Tag Archives: fonts

How to Browse Your Computer’s Installed Fonts

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What is your favorite font in the entire universe? So help me – don’t tell me it’s Comic Sans MS. Everyone has a favorite, even if it happens to be one that no one else likes. Did you know that there is a Lockergnome font? I used to feature several different fonts in the old days of the newsletter that I send out. Of course, that’s evolved over time, and now intersting links from across our community – as well as some great savings!

Ok, where were we? Oh yes – fonts! Do you know how many you have installed on your computer right now? I’m guessing there are more than you realize. When you uninstall a program, the font still hangs around. If you want a quick way to see how many there are – and to be able to browse them all – then check out the Font Picker.

This simple tool shows you all the fonts installed on your computer and helps you choose which one is most suitable for a particular project. Test out how your font will look right from within your browser. Get rid of the fonts that you don’t like by pressing the x next to them so you are left with a smaller list of fonts to choose from.

This is an easy way to see how many different fonts you have. It’s also a very easy way for you to choose just the right look for your next project or paper.

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Safari Font Problems

Rich Menga had a Safari font problem in Windows:

I know you’re a busy guy, but if you or someone you know could find the answer as to why this is occurring, it’d be greatly appreciated. I have read on other blogs that people have been able to use this without any problems. I’m hoping you or someone else could find out why the blank-out’s happen.

I wasn’t sure, quite honestly. He wrote back today:

Safari issue fixed. If you have a lot of fonts installed, Safari won’t index all your fonts, and you’re left with no font rendering at all. Manually modify C:Documents and Settings [username] Local Settings Application Data Apple Computer Safari Fonts.plist.

Just edit out enough of the fonts that you never expect Web pages to call upon directly.

His discovery lead me to a solution to the font problem that *I* was having with Safari. Even though I already had a version of Lucida Grande (and Lucida Grande Bold) installed on my machine, Safari insisted on using its own versions. With Safari 3.0, I could simply remove the TTFs from the Safari.resources folder – but Safari 3.0.1 is intelligent enough to restore deleted files and folders automatically (and yes, I’m impressed with that feature – even though it didn’t help my situation).

My font conflict caused all Lucida Grande characters in Safari (window UI and Web pages) to appear like garbage. I looked at the .plist file, per your suggestion – but that didn’t fix anything for me. Even though my Fonts folder in the Windows shell showed but two instances of Lucida Grande (one being the Bold derivation), I had to open up a command shell, browse to the C: Windows Fonts folder, get a directory of all the “Lucida Grande” files, then delete the duplicates. Indeed, each file had been duped 3x over.

With just one Lucida Grande / Lucida Grande Bold installed (Apple’s version), Safari looked as it should have in the first place. I blame Windows font management for this shortcoming, not Apple. Like anybody would have known to open up CMD.EXE and delete files that the Windows folder didn’t display!?

Tweak Your ClearType Font Settings

There’s all this talk about Windows Safari fonts looking fuzzy. Duncan Riley:

Yes it’s quick, but it doesn’t support Aero in Vista. And then there is the font rendering. WTF? Chris Pirillo tells me on Flickr that it’s something to do with settings so I’ll have to play with it some more but the first impression Windows users are going to get is terrible: fuzzy, hard to read fonts.

The explanation given by Joel on Software:

Apple generally believes that the goal of the algorithm should be to preserve the design of the typeface as much as possible, even at the cost of a little bit of blurriness. Microsoft generally believes that the shape of each letter should be hammered into pixel boundaries to prevent blur and improve readability, even at the cost of not being true to the typeface.

I actually found the text in Safari to be far more to my liking than what I’ve grown accustomed to in Firefox / Maxthon. Maybe I belong on OS X, after all? Until then, I wanted everyone (Duncan!) to realize that you can easily modify Windows ClearType thickness – as no monitor renders text alike. Try either ClearTweak or Microsoft’s own online ClearType Tuner. Find the setting your eyes most appreciate!

DOS Fonts

Yes, you can easily change your command line font – so long as you’re running in a full screen session. I used to do this all the time (when DOS ruled the Earth). I’m not talking about changing the font in Windows, mind you – anybody can do that. Here’s a set of “.COM” files I collected back in the day, including a free DOS font editor from PC Magazine. They’re completely safe to use.

  1. Download these DOS fonts and extract them somewhere
  2. Open a command line window [run CMD.EXE]
  3. “CD” to the directory where you extracted the fonts
  4. Key in “MODE CON: LINES=23” [without quotes, tap ENTER]
  5. Tap ALT+ENTER to go full screen
  6. Key in “DIR” [without quotes, tap ENTER]
  7. Key in “F#” [without quotes, “#” can be 1 through 44]

If these instructions make no sense to you, then you probably wouldn’t find this bit of digital nostalgia all that much fun anyway. I’ve been a font freak forever.

It’s totally geeky – but I’m not going to explain the reason or rhyme behind why I believe it’s still fun to do. The settings aren’t sticky, so everything goes back to normal when you EXIT the session. I created “F4,” by the way (very Beavis & Buttheadish). If you wanna create your own, I’ve included FONTEDIT.COM. Pimp it, yo!