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Microsoft Typography | Features... | FAQ... | TrueType core fonts for the Web FAQ


TrueType core fonts for the Web FAQ


Q Microsoft no longer distributes the Web core fonts, so why is the FAQ still here?

A This FAQ is being kept in place for those who downloaded the fonts before we discontinued the program and for those who downloaded them from elsewhere.

Q What can I do with these fonts?

A For all the rules that govern the use of these fonts please read the end user license agreement.

  • Anyone can download and install these fonts for their own use.
  • Designers can specify the fonts within their Web pages. Our guide to specifying fonts in Web pages explains how to do this.
  • You may only redistribute the fonts in their original form (.exe or .sit.hqx) and with their original file name from your Web site or intranet site.
  • You must not supply the fonts, or any derivative fonts based on them, in any form that adds value to commercial products, such as CD-ROM or disk based multimedia programs, application software or utilities. See Microsoft's permissions site for more details.


Q How do I download and install the fonts?

A Use the appropriate text link, and select the 'Save to disk' option to download the file to your hard disk.

Windows 9x, Windows NT and Windows 2000: Click on the link and save the file to your desktop or a temporary folder. Double click on the file to automatically install the fonts. Be sure to make backup copies of any fonts you plan to overwrite.

Windows 3.1 & 3.11: Each self-extracting .exe file listed contains the TrueType font(s), an end user license agreement and installation instructions.

Apple Macintosh: You will need an application to decode the BinHex file. For more information, see Aladdin Systems' page on this subject. After the file is decoded, you can read the end user license agreement, and drag the font suitcases to your system folder. For more information about installing fonts on your Apple Macintosh, consult your user manual.


Q Why are the Windows 'WGL4' font files so large? Oh, and what does WGL4 mean anyway?

A The files are large because they contain more characters than ordinary fonts. These fonts include the full Windows Glyph List 4 (WGL4) character set. This character set contains 652 characters and covers multiple writing systems including Western, Central, and Eastern European, as well as characters required by Greek and Turkish. We are currently working to add WGL4 support to all of the TrueType core fonts for the Web.

For detailed technical information about character sets and codepages please see our Character sets document. The WGL4 character set is listed in Chapter 4 of the TrueType 1.0 Font File Specification.


Q How do I access these additional Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Central European, Cyrillic, Baltic and Turkish characters?

A If you are using Windows 9x, you need to activate 'Multilanguage Support'. Select 'Control Panel', from the 'Settings...' option on the 'Start' button menu. Select 'Add/Remove Programs'. Select the 'Windows Setup' tab, select 'Multilanguage Support' and then click on 'details...'. Select the components you require and then click 'Okay'. Unfortunately Windows 3.x does not let you access these additional characters, and the 3.5" disk version of Windows 95 does not include Multilanguage Support.


Q I can't download the fonts.

A If problems persist try again later or contact your Internet service provider for assistance. For example users have told us that AOL recommends the use of AOL 3.0 and a recent browser for downloads.

Problems downloading the fonts are usually related to issues with certain ISPs (Internet service providers). If the fonts won't download after a few tries, we recommend you download them using a different ISP (providing you have accounts with more than one ISP).


Q When I try to download the fonts I'm prompted for a password.

A It seems that this is a known problem that affects subscribers to a specific service provider. If you encounter this problem we suggest that you contact the technical support department of your service provider and ask for an explanation.


Q Will I be able to use the TrueType fonts provided on your site in applications other than HTML authoring, such as correspondence (i.e. letter writing) and desktop publishing?

A Absolutely. The fonts will work in just the same way as all the other TrueType fonts you may have installed on your system. Just because we've optimized them for on-screen display doesn't mean that you can't use them in other programs. And they'll still look great when you print them out!


Q Will there be a noticeable change in appearance of my previous Windows fonts (Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New) if I download and install the versions supplied on your site?

A No. We've maintained backwards compatibility by ensuring that the widths, heights and shapes of the characters remains the same, so that if you download and install these new versions, the formatting of all your old documents will remain exactly the same.


Q So if everything will look the same when I download the Windows fonts, why should I bother?

A The principal reason for downloading these new versions from our site is for the enlarged character sets they contain.


Q I don't understand why you're providing Times New Roman and Courier New for Macintosh computers. After all, the MacOS already comes with Times and Courier fonts.

A You're right - but the fonts that come with MacOS are Apple's TrueType versions, and have different character outlines and metrics. We've provided our versions in the interest of cross-platform compatibility. If you use Times New Roman at 14ppem on the PC, and at 14 point on the Mac, you'll get exactly the same bitmaps and spacing (which is obviously crucial for developers). If you use Times New Roman on the PC and Apple's Times on the Mac, they'll be different, even to the extent of altering line length and layout in a text file.


Q Can I use the fonts with any Web browsers?

A You can use any of the fonts as your default font. However, only browsers that support the FONT FACE extension to HTML or the Cascading Style Sheets standard from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will display these fonts automatically.




this page was last updated 25 July 2002
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Microsoft Typography | Features... | FAQ... | TrueType core fonts for the Web FAQ