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.

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 28, 2017)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is seven minus 4?

2017-01-29 00:03:02

Steve Wells

Allen Wyatt stated, “… monospace fonts—all the fonts used by typewriters fall into this category.”

That’s almost true. Nearly all typewriters used a monospaced font, but the IBM Executive, introduced in 1944 used a proportional font. During my undergraduate college years of the early to mid-1970’s, one of my fraternity brothers had an electric Executive typewriter. With his permission, I typed letters on it that looked spectacular, with narrow i and punctuation, along with extra-wide uppercase W and M, and several widths in between.


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