Working with Fonts

The days when your choice of fonts ended just beyond Arial and Times New Roman are long gone; if you include all the language variants and style variants (bold, italic, and so on), Windows 7 comes with hundreds of fonts. Something else that is gone (and won't be missed): the Add Fonts dialog box, which has been in every version of Windows virtually unchanged since Windows 3 .1.

The headquarters for font management is Fonts in Control Panel, which is shown next From this list of fonts, you can select a font (or a font family, which appears as a stack) and then click Preview to open a window that shows the font's characters in sizes ranging from 12 point to 72 point. (A point is a printer's measurement that is still used in modern digital typography. There are 72 points to an inch .)

-A stack indicates multiple fonts in a font family (italic, bold, and so on)

-Dim text indicates a hidden font, which is one designed for an input language you don't use. Hidden fonts don't appear in application font lists.


The primary font format used by Windows is OpenType, which is a format jointly developed by Microsoft and Adobe as an extension of Apple's TrueType format. Windows also supports TrueType fonts and PostScript Type 1 fonts . To install a new font, you can drag its file from a folder or compressed .zip archive to Fonts in Control Panel. But it's not necessary to open Fonts; the simplest way to install a font is to right-click its file in Windows Explorer and choose Install. Because font file names are often somewhat cryptic, you might want to double-click the file, which opens the font preview window, to see what you're getting . If it's a font you want, click the Install button .

caution l

Download and install fonts only from people or companies you know and trust.


PostScript Type 1 fonts normally comprise two or three files . The one you use to install the font—regardless of which method you use—is the .pfm file, whose file type is shown in Windows Explorer as Type 1 Font File.

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