Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Understanding Monospace Fonts.

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 28, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


6

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 (11461) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word 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 4 - 1?

2018-05-03 14:34:17

Ted Duke

Sue asked: "...monospace font, which ones in Word are monospace, etc. There is a good list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_typefaces

Fortunately, there a far fewer monospaced fonts than proportional fonts.


2018-05-02 06:59:35

DPG

Needs a bit more work this one I think.


2018-04-30 13:57:58

Sue

Not so much a tip, more of a definition. It does not explain, for instance, how I could get a monospace font, which ones in Word are monospace, etc.


2018-04-30 11:03:51

Andrew

I had a used IBM Executive from the '60's that I used in the 80's. It was glorious. The trick to backspacing was that each character had a "backspacing" spacing of 1 (e.g., "i") to 4 or 5 (e.g., "M" or "W"), as I recall. After a while it became second nature as to how to do it.


2018-04-28 12:42:35

Henry Noble

"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."

Not so.

IBM offered proportional space typewriters starting in the late 1940s. Probably the most famous and widely used were the various models of the IBM Executive Electric Typewriter.

The Executives produced beautiful documents, but correcting errors was tricky when a correction required a character of a different width.


2018-04-28 09:49:42

Erik Eilertsen

Your tip UNDERSTANDING MONOSPACE FONTS suddenly ended with "...all the fonts on typewriters fall into this category." Then it does not go on to give the tip....?


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