Fonts Manager for Mac lets you use large number of fonts and activate
them without installing them in Font Book.
Char Menu for Windows or Mac OS X lets you access by simple click
thousands of characters in over 300 Unicode pages with any font in your
Fontmenu.com offers hundreds of original typefaces and font families
for Windows XP and more recent organized by categories and names.See full character map, download
free fonts samples, purchase online and get the fonts immediately. Fonts are optimized for :
Windows Vista a.k.a. Lomghorn (and OpenType Glyph Substitution technology)
this site, you will encounter strange words, that may not sound
familiar at all. Even "Font", as simple as it sounds,
seems here to mean more. What is for instance a "font family"
? What is a "Serif font" ? Answers are here. Or at
least, most of them. Such a glossary isalways a work in progress,
as new words and expressions appear. If you think a word has
been left out, please report it,
ad it will be added right away. Thank you. or is inaccurate.
- This is
the upper-reaching part of characters such as "b",
"d", "f", etc.
- This encoding
scheme is widely used on computer today, tio provide the basic
set of Roman characters. This encoding scheme has limited support
capabilities for accented characters (diacritics)
and therefore, most current multilangual systems use Unicode,
a much more flexible and efficient system.
alco "Unicode standard"
- see "Diacritics"
as well as printers, use a technology that separates elements
of the pictures (printed or viewed) in a map of pixels (picture
elements). Early electronic fonts, as well as screen fonts, use
the same technology : each point is represented by a zero or
one, and appears as black or white, according to mathematical
values. For pratical purposes, bitmap fonts are used for maximum
legibility at small point sizes, or on some systems like Macintosh™
and PostScript™ fonts, together with printer
- This refers
to the more general term of calligraphed "Old English"
or "Gothic" fonts. These early typefaces where used
by the European inventor of Type, Gutenberg, to set the very
first printed bible. A good exemple of such font in our collection
is Square Text.
- The imaginary
horizontal line used to write. We all used a very real baseline
when learning how to write : it was usually blue. The baseline
is also sometimes named "reading line".
- This is
the point siez obtained from the highest ascender
to the lowest descender, plus additional
white space to the descender line. Depending on font styles,
body size may give different appearance of letterform size. For
instance, the same text may appear very differently in Helvetica
(a usual sans-serif font) and Times
(a usual serif font).
- A darker
typeface with more weight, to emphasize
- This is
the oval within the round curves of letters such as "d",
"g", "b" and "o".
fonts, calligraphic typefaces
- Such fonts
imitate "beautiful writing", translation of the original
Greek word that is the origin of the work. Common calligraphic
fonts imitate formal writing, such as copperplate or square pen
calligraphy. Some of them are more casual in style than others,
for instance Chancellerie Moderne
(close to Chancery) looks a lot more formal than Skryptaag.
- see also
- Cap line
- The imaginary
line that goes on top of all capital letters.
- All the
characters contained in a font, as welll as their mapping. Most
fonts on this site have ful character sets, except for dingbats.
by dot matrix printers, Condensed typefaces offer an aspect ratio
where the characters are narrower than usual, and take less space
on the line. Therefore, more can appear on the same line.
- The apparent
difference of color between thicker and thinner parts of a character.
For instance, a serif font such as TSF
& Compagnie, based on the Bodoni design, has a high level
of contrast, when the modern-style serif Halotique,
where all parts of the character have the same apparent thickness,
has a lower level of contrast. Some sans-serif faces such as
Bordini, have a high level of contrast.
- The enclosed,
or at least delimited by, space within letters such as "C",
"e", "s", "H". Some confuse it
with the bowl.
- Cross the
"t" and you get a cross stroke ! Also refered to as
- see "Script fonts"
- The part
of the character that extends below the baseline, for instance
in "p", "q", "g".
