What Is a Font?

A font can be considered as an instance of typeface that defines how glyphs of a character set will be displayed or printed.

What Is Font? A font is an instance of typeface that defines how glyphs of a character set will be displayed or printed. A font has the following basic properties:

Character Set - Specifies the list of characters that are supported by the font. For example, "Courier" fonts support the ASCII character set for the English language. "FangSong" fonts support the GB2312 character set for the Chinese language.

Size - Specifies the height of glyphs to be displayed or printed. For example, "12pt" fonts display glyphs 12/72, or 1/6, inch high. "32pt" fonts display glyphs half, or 1/2, inch high.

Weight - Specifies the thickness of glyph strokes relative to the font size. For example, glyph strokes in "Bold" weight fonts are thicker than glyph lines in "Normal" weight fonts.

Style - Specifies the slope of glyphs to be displayed or printed. For example, glyphs in "Italic" style fonts are slanted slightly to the right.

Family - Specifies a set of fonts that have same characteristics but different sizes, weights and styles. For example, "Courier" is a font family with fonts like, "Courier 12pt", "Courier 12pt bold", "Courier 12pt bold italic", etc.

The picture below shows some glyphs displayed in 3 fonts of the "Arial" family:

3 Fonts of Arial Family
Sample Glyphs in 3 Fonts of Arial Family

Last update: 2015.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Character Sets and Encodings

 ASCII Character Set and Encoding

 GB2312 Character Set and Encoding

 GB18030 Character Set and Encoding

 JIS X0208 Character Set and Encodings

 Unicode Character Set

 UTF-8 (Unicode Transformation Format - 8-Bit)

 UTF-16, UTF-16BE and UTF-16LE Encodings

 UTF-32, UTF-32BE and UTF-32LE Encodings

 Java Language and Unicode Characters

 Character Encoding in Java

 Character Set Encoding Maps

 Encoding Conversion Programs for Encoded Text Files

 Using Notepad as a Unicode Text Editor

 Using Microsoft Word as a Unicode Text Editor

 Using Microsoft Excel as a Unicode Text Editor

Unicode Fonts

What Is a Font?

 What Is a Unicode Font?

 Downloading and Installing GNU Unifont

 Windows Tool "Character Map"

 Unicode Code Point Blocks - Code Charts

 Outdated Tutorials

 References

 PDF Printing Version