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Arial Typeface Information

Arial is a font packaged with several Microsoft Corporation applications. It was designed by Monotype as a cheaper substitute for Linotype's popular Helvetica. Helvetica was one of a number of typefaces that were mandated for printers that support Adobe's PostScript language. A user specifying Helvetica could be sure the printer would be able to output it. Microsoft didn't want to include Helvetica with Windows, and licensed Arial as a cost-cutting measure.

Some text in the Arial typeface

Though nearly identical to Helvetica in both proportion and weight, the design of Arial is in fact a variation of Monotype's Grotesque series, and was designed with computer use in mind. Subtle changes and variations have been made to both the letterforms and the spacing between characters, in order to make it more readable on screen and at various resolutions. As with some other Microsoft-designed typefaces, Arial is widely held in disregard by professional typographers.

Arial has shipped with Microsoft Windows since the introduction of TrueType technology in Windows 3.1. TrueType itself was meant as a replacement for Type-1 fonts used in PostScript. Microsoft also tried to supplant PostScript itself with its own version of a printer description language, TrueImage.

The newest versions of Microsoft Windows also ship with Arial Unicode MS, a version of the typeface that includes many international characters from the Unicode standard. This version of the typeface is the most complete font in wide distribution, although even more complete fonts (like Bitstream's CyberBit or Code2000) exist.

The latest PostScript standard now includes Arial alongside Helvetica as a standard typeface, that PostScript level 3 devices should support.

Sample of Arial Typeface:

The following paragraph is in Arial if it is installed on your machine. If not, a monospace font is used. Note that this sample may include characters which are not present in the font, in which case some user agents may substitute a different font to display these characters.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog. ??????? Numbers: 1234567890

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arial".

All fonts for download were designated FREEWARE, SHAREWARE, or DONORWARE at the time they were added to the collection.