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JGoffin - terms used on alt.binaries.fontsBF
Category: Technical and IT
Date & country: 20/09/2007, UK
Words: 149

An electronic document format from Adobe, based on their PostScript language. Acrobat can embed whole fonts or selected glyphs withing a font (called subsets) so that a document looks the same on any computer, whether or not the original font is installed.

One of the world's biggest software companies. Adobe designed the PostScript printer language and Type 1 fonts. It is also a major type foundries, and produces the Adobe Type Manager software that is required to use Type 1 fonts on most operating systems. Other well known products include Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, PageMaker, and Photoshop. > Adobe

Adobe Type Manager ATM
The software that allows earlier versions of Windows to display Type 1 and Multiple Master fonts on screen. The latest version, ATM Deluxe also allows users to arrange fonts in folders that can be turned on and off, gives more control over printing font samples, and also works with TrueType fonts. A free version, ATM Light, is available for download from Adobe. Note: Windows XP does not require ATM to display standard Type 1 fonts, as support is built in. However, ATM is still required to use Multiple Master fonts.

advance width set-width
The width of a letter and its surrounding space; the space needed to set a line of text in a specific typeface. Some programs have tracking to adjust the typeface to make it set looser or tighter.

A popular shareware newsreader. > Forte

The positioning of text within page or column margins. Alignment can be flush left (left justified), flush right (right justified), justified, force justified, or centered.

Denotes fonts created by the Astigmatic One Eye foundry. > Astigmatic One Eye

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The part of lowercase letters (such as k, b, and d) that ascends above the x-height of the other lowercase letters in a face.

A font’s maximum distance above the baseline.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A numbering scheme used for identifying printing characters.

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The imaginary line upon which most of the glyphs in a font rest.

Bézier Control Point. One of two points which guide a Bézier curve.

A grid of individual dots (known as pixels) that viewed together make up a shape or picture. TIFF and BMP graphic files are bitmap graphics. When describing a bitmap, them the number of 'bits' refers to the number of colours each dot can be, ie. in a 1-bit picture, each dot is either black or white; in an 8-bit greyscale, each dot can be any one of 256 shades of grey.

bitmap font
Type of font format, examples include Windows FON format. A bitmap font describes each letter or symbol as rows of dots, which can quickly and easily be reproduced on a computer screen. However, when the font is enlarged, the dots simply become bigger, causing rough edges or 'jaggies'. Bitmap fonts have now been mostly replaced by outline fonts.

Bitstream BT
A font foundry, that deals largely with TrueType fonts. They also sell the Font Navigator font management utility. > Bitstream

body text
The paragraphs in a document that make up the bulk of its content. Usually (eg. in a newspaper or magazine) this will be a serif font at 10-12pt.

A typeface which has been enhanced by rendering it in darker, thicker strokes so that it will stand out on the page. Headlines are often set in bold, but italics are generally used when emphasis is needed within body text.

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Denotes fonts created by Brian Kent. > A Enigma Fonts

bullet bullet point
A dot or other special character placed at the left of items in a list to show that they are individual, but related points.

Denotes fonts created by the Blue Vinyl foundry. > Blue Vinyl

In printing, bitmaps of letters are saved in memory or on the printer’s hard disk to minimize the amount of time spent generating them. The first time a particular letter is imaged, its bitmap is generated and cached. Subsequent uses of that letter can use the cached version for faster printing.

cap height
The height from the baseline to the top of the uppercase letters in a font. This may or may not be the same as the height of ascenders.

cap line
The imaginary line which represents the uppermost part of capital letters and some lowercase characters’ ascenders.

Cascading Style Sheets CSS
A file that can be included by reference in a Web page and that specifies typographic style for HTML elements. A user's browser determines what fonts to use to display elements, how to space those elements, etc., by reference to the CSS, but it can only use fonts that are available on the user's computer. The style definitions in a CSS typically provide a ranked list of choices in order to help ensure that at least one acceptable font be available, for example, 'Arial, Helvetica, Sans-serif.' > W3C

A symbol in writing. A letter, punctuation mark, or figure.

character encoding
Character encoding is the way computers store text. A table in a font or a computer operating system matches up numerical codes to the relevant shape in a font. Not all operating system use the same character encoding, with Macintosh and Windows using different systems.

character set
The characters, symbols, and numbers that make up one single font.

Denotes fonts created by the Creating Keepsakes foundry.

