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Managing Fonts

Windows 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.

✓ Tips

  • 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

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes; below See Also, 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 folder \Windows\Fonts. (\Windows is named \WINNT on some systems.)

✓ Tips

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

  • To see look-alike fonts, choose View > List Fonts by Similarity.

  • To reduce Fonts folder clutter, choose View > Hide Variations (Bold, Italic, Etc.).

Font Utilities

If you work with fonts regularly or your font lists are getting crowded, try a font-management utility such as Suitcase ($100 U.S.; www.extensis.com) or Adobe Type Manager Deluxe ($69; www.adobe.com).

To convert PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts between Windows and Mac, try CrossFont ($45; www.asy.com).

To create your own fonts, try Font Creator Program ($50; www.high-logic.com).

For enthusiasts, Metafont, TeX, and LaTeX—the best typography and typesetting software on the planet—is free and available at www.tug.org.

To view or print 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 one or more font icons; then press Enter (or choose File > Open).

    Windows displays font statistics, the full alphabet, and a type sample at various sizes. Click Print to print a font sample.

✓ Tips

  • 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 system fonts (Courier, Symbol, and MS Serif, for example) are hidden because Windows needs them for 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, uncheck Copy Fonts to Fonts Folder.


    Drag a font file into the Fonts folder.

✓ Tips

  • 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 one or more font icons; then press Delete (or choose File > Delete).


    Drag one or more font icons out of the Fonts folder (to the Recycle Bin or another folder).

✓ Tips

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

  • The standard Windows fonts are Courier New (TrueType, including bold, italic, and bold italic), Arial (TrueType, including bold, italic, and bold italic), Times New Roman (TrueType, including bold, italic, and bold italic), Symbol (TrueType), Wingdings (TrueType), MS Serif, and MS Sans Serif.

    If you delete any of the standard fonts, you can restore them by copying icons from the Fonts folder of another Windows computer (pre-XP PCs work fine) or by running Windows Setup.

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