In proportional (or typographic) fonts, every character can have a different width. Since proportional fonts have
characters with different widths, the font size is specified in point size, not pitch. Point size refers to the height of the
characters in the font. A point is defined as 1/72 inch. The characters in a font printed at 24 point will be twice as large as
the characters in the same font printed at 12 point.
The following illustration shows samples of a font printed in different point sizes:
The point size of a font is defined as the distance from the top of the tallest character in the font to the bottom of the
lowest character in the font. Due to the definition of point size, different fonts printed at the same point size may appear
quite different in size. This is because there are other font parameters that affect how the font looks. However, the point
size of a font is an excellent specification of the relative size of a font. The following examples illustrate two very different
proportional fonts at 14 point:
Bitmapped and Scalable Fonts
The printer uses both bitmapped and scalable fonts.
Bitmapped fonts are stored in print memory as predefined patterns of bits that represent a typeface at a specific size,
style, and resolution. The following illustration shows an example of a character from a bitmapped font.
Bitmapped fonts are available in different type styles and point sizes as downloadable fonts.
Scalable fonts (also called outline fonts) are stored as computer programs that define the outlines of the characters in the
font. Each time you print characters from a scalable font, the printer creates a bitmap of the characters at the point size
you choose and saves it temporarily in print memory.
These temporary bitmapped fonts are deleted when you turn off or reset the printer. Scalable fonts provide the flexibility
of printing in many different point sizes.
Your printer uses different scalable font formats for downloading fonts to the printer. PCL 5/PCL 6 uses Intellifont and
TrueType scalable fonts. PostScript 3 uses Type 1 and TrueType scalable fonts. There are thousands of different scalable
fonts available in these different font formats from numerous font suppliers.