Discusses device font substitution in a printer driver for the fonts that the operating system provides

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INTRODUCTION

When you send a document to a printer, the printer may substitute the fonts that reside on the printer for TrueType fonts that the operating system provides. This article discusses how device fonts are substituted.

MORE INFORMATION

Printers may provide hardware-resident fonts or cartridge fonts. In this case, the fonts reside on the printers. By using a font substitution table, you can specify the hardware-resident fonts or cartridge fonts to substitute for TrueType fonts when you print.

When the printer receives text in such TrueType fonts, the printer first checks whether the font substitution table contains a hardware-resident substitution for the TrueType font. If the printer finds a hardware-resident font, and if the font metrics are compatible, the printer uses the hardware-resident font to print.

Note Font metrics include character set, weight, italic, and orientation.

Device font substitution occurs when the operating system and the printer use two distinct font definitions. An application selects a font that is available in the operating system and uses the font in a document on the screen. When you print this document, the printer draws the print output by using a similarly defined font that the printer provides.

Device font substitution usually occurs on PostScript printers when you use a common Windows TrueType font in the printed document. For example, if you use the Arial TrueType font in a document, when the printer prints the document, it uses the PostScript font definition of the Helvetica font. In this typical example, device font substitution occurs by using a similar font that has a different name.

Device font substitution also occurs when the font on the printer has the same name as the font that the operating system provides. For example, both the Arial font and the Times New Roman font on the printer can have the same names as the fonts in the operating system. Device font substitution does not always work as expected, because the printer driver sometimes selects on its own or selects through user settings whether to use the font that the operating system provides.

The available TrueType fonts for the operating system are listed under the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts
The available TrueType font substitutions for the operating system are listed under the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes
An application such as Microsoft Office Word or Microsoft WordPad provides font selection options. You can choose a font so that the application writes the document in this font. The application obtains a list of the available fonts by checking the Fonts registry subkey of the operating system and also by checking the printer driver’s device font substitution table, depending on the application that you use.

The following are examples of scenarios when a device font may be selected.

Example 1

  • The application writes the document in the Times New Roman font.
  • The printer has the Times New Roman device font, the Times device font and other device fonts installed.
  • You select the Times font as the device font that substitutes for the Times New Roman TrueType font in the printer’s font substitution table.
In this scenario, the printer prints the document in the Times New Roman device font when the document is sent to the printer. In the FontSubstitutes registry subkey, Times New Roman is listed as a substituted font for Times. The printer has Times New Roman available as one of the device fonts.

Example 2

  • The application writes the document in the Arial font.
  • The printer has the Arial device font, the Helvetica device font and other device fonts installed.
  • You select the Helvetica font as the device font that substitutes for the Arial TrueType font in the printer’s font substitution table.
In this scenario, the printer prints the document in the Arial device font when the document is sent to the printer. In the FontSubstitutes registry subkey, Arial is listed as a substituted font for Helvetica. The printer has Arial available as one of the device fonts.

Example 3

  • The application writes the document in the Tahoma font.
  • The printer has the Bookman device font, the Helvetica device font and other device fonts installed.
  • You select the Bookman font as the device font that substitutes for the Tahoma TrueType font in the printer’s font substitution table.
In this scenario, the printer prints the document in the Bookman device font when the document is sent to the printer. In the FontSubstitutes registry subkey, there is no substitution entry available for Bookman. The Bookman font is compatible with the Tahoma font.

Example 4

  • The application writes the document in the Tahoma font.
  • The printer has the Bookman device font, the Oxford device font and other device fonts installed.
  • You select the Oxford font as the device font that substitutes for the Tahoma TrueType font in the printer’s font substitution table
In this scenario, the printer downloads the Tahoma TrueType font from the operating system and then uses the downloaded Tahoma TrueType font to print the document when the document is sent to the printer. In the FontSubstitutes registry subkey, there is no substitution entry available for Oxford. The Oxford font is incompatible with the Tahoma font.

REFERENCES

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
201978 How to use printer device fonts

Properties

Article ID: 927067 - Last Review: November 15, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
Keywords: 
kbexpertiseinter kbhowto kbinfo KB927067

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