A narrower version of a font, used to get a maximum of characters into a given space, but without compromising the design.

A subjective feeling that graphic elements (such as fonts) are different but work together well. This gives a feeling of variety without losing harmony. Within a particular font, contrast also refers to the variety of stroke thicknesses that make up the characters. Helvetica has low contrast and Bodoni has high contrast.

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An application for converting fonts between Macintosh and Windows. > Crossfont

A style of font in which letters are similar to handwriting, but the letters are not joined, as in script fonts.

Denotes fonts created by Data Becker.

The part of lowercase letters (such as y, p, and q) that descends below the baseline of the other lowercase letters in a font face. In some typefaces, the uppercase J and Q also descend below the baseline.

descender line
The lowest line that a character’s descenders extends to, like the line beneath the lowercase ‘j’ and ‘y.’

A font’s maximum distance below the baseline.

Typefaces that consist entirely of symbol characters such as pictures, decorations, arrows and bullets.

dots per inch dpi
The measure of picture quality (known as resolution) for a monitor or printer. It is normally measured in the number of dots per inch the device can produce. More dots mean smaller dots, and so smoother curves and more natural looking pictures. High-resolution printers work at over 1200 dpi; most laser printers have a resolution of 300-600 dpi; and monitors around 72 dpi.

downloadable font
A font that can be temporarily stored in the printer’s memory.

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A punctuation mark made up of three dots in a row, indicating that a word or phrase has been omitted.

The width of a face’s widest letter, the capital ‘M.’ For instance, if the M is 10 points wide, an em is equal to 10 points.

em dash
A dash the length of an em, which is often used to indicate a break in a sentence.

em space
A space equal to the width of a typeface’s point size. Often used for paragraph indentions. Traditionally, the em space was created by non-printing blocks of metal used to add space between words.

em square
A square the size of a capital letter M.

em units
Measuring units in PostScript fonts, whose size is defined as 1/1000 of the font's em square.

A font foundry. Emigre is infamous on ABF for fiercely defending its copyright. > Emigre

A typeface whose letters have been made wider without visually adding weight.

A typeface whose letters are stretched (or expanded) horizontally while still retaining their original height.

Short for ‘typeface’; the style of a font or set of character images, eg. italic.

All the type sizes and styles of one font. The group shares a common design but can differ in attributes such as character width and weight, (eg. roman and italic, condensed and ultra bold). A typical font family contains four typestyles: Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic.

Denotes fonts created by the Font Bureau foundry. > Font Bureau

A means of automatically suppressing small details, such as cupped serifs, that would print poorly at small sizes. At large sizes or high resolutions, the details are automatically reinstated. Applies only to Type 1 fonts.

font attributes
Characteristics which apply to the font as a whole (such as the ascent, descent, leading, etc.). Also used in desktop publishing to refer to the different typefaces of a font, such as bold and italic.

Font Creator
A shareware font editor. > High Logic

Font foundry. Neville Brody, Luc(as) de Groot, and Rian Hughes are some of their best known designers. > FontFont

A commercial font editor for making Type 1, TrueType and OpenType fonts for Mac and PC. Unlike Fontographer, is currenlty being fully supported and updated. > Pyrus

A commerical font editor for making Type 1 and TrueType fonts for Mac and PC. Being left behind as Macromedia concentrates on Web products and illustration. > Macromedia

FontPlay FP
FP stands for FontPlay, which is the name regulars in ABF have given to images created to show off particular fonts. > FontPlay

A free version of Agent, the popular shareware newsreader produced by Forte.

Denotes fonts created by the Galapagos Design foundry.

A shape in a font that is used to represent a character code on screen or paper. The most common example of a glyph is a letter, but the symbols and shapes in a dingbats font are also glyphs.

A sans serif font style.

img src=''> In desktop publishing, a hairline also refers to the thinnest line it is possible to draw or print.

hanging indent outdenting
A document style in which the first line of a paragraph is aligned with the left margin, and the remaining lines are all indented an equal amount. This is sometimes referred to as "outdenting".

headline font
A font that has been designed to look good at large point sizes for use in headlines. They often exclude rarer symbols and punctuation marks.

Information embedded in fonts to enhance the appearance of characters low resolutions (72-600 dpi). ATM and Windows can take advantage of hints so that fonts look more uniformly shaped on screen.

HyperText Markup Language HTML
The programming language used to write web pages. HTML provides only very basic typographic controls; more advanced abilities are being added via Cascading Style Sheets.

