The basics of computer text fonts

fonts.gifComputer fonts don’t usually attract your attention unless you’re a font freak who likes writing in dozens of different types of… typography. Anyway, there are a couple of things every standard computer user should know about them.

Fonts are data files that contain a set of characters and determine the external appearance of a given text. You can use them to emphasize or spice up what you’re writing. Word processors sometimes feature a set of fonts of their own, besides the ones included by default with your operating system. Font files usually come in the TTF format, which stands for True Type Font.

You can check the fonts installed on your PC by opening the Control Panel – Fonts window. Installing a new font is as easy as dragging and dropping the correspondent file onto this window. Double clicking on any font file will open a preview pop-up with the famous phrase “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” which (in case you’re wondering) is a pangram, that is, a sentence that uses all the letter of the alphabet so that you can see what the font looks like in every single letter.

There are also other font-related software applications, such as font viewers and even utilities to create your own set of characters. You could create a font with your personal handwriting!

Finally, remember that there are lots of font resources on the Internet, like Fonts500, which offers the web’s top 500 free fonts or Dafont, featuring more than 7,000 fonts, both freeware and shareware.

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