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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

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Fonts—and Font Book

Over the years, Macintosh fonts have improved considerably. No longer must you pray to the printer gods that your beautiful flyer won’t come out with jagged-looking type because you chose the wrong font type, one that doesn’t have smooth edges.

Up through Mac OS 9, a family of typefaces called bitmapped fonts was still kicking around, a holdover from the jagged-printing days of the original 1984 Macintosh. But Mac OS X can’t even use such fonts. Only always-smooth font formats work in Mac OS X: namely, TrueType, PostScript Type 1, and OpenType. (OpenType is a font format developed by Microsoft and Adobe that’s already common on Windows machines.)

In short, Mac OS X delivers type that is all smooth, all the time. Fonts always look smooth onscreen, no matter what the point size, and always look smooth in printouts, no matter what kind of printer you use.

Better yet, Mac OS X 10.3 introduces a new program just for installing, removing, inspecting, and organizing fonts. It’s called Font Book, and it’s in your Applications folder.

Where Fonts Live

If you’re used to Mac OS 9 or Windows, one of the most confusing changes is that there is no longer one single Fonts folder for your computer. There are now five Fonts folders. The fonts you actually see listed in the Fonts menus and Font panels of your programs are combinations of these Fonts folders’ contents. They include:

  • Your private fonts (your Home folderLibraryFonts). This Fonts folder sits right inside your own Home ...

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