Skip to content

Typography 101 – font terms explained

Font vs typeface, ascender, desender, X-height, finial … there’s a nice one-page guide to all the Typography terminology.

Become a typography nerd in under 10 minutes by Andrew Coyle

Has a good visual summary of all the major words used talking about type – the broad categories of fonts (Serif, San-serif etc), how letters combine (kerning) to the words describing parts of a character (ascender, finial, bowl etc).

The only extra we could add is mentioning monospace fonts like Courier New

Monospace or fixed fonts use the same horizontal space for each letter, just like manual typewriters.  Fixed fonts are useful for code snippets and other situations where you want each character to be very clear and distinct – like passwords.

Kerning settings in Microsoft Office

Change Character Spacing in Word 

Two ways to make Word remember your preferred font

Using WOFF fonts in Microsoft Office

Make Word line spacing LESS than single

About this author

Office Watch is the independent source of Microsoft Office news, tips and help since 1996. Don't miss our famous free newsletter.