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Understanding Monospace Fonts

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding Monospace Fonts.

In general, there are two types of fonts. The first is proportional space, and the second is monospace. Proportional space fonts are designed so every letter only occupies the minimum horizontal space necessary for the letter. Thus, an "i" takes less space than a "w." Monospace typefaces, on the other hand, are designed so every letter and character takes the same amount of horizontal space. If you have ever spent any time working on typewriters, then you are familiar with monospace fonts—all the fonts used by typewriters fall into this category.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1214) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding Monospace Fonts.

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Comments for this tip:

EC    20 Mar 2012, 11:03
Monospace fonts are useful when you need to align text using spaces instead of using tabs or indents,since "spaces" occupy the same space as letters & numbers. Common monospace fonts are Courier and Letter Gothic. You want to avoid using spaces to align text when using proportional space fonts, such as Times Roman, especially in numbering or outlining. Even if it looks good to you, it may not align consistently when viewed or printed from other devices.
awyatt    17 Mar 2012, 10:51
You use monospace fonts in some layouts of your text; their use is a design decision, like choosing what your margins will be or what your font size will be. So the tip is helpful for those wanting to achieve a certain "look" in their document, where the font choice can affect that look.
JB Shaik    17 Mar 2012, 06:12
Could you tell me where this tip will be useful?

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