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informal, nice and bold

excellent alternative to Arial in bold

less common member of the family

strong, smart and narrow

one of the better handwriting fonts

found on most systems - big and clear

good for very large text

everyone has it - now even has designer status

pretty and stylish

one of the better old-fashioned styles

web-safe alternative to Times NR can make your own writing into a font


the chunkiest web-safe font

more fun for kids than Comic Sans

pretty and modern script

something different but not too different

smart font for titles

looks like a very old typewriter

unusual but well-proportioned

interesting but use with care

great for big poster text

web-safe Arial alternative

web-safe Arial alternative ideal for small text

use Wingdings for special chracters

Most people have a huge number of fonts installed on their computers and use two of them. Times New Roman and Arial. Unless you’re teaching young children when you’ll use Comic Sans. There are alternatives. They can be just as clear as Arial and Comic Sans (that seems to be the usual excuse, er, reason for using them). They can be just as professional-looking as Times New Roman.

So try something different for printed work. The choice is limited for the web, however – and if you’re sending a document to someone you need to be careful as they might not have the one you used. Both on the web and in e-mail attachments, other people’s computers will use a replacement font which may not produce the result you’d intended!

You should be pretty safe with any of the standard Microsoft Office set but if users may not have Microsoft Office and certainly for web use you should restrict yourself to one of the ‘web safe’ fonts.

More details can be found in this pdf document. It has to be that sort to show the fonts on your computer! And that is a good solution where you want others to see your text exactly as you designed it. You’ll need to be able to save your work as that sort of file, though, which Word can’t do. See the useful tools section for more on this.

Sending a font to someone
Another solution is to send the font(s) with the document by e-mail. Unfortunately you can’t attach fonts in the same way you attach other things in Outlook. First find the font, located in the Fonts folder, in turn located in the Windows folder. Keep that window open and prepare your message. Then drag the required font(s) from the Fonts folder window to the message window, using the right mouse button. When you release the mouse button you will be asked to choose between copying or moving the item. Select Copy here (or you’ll lose it from your computer!) Dragging with the left mouse button seems to move it which is not what you want. An odd glitch in Windows.

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page updated by Andrew Hill, Dunstable College 24 July, 2006