- The lower
imaginary line that characters that have descending part extend
to, for instance "p", "j", "g",
- This acronym
stands for "Dots Per an Inch". This is the most common
unit of measurement of resolution (sharpness) for screen, scanners,
and printers. The higher number of dpis, the sharper the image.
For instance, a regular PC monitor can have a resolution of 72
dpi, when a printer will offer 300 dpi, and a typesetting equipement
does not use accented characters anymore (very old English text did use
accented, as well as Eth, since then abandonneedd), but most other
languages do. French, Spanish, Italian, German, etc...
- see also
- Small decorative
marks like bullets, symbols, pictures, pictograms, and in our
collection, dinosaurs or halloween characters, for instance.
Such fonts are a great asset for displayed itemized lists, or
to create graphics on pages.
- Larger and
bolder version of a text typeface that is used for titles, headlines
and sub-headlines. Also named sometimes "Title fonts".
- An oversized
capital letter used as the start of a paragraph. Drop cap ornamented
initials are a stapple of ancient manuscripts and older books.
They still are used quite often by news magazines, and on this
site, to illustrate use of some decorative
As a general rule,
computers today seem to confuse font and style. For instance, if you
look at the Times font that comes with most systems, italics are drawn
auite differently than the regular style. In the ancient days when lead
was used to cast character, it had to be liquified, "fondu" in French, hence creating a "fonte".
On this site, we refere to a font name (for instance Times) as a
Typeface, and different styles as individual fonts, as in font files. We may not use lead anymore, but for the user and the computer, each font has its own file.
Family - See font, above.
- see "script fonts"
- Based on
the way handwriting characters connect, some characters are the
result of combining two characters. For instance, when A and
E are ligated, it produces the ligature Æ. Less
common ligatures are fl, ff, st. Such characters are still widely
used by luxury book publishing, for instance the famous French
collection "La Pléïade".
assembled in a ligature, "linked" the way we naturaly do in Roman
cursive, between an o and any following letter, by modifying both
- Old English
- see "Black Letter"
- In some
technologies, and on most platforms, fonts sent to the printer
are not necessarily the same as fonts one may see on the screen.
On some systems, screen fonts and printer fonts are separate,
so they can be optimized for this specific display/use. For instance,
Macintosh™ PostScript™ fonts come in two files : a
suitcase of bitmap fonts, a.k.a screen
fonts, and a printer font. When the printer font is missing,
printing is very mediocre. This come from the low resolution
of screens, 72 dots per an inch, as compared to 300 or 600 dpi
on any average printer.
- Before the
advent of computers, fonts were cavufmetal. This process was
called "to punch" type.
- see "dpi"
- see "bitmap fonts"
fonts, script typefaces, cursive fonts
- Fonts that
mimic handwriting. Such fonts have been used for as long as typography
exist. However, electronic creation process now authorizes creation
of personal handwriting fonts that where close to impossible
to achieve during the lead type era. Current script fonts dating
back from the early days are Park Avenue or Brush Script, and
their appearance is too much polished to appear to anyone like
human script. Today's handwriting fonts do look like they had
been produced by hand, apart form the unatural respect of the
baseline, and regularity of the script.
also "Calligraphic fonts"
The Unicode standard had its genesis in eraly 1988 when a group
of information professionals with extensive experience in multilingual
computing agreed that no encoding methodology used in theur fields
possessed the elegance and simplicity of ASCII. The Unicode character
encoding was established as a fixed-width encoding of 16 bits,
which would provide a sufficient number of unique codes for the
world's scripts and technical symbols in comon use, and at the
same time promote efficient and flexible system design.
The Unicode Standard, Version 3.0 -- by The
Unicode Consortium (Editor)
In the old era of lead movable type, typographers had cases, where they
would place characters, a bit like letter cubes, in trays. The upper
case contained capital letters, and the lower case contained minuscule
characters. Today, it means absolutely nothing in reference to
computers, but you can impress your friends with background knowledge.
A typographer composing text with lead type