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Font Basics and Terminology
– Etymology: The word ‘font’ derives from Middle French ‘fonte’ meaning ‘something that has been melted; a casting.’
– Metal type: In a manual printing (letterpress) house, the word ‘font’ refers to a complete set of metal type used to typeset an entire page.
– Characteristics: Fonts may have different stroke widths, styles, character widths, and variations. The term ‘Roman’ can also refer to the language coverage of a font.

Font Weight
– Definition: The weight of a font refers to the thickness of the character outlines relative to their height.
– Range of weights: A typeface may come in fonts of many weights, from ultra-light to extra-bold or black.
– TrueType font format: Introduced a scale from 100 through 900, where 400 is regular. CSS and OpenType also use this scale for font weights.

Font Styles and Attributes
– Font Styles: Fonts can have multiple weights, smooth transitions between weights, and grades designed for different printing materials.
– Font Slope: Sloped or slanted styles like italic and oblique are commonly used. Different styles exist for cursive-only scripts.
– Other Style Attributes: Fonts can have digit styles, small caps, titling fonts, and separate character sets for Japanese syllabaries.

Font Width and Optical Size
– Font Width: Fonts can vary in width, with narrower fonts labeled as compressed or condensed, and wider fonts as wide or extended.
– Optical Size: Versions of typefaces optimized for specific font sizes. Variable font technology allows for manual adjustment of optical sizing on a continuous scale.

Font Metrics and Variants
– Metrics: Font metrics include cap height, x-height, kerning, and sidebearings. Some fonts are duplexed, meaning multiple weights have the same character width.
– Serifs: Some typefaces incorporate serif and sans-serif or intermediate slab serif fonts. Alternate capitals and drop caps are common in serif typefaces.
– Character Variants: Typefaces may have different variants and alternative characters. Stylistic sets allow users to turn on and off related alternative characters.
– Digits: Fonts can have multiple kinds of digits, including proportional and tabular figures. OpenType format allows for more flexibility in digit settings.

Note: The content has been organized into 5 comprehensive groups, combining identical concepts. The facts, statistics, and detailed points have been retained.

Font (Wikipedia)

In metal typesetting, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font is a matched set of type, with a piece (a "sort") for each glyph. A typeface consists of various fonts that share an overall design.

The Bauer Bodoni typeface, with samples of the three of the fonts in the family

In the 21st century, with the advent of computer fonts, the terms "font" and "typeface" are often used interchangeably, although the term "typeface" refers to the design of typographical lettering, whereas the term "font" refers to the specific style of a typeface, such as its size and weight. For instance, the typeface "Bauer Bodoni" (sample shown here) includes fonts "Roman" (or "Regular"), "Bold" and "Italic"; each of these exists in a variety of sizes. The term "font" is correctly applied to any one of these alone but may be seen used loosely to refer to the whole typeface. When used in computers, each style is in a separate digital "font file".

In both traditional typesetting and computing, the word "font" refers to the delivery mechanism of the typeface. In traditional typesetting, the font would be made from metal or wood type: to compose a page may require multiple fonts or even multiple typefaces.

Metal type sorts arranged on a composing stick
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