A set of characters of the same typeface (such as Garamond), style (such as italic), and weight (such as bold). A font consists of all the characters available in a particular style and weight for a particular design; a typeface consists of the design itself. Fonts are used by computers for on-screen displays and by printers for hard-copy output. In both cases, the fonts are stored either as bit maps (patterns of dots) or as outlines (defined by a set of mathematical formulas). Even if the system cannot simulate different typefaces on the screen, application programs may be able to send information about typeface and style to a printer, which can then reproduce the font if a font description is available. See also bit map, font generator.
Or fount; Complete set of printed or display characters of the same typeface, size, and style (bold, italic, underlined, and so on). In the UK, font sizes are measured in points, a point being approximately 0.3 mm.
Fonts used in computer setting are of two main types: bit-mapped and outline. Bit-mapped fonts are stored in the computer memory as the exact arrangement of pixels or printed dots required to produce the characters in a particular size on a screen or printer. Outline fonts are stored in the computer memory as a set of instructions for drawing the circles, straight lines, and curves that make up the outline of each character. They require a powerful computer because each character is separately generated from a set of instructions and this requires considerable computation. Bit-mapped fonts become very ragged in appearance if they are enlarged and so a separate set of bit maps is required for each font size. In contrast, outline fonts can be scaled to any size and still maintain exactly the same appearance.
A specific size and style of type within a type family; SYN. fount, typeface, face.
1. A receptacle for baptismal water; a receptacle for holy water; a receptacle for various liquids
2. Source, fountain