Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 153 / JUNE 1993 / PAGE 50

How to get more fonts. (Windows Workshop)
by Clifton Karnes

Last time, I talked a little about TrueType and its advantages. This time, I'd like to discuss some software packages that can help you get the most from TrueType.

If you're interested in adding some TrueType fonts to your system, there are many sources. First, I'd suggest you look into the Microsoft Font Pak (Microsoft, $69.95). This package contains the Arial Narrow, Book Antiqua, Bookman Old Style, Century Gothic, and Century Schoolbook font families, which, along with the TrueType fonts originally shipped with Windows 3.1, give you the 35 fonts that form the original PostScript stable.

With your original TrueType fonts plus those in the Font Pak you'll have the following fonts (with the PostScript equivalent names in parentheses): Arial (Helvetica), Arial Narrow (Helvetica Narrow), Times New Roman (Times), Courier New (Courier), Book Antiqua (Palatino), Bookman Old Style (Bookman), Century Gothic (Avant Garde), Century Schoolbook (Schoolbook), and Symbol (Symbol).

In addition, Font Pak includes the complete Lucida family, type that's designed to be easy to read and attractive when printed on laser printers. Also in the Lucida family is a subfamily of fonts just for faxes. If you fax often, check it out.

Microsoft's Font Pak II (Microsoft, $69.95) contains more text and display fonts as well as a host of decorative fonts. You'll also get Microsoft's Font Manager, which lets you store fonts in groups for easy access.

Another superb collection of fonts comes from Swfte in TypeCase I and TypeCase II (Swfte International, TypeCase I--$69.95, TypeCase II-$49.95). These two collections include 230 excellent TrueType fonts plus a font manager. TypeCase I and II contain just about every font you'd ever need.

What if you already have an investment in PostScript fonts or those in another format. There are several utilities that can come to the rescue here. For quick and easy conversion try Atech's AllType for Windows (Atech, $79.95). This program goes back and forth from TrueType, PostScript, Nimbus Q, FastFont, and Bitstream's Fontware, to name just a few of the formats supported.

If you need more than conversion, Font Monger (Ares, $149.95) is my top choice. It will convert just like AllType, but it also lets you edit fonts. You can create special characters or modify those already in the font. And it's a beautifully designed and intuitive program.

If you need to modify your TrueType fonts but what you're really after is special effects, then TrueEffects for Windows (SoftLogic, $59.95) may be the right package. With TrueEffects, you can change the way your fonts' letters are filled. Instead of plain black, you can use a grid, stripes, stars, bricks, or a fountain, and you can reverse your type and add effects to the background. No doubt about it, this program is fun.

Now that we have the TrueType ball rolling, I'd like to finish this column with a little information about how to use all the characters of each font.

As you may know, DOS uses the ASCII character set (ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange). This character set consists of 127 characters. IBM added another group of characters to the ASCII set to form IBM ASCII. This additional group of characters is called the extended character set.

This comes as a shock to some people, but Windows uses the ANSI character set (ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute). The first 127 characters of this set are identical to the ASCII set. The two differ only in characters 128-256.

There's some real gold in these extended characters, however. We just have to learn to mine it.

If you look at these characters, you'll see symbols for typographical double and single quotes, em dash, en dash, fractions, copyright and trademark symbols, and much more.

If you use these in your documents instead of their sometimes crude typewriterlike equivalents, they'll have a polished, professional quality. Making it easy to use them is what we're going to talk about next.

If you look at the bottom right corner of Character Map, you'll see an indication of which keys you need to press to place one of these characters in your document.

For example, select the copyright symbol (5th row down, 15th character over), and you'll see Keystroke: Alt+0169 indicated.

If you're in a document and you press the Alt key, hold it down, and press 0, 1, 6, and 9 on the numeric keypad, you'll get the copyright symbol in your document

To try this, load Windows Write and use the keypresses described above, and then experiment with some other extended characters. If you incorporate these characters into your documents, then you'll get the most from your beautiful new TrueType fonts.