Using the Free Utility Programs” in Chapter 6.

  • Some fonts (Courier, Symbol, and Marlett, for example) are hidden because they’re system fonts that Windows wants absolutely intact for use in program windows, dialog boxes, and menus. To view them, in the Fonts folder, choose Tools > Folder Options > View tab > Show Hidden Files and Folders.

  • To view fonts with a program other than Windows Font Viewer, right-click a font icon; choose Properties; then click Change.

To install a new font:

  • In the Fonts folder, choose File > Install New Font; then navigate to and select the font files to install (Figure 4.78).

    Figure 4.78. To install fonts from a network drive without using disk space on your computer, clear the Copy Fonts to Fonts Folder check box.


    Drag a font file into the Fonts folder.


  • After a font is installed, it appears in your programs’ Font dialog boxes and lists.

  • Windows lets you install only these font types: TrueType (.ttf), OpenType (also .ttf), Adobe Type 1 (.pfm or .pfb), and raster (.fon).

  • If a new font appears unexpectedly in your Fonts folder, a recently installed program probably put it there.

To remove a font:

  • In the Fonts folder, right-click the font’s icon; then choose Delete.


    In the Fonts folder, select the font’s icon; then press Delete (or choose File > Delete).


    Drag the font’s icon out of the Fonts folder (to the Recycle Bin or another folder).


  • If an icon in the Fonts folder has a shortcut arrow, the font is installed but located somewhere else.

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