Image Club Graphics ICG
A subsidiary of Adobe that mostly sells stock artwork, but also has some type products.

International Type Corporation ITC
One of the major font foundries. > ITC

Internet Explorer IE
Microsoft's free web browsing software. > Microsoft

Best used to set off quotes, special phrases, and foreign words, italic letters have a redesigned structure that allows them to slant to the right. The first italic type was designed by Aldus Manutius in AD 1501 and was based on the handwriting style of that time.

Denotes fonts created by Jeffrey S Lee. > Jeffrey S Lee

The adjustment of horizontal space between individual characters in a line of text. Adjustments in kerning are especially important in large display and headline text lines. Without kerning adjustments, many letter combinations can look awkward. The objective of kerning is to create visually equal spaces between all letters so that the eye can move smoothly along the text. Many fonts have kerning pairs built in.

kerning pairs
Combinations of character pairs where the space between them (known as kerning) has been modified to improve readability.

The amount of space added between lines of text to make the document legible or the total height from baseline to baseline of rows of text. The term originally referred to the thin lead spacers that printers used to physically increase space between lines of metal type. Most applications automatically apply standard leading of 120% of the font's point size.

Denotes fonts created by the Letraset foundry. > Letraset

Denotes fonts created by the Linotype Hell foundry. > Linotype

Denotes fonts created by the Letterhead foundry.

img src=''> Two or more letters tied together into a single letter. In some typefaces, character combinations such as fi and fl overlap, resulting in an unsightly shape. The fi and fl ligatures were designed to improve the appearance of these characters. Ligatures are generally only available in Expert typestyles.

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mean line x-height
The height of the majority of a face’s lowercase letters, or the size from mean line to baseline of the lowercase ‘x.’ The lowercase ‘x’ is used for measurement since it usually sits squarely on the baseline and has no ascenders or descenders.

Numerical information about a font such as ascent, descent, leading, character widths, and kerning, but not the actual shapes that make up the glyphs.

PC to Macintosh font conversion utility. Converts files created for the Macintosh on a PC into Macintosh font files ready for installation. Part of Fontographer. > Macromedia

monospaced type
Like characters on a typewriter, these all have the same width and take up the same amount of space. Use of these fonts allows text to be set in vertical rows without leaving a ragged appearance (as opposed to proportional type).

Denotes fonts created by the Monotype foundry.

multipart message
A posting to a newsgroup like ABF that has been split into a number of smaller chunks to send it across the internet more reliably. There should be several messages with the same Subject, but ending in "[1/5]", "[2/5]" etc. or similar. The first part will appear as a normal message with an attachment, subsequent parts as seemingly junk text - they are in fact continuations of the attachment.

Multiple Master font .mmm
A variant on the Type 1 font format, Multiple Master fonts allow the user greater control over a font's appearance. For example, rather than having fixed steps between weights bold, ultrabold and black, users can adjust the weight themselves to any point on the scale between regular and black. Created by Adobe, Multiple Master fonts are made up of three files (a .pfb, a .pfm and a .mmm) and require Adobe Type Manager to be installed.

Netscape's free web browsing software. > Netscape

normal plain regular
All refer to the basic typeface of a font family, from which other versions such as bold and italic are usually derived.

A right-slanted version of a roman typeface without changes to the letter’s design. Often confused with italic.

old style
A style of font, characterized by variations in stroke width, bracketed serifs, high contrast, and a diagonal stroke. Some popular old styles include Garamond, Janson, and Caslon.

old style figures
"Lower case" numerals, which have descenders or ascenders. Fonts with "OSF" in their name use this style, as do many "Expert" sets. Opposite of lining figures.

OpenType .otf
A joint project between Adobe and Microsoft to produce a hybrid between Type 1 and TrueType fonts, with additional features. Fonts consist of one file, ending in .otf and can contain both Latin and non-Latin characters, expert and extended characters, and additional styles such as old-style figures, small capitals etc. The same file can be used on PC or Macintosh. Built into Windows 2000 and XP, and available on earlier versions of Windows via Adobe Type Manager.

outline font vector font
Type of font format, examples include TrueType and Type 1 formats. A vector font descibes each letter or symbol as a series of geometric shapes, rather than as rows of dots (like a bitmap font). As a result, they can easily be resized without losing quality.

Outlook Express OE
Microsoft's free email and newsreader software. > Microsoft