Fonts are characters, or "glyphs", and they have existed since the beginning of mankind.  Years ago, typesetters labored just to include several sets of fonts with their publications.  Today, with the advent of computers, thousands of fonts can be accessed with the click of a mouse button.

These pages will describe the primary categories of fonts, and will explain their usage.  You will learn how to "overhaul" your font set  .  .  .  clearing out all the deadwood.  You can also visit the download page to grab the Top 15 fonts (IMO, that is) 

Glyph's

A font is a design for a set of characters, called "glyph's". Each character may have several glyphs - for example, each font typically includes six glyphs per character.  For example, the letter A will have three glyphs for capital A (regular, bold, and italic) and 3 glyph's for the lower-case a :

A    A    A    a    a   

Description of a Font

A font is the combination of typeface and other qualities, such as size, pitch, and spacing. For example, Times Roman is a typeface that defines the shape of each character. Within Times Roman, however, there are many fonts to choose from -- different sizes, italic, bold, and so on. (The term font is often used incorrectly as a synonym for typeface.)

The height of characters in a font is measured in points, each point being approximately 1/72 inch. The width is measured by pitch, which refers to how many characters can fit in an inch. Common pitch values are 10 and 12. A font is said to be fixed pitch if every character has the same width. If the widths vary depending on the shape of the character, it is called a proportional font.

Most applications that support text enable you to choose from among many fonts. Laser, ink-jet, and dot-matrix printers offer the widest selection of fonts. These printers support a certain set of resident fonts, but you can expand this set by loading different fonts from software (soft fonts) or from font cartridges.

Copyright Issues

 

Typefaces are not copyrightable; bitmapped fonts are not copyrightable, but scalable fonts are copyrightable. For details see the Copyright FAQ at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/fonts-faq/part2

Links 

:Microsoft's Font Pages    http://www.microsoft.com/typography

Font “general” FAQ’s     http://www.faqs.org/faqs/fonts-faq/part1/  (also part2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

The FAQ’s actually go beyond general info with parts 7, 8, etc – here is an index to all the FAQ’s:

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/fonts-faq/