c. Scalable Fonts. Some software programs include the ability to size
(change the scale) fonts through keyboard controls. With most scalable
fonts, the size you see on the computer screen (monitor) is the same size
as the finished document. This is referred to as "what you see is what
you get" (WYSIWYG). Scalable fonts are normally available with desktop
publishing software such as Ventura.
d. Proportional Fonts. Proportional fonts assign more space to wider
letters than they do to thinner letters. The font this subcourse is
prepared in is courier. Courier is a fixed font, all letters are assigned
the same amount of space.
Appendix C provides a comparison between fixed and proportional fonts.
There are no particular advantages or disadvantages to either fixed or
proportional fonts. The choice is a personal one.
e. Font Sizes. The font sizes used in most computer programs are
expressed in points just as they are in hand and mechanical lettering.
One exception to this is Harvard Graphics. This software program uses
sizes that are expressed as a percentage of the narrowest margin in the
paper size selected. Standard paper is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches and the
narrowest margin is 8 1/2 inches whether you are printing in the portrait
mode (8 1/2 inches wide by 11 inches high) or the landscape mode (11 wide
by 8 1/2 inches high).
f. In Harvard Graphics, a letter 8 1/2 inches high equals size 100.
In points, this would be 72 points per inch times 8.5 inches or 612
points. The question now is how to convert from points to size and vice
versa. The key to this conversion is percentage. Remember that the size
used in Harvard Graphics represents a percent of the narrowest size of the
paper. Using this information you then can convert from points to size
regardless of the dimensions of the paper you use.
(1) First calculate the number of points contained in the narrowest
dimension of the paper. Example: 8.5 inches multiplied by 72 points per
inch equals 612 points.
(2) Next, divide the height of the desired letter (in points) by the
number of points contained in the narrowest dimension of the paper and
multiply the result by 100 (to convert it to a percent). Round your
answer to one decimal place. In this example, 612 points. If you want to
create a letter 72 points high (1 inch), then divide this number by 612.
The result is .1176. Now multiply this by 100 giving you an answer of
11.76, rounded to one decimal place is 11.8. This is the size you would
enter in Harvard Graphics to create a letter 72 points high.