Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 28, 2018)

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 Office 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Navigating Your Document Using Outline View

When you need to get around a long document, a really helpful method is to use the Outline view built into Word. This tip ...

Discover More

Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers

A common task is to add page numbers to document headers and footers. If you want those page numbers to include more than ...

Discover More

Floating Menus

Some of the secondary menus used in Word can be made into floating toolbars, if you know the trick. It's not that hard; ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Underlining Section References Automatically

If you have a document that has some sort of keyword within it (such as "Section") you may want to automatically format ...

Discover More

Changing Text Case Many Times

You can use the built-in Word shortcut to change the case of a text selection. You may have quite a few items in a ...

Discover More

Special Symbols Display Incorrectly

When sharing your documents with others, you may occasionally have a problem where some of the symbols used in your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six minus 6?

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....?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.