This is one of the few Really Cool Things that Microsoft has ever brought to us. I usually don't like Microsoft's products, but some of them can only be loved, unconditionally. Well, almost unconditionally, as we'll see.
What makes these fonts so cool? They're hinted for better rendering on screen, especially at lower point sizes. They also look pretty snappy when printed.
(FWIW, I'm using them in Linux/X11R6 without any problems =)
The fonts used to be available at the Microsoft web site. Regrettably Microsoft had to pull these fonts in August 2002, probably because Agfa-Monotype hadn't realized how the fonts were actually distributed - they got paid royalties for every download, but did not realize that license agreement allows unlimited redistribution! The fonts are also, naturally, shipped with most recent versions of Windows and MacOS.
Fonts were mostly designed by Monotype, and hinting improvements were done by Microsoft.
- Sans Serif font, sort of like Helvetica (but everyone in the industry still says Arial Just Isn't Helvetica, if you have the real Helvetica, use it =)
- Arial® Black
- Heavier version of Arial.
- Andalé Mono
- (Aka "Monotype.com") - Monotype's monospaced font, Sans serif. This really rocks, and is very nice on Mozilla (these E2 text editing boxes look pretty nifty), and also in terminal windows (though it apparently lacks the box-drawing characters, so I'll still use regular X fonts for Nethack =)
- Comic Sans
- Sans serif font, "based on the lettering from comic magazines." Nice font, but it's largely overused by people who don't understand that it's actually a little joke from Microsoft, for special occassions only - this isn't for serious use anywhere. Just because it's distributed with a bunch of really kick-ass fonts it doesn't mean you should use them that way.
- Courier™ New
- A beefed-up Courier, monospace font.
- Narrow sans serif font, designed in 1965.
- Trebuchet MS
- "Trebuchet takes its inspiration from the sans serifs of the 1930s which had large x heights and round features intended to promote readability on signs."
- Times New Roman
- This is just the normal Times typeface (made for the famed newspaper of same name in 1932). Serif.
- A really cool sans serif font, looks pretty nifty and it's readable too... Microsoft seems to use this font in Windows GUI a lot - and it pays. Cool. Just cool.
- by Microsoft and Monotype, 1997. A dingbat font.
(Trademarks owned by Monotype Corporation.)