Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 3, 2015)


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 and 2010. 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 1 + 8?

2015-02-03 17:57:20


Yes, Courier New has thin strokes. I will often set it in bold so it's less spindly.

2014-08-26 00:41:43


Word 2007 does not display monospace fonts correctly, i.e. all vertically aligned, but instead approximates a proportional display. As far as I can tell there is no way to change this "improvement".

2012-03-17 12:22:26

Ethan Hack

For monospace fonts Windows will typically give you Consolas, Courier New, and Lucida Console. For my taste Consolas is the best looking and most comfortable to read on screen and Courier New the worst because of its very thin strokes.

2012-03-17 10:49:21


Hard to say which font names are monospace. The most common one on computer systems is Courier. However, there are literally thousands and thousands of *possible* font names. Some of them could be monospace, most of them not.

You use monospace fonts in some layouts of your text; their use is a design decision, like choosing what your margins will be or what your font size will be.

2012-03-17 08:38:35


Which fonts are Monospace for future reference.

2012-03-17 07:56:06


Where do I find this Monospace font in my computer? Under what name?

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