A printer font is a special type of font that can’t be displayed on the screen and is instead only available for use to a printer. In print previews, a generic screen font is shown on the screen – only when fully printed is the actual font visible. Ideally, screen and printer font should be identical, but this is not always the case.
Technipages Explains Printer Font
When the onscreen and printer font look identical, this is referred to as a WYSIWYG text display. That stands for ‘what you see is what you get’ – it’s the ideal, as far as editing tools go, but not always possible. Some programs and software use characters or typefaces that can’t be displayed by the computer. This isn’t so much a problem now as it was back in the days of DOS. Typefaces not built into the computer’s ROM could not be displayed.
Windows and Mac systems have a work-around for fonts they can’t display. Either TrueType or Adobe Type Manager is used in order to outline fonts, allowing the computer to display them the way they look once they are actually printed. Printer fonts are kept in the printer’s memory rather than on the computer, but they still have to be specified on the computer before the printer can print them. While generally speaking, printers can print any font that a computer can display, the reverse isn’t always true – though, on modern machines, it almost always is.
Common Uses of Printer Font
- Printer fonts are especially stored on the printer.
- The differences between printer fonts and onscreen fonts are minimal now.
- During the DOS era, printer and onscreen fonts often differed greatly.
Common Misuses of Printer Font
- Printer fonts are fonts created especially so that printers can print them.