SECTION 3: Searching With TTE

As mentioned in Section 2, the Font Desktop is the active pane that greets you when you start TTE. Each item on the Font Desktop represents a TrueType font, either installed on your computer or added by you via Drag & Drop. Basically, the Font Desktop can help you to answer the following question: I'm looking for a font that has ...

Font Attributes

The following figure shows the Font Desktop in Details mode, which can be selected by choosing View -> Details from the TTE menu bar:

Figure 5: Font Attributes in Details Mode

Each font occupies one row and each font attribute occupies one column. The Filename and Directory attributes are always present. The other two attributes in the figure above, # Characters and # Kern Pairs, were selected from the Attributes option from the TTE menu bar.

You can add or remove attributes by selecting an attribute category under Attributes on the TTE menu bar. There are over 100 attributes to choose from, which are organized into the following categories:

Table 1: Font Attributes
Category Attributes
GeneralIs font installed?, Optimized for ClearType?, # Characters in font, # Glyphs in font, # Kern pairs in font, # PostScript Glyph Names in font
NamesFont family name, version string, description, manufacturer, description, etc
Tables PresentIs an internal TrueType table (e.g. cmap, head, hhea, cvt, loca, prep) present?
Unicode BlocksAlphabetic Presentation Forms, Arabic, Armenian, Latin Extended-A, Number Forms, etc

The following five sections describe the font attribute categories from the table above.

General Attributes

Figure 6: General Attributes Dialog Box

These attributes offer general information about the font. All fonts that appear on the Font Desktop when you launch TTE have the value yes for the attribute Is Font Installed?

PANOSE Attributes

Figure 7: PANOSE Attributes Dialog Box

The PANOSE Number attribute consists of the 10 raw PANOSE digits. The first digit corresponds to Kind of Family. The meaning of the remaining digits depend on the value of the first digit.

The Match All Fonts Against... attribute computes the PANOSE difference between the match font entered in the dialog box and all other fonts on the Font Desktop.

Names Attributes

Figure 8: Names Attributes Dialog Box

These attributes represent descriptive text strings embedded by the font foundry.

Tables Present Attributes

Figure 9: Tables Present Attributes Dialog Box

The TrueType font file is composed of a set of data tables. Each table describes one feature of the font. The attributes listed in the figure above indicate whether or not the table is present in the font.

The Required sheet lists tables required by all TrueType font files (the value for these attributes should always be yes). The other sheets list optional tables. The Advanced sheet lists tables related to the Microsoft OpenType extensions to TrueType; essentially, if a font contains none of these tables, it does not support OpenType.

Unicode Blocks Attributes

The Unicode 3.1 code space consists of tens of thousands of characters. To manage this complexity, the code space is divided into code blocks each containing characters related by language or usage. A TrueType font can contain none, some or all characters from one or more Unicode blocks. To count the number of characters that are present in a font for a particular Unicode block, select Attributes -> Unicode Blocks from the TTE menu bar. The following dialog appears:

Figure 10: Unicode Blocks Attributes

The dialog contains five sheets: A-C, C-G, G-K, K-P and R-Z. All blocks, either language or non-language specific are combined and organized by alphabetical order.

Note: the Basic Latin Unicode block corresponds to the English Language.

In the figure above, the Cyrillic Unicode block has been selected, which is reflected in the figure below by the presence of the column # 'Cyrillic' chars:

Figure 11: Sort on Unicode Block Attributes

The active pane shows that the font ARIALUNI.TTF contains 226 Unicode Cyrillic characters.

Sorting Font Attributes

You can click an attribute's column header to sort the fonts by the attribute's values. Click the same header again to reverse the sorting order. The figure below shows the list of fonts sorted in descending order on the # Kern Pairs attribute:

Figure 12: Sort Attributes

Sorting the fonts by their attribute value lets you quickly identify which font has "more of this" or "less of that." The figure above shows that ARIAL.TTF has more kern pairs than any other font on the Font Desktop.

Preview Window

To preview a font on the Font Desktop, right click the font and select Show Preview Window. A preview string, using the selected font, will appear in a small preview window. The preview window always reflects the currently selected font.

Figure 13: Font Preview Window

To change the text that appears in the preview window or its size, right click the preview window to display a floating menu and make your selection.

As usual, you can resize the preview window. The preview string is automatically reformatted to fit the width of the resized window.

Drag & Drop

If you have more TrueType fonts stored, for example on an application CD-ROM or elsewhere on your computer, you can use Windows Explorer to drag and drop the fonts' icons onto the Font Desktop. This will not install them on your computer, but simply make them available for you to explore with TTE.

The two-step process to drag and drop between Window Explorer and TTE is illustrated in the figure below:

Figure 14: Drag and Drop

The fonts dropped on the Font Desktop are appended to the list of fonts on the Font Desktop. (If necessary, scroll the Font Desktop to the bottom to see the dropped fonts.)

Install Font

To install a font from the Font Desktop onto your computer, simply right click the font on the Font Desktop select Install Font... (This option is disabled if the font is already installed.) The installed font will be immediately available for you to use in other application programs.

Exploring a Font

The Font Desktop helps you identify fonts to explore. Once identified, you can explore a font either by double clicking it, or right clicking it and selecting Explore Font....

Please continue with Section 4 to learn how you how you can use TTE to explore the details of a TrueType font.