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Print Management Guide - Printer fonts overview

Most programs that support printing allow you to choose from a number of different fonts. Printers offering the widest assortment of fonts include laser, ink-jet, and dot-matrix printers. They support a fixed set of resident fonts, which you can expand by installing font cartridges or loading fonts from software.

Internal fonts (resident fonts) are used most often by laser, dot-matrix, and ink-jet printers. Pre-loaded into the printer's memory (ROM), internal fonts are always available for printing.

Cartridge fonts are stored in a cartridge or a card that plugs into the printer.

Downloadable fonts are sets of characters sent from the computer to a printer's memory when needed for printing. Also called soft fonts, downloadable fonts are used most often with laser printers and other page printers, although some dot-matrix printers also use them. Clients that use downloadable fonts and that print to Windows print servers should install the fonts locally to increase the printing speed.

For each document you print, Windows may need to send the required screen and downloadable fonts to the printer. To increase printing speed, use fonts that do not need to be downloaded (such as internal fonts or cartridge fonts). Some printers have the ability to keep a list of downloadable fonts. If your printer supports this feature, enable it to increase printing speed. Not all printers can use all three types of fonts. Pen plotters, for example, cannot normally use downloadable fonts. For more information on the types of fonts you can use, see your printer's operating manual.

To install or remove external PCL soft fonts

This procedure enables you to install PCL format fonts on Hewlett-Packard LaserJet, DeskJet, or compatible printers. External fonts can be PCL soft fonts or cartridge fonts. Refer to your font documentation to check the format of your fonts.

You must also have the Manage Printers permission, which is one of several printer permissions. For more information, click Related Topics.

Open Printers and Faxes.

Right-click the icon for the printer you are using, and then click properties.

On the Device Settings tab, click External Fonts, and then click Properties.

Do one of the following:

To install external PCL soft fonts, in New Soft Font Directory, type the path to the folder or drive where the fonts are located, and then click Open. Click the fonts you want to install in New Soft Fonts, and then click Add after each selection.

To remove external PCL soft fonts, in Installed Soft Fonts, click the fonts you want to remove, and then click Delete.


To open Printers and Faxes, click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.

If you need to add or remove TrueType fonts, use the Fonts folder in Control Panel.

You can also open printer properties in Printers and Faxes by clicking a printer, and then clicking Set printer properties under Tasks on the left side of the window. This option is available only if folders are set to look like a Web page and a printer is selected. For more information, click Related Topics.