on fonts and betas

I’ve been bit by the beta bug lately thanks to the simul-release of Office 2007 beta2 and Vista beta2. I don’t have spare hardware worthy of running Vista on silicon and virtual machine performance and tool support for it aren’t real good right now, so that’ll have to exist only in boot up, hey that’s neat land for the time being. But I did go ahead and install Office 2007. First in my VMs, then on the laptop and once I was reasonably comfortable things were copasetic and most of my add-ins were going to install, most recently on the big dogs: the home PC and the corporate workstation.

So far so good. However, ever since I caught a glimpse of the new Vista series fonts, I have been using them (Calibri specifically) as my default for my RSS reading, in Outlook 2003 via NewsGator, which, as you might have heard here before or have guessed is where I spend the vast majority of my computer reading time. But when I installed Office 2007 it retreated back to Times New Roman, the font that Kottke mentioned as finally the non-default in Office 2007 the other day. I was confused since with all this momentum away from TNR and the fact that 2007 beta2 comes with these great fonts, why it was still there in Outlook?

<a bit more technical section> Outlook 2003 uses IE as the rendering engine, so if you have OL 2003 and you want to change the default rendering font, you go to Internet Options, Fonts, and change it there. I tried that and when manual registry searching didn’t turn up any references to the old font, I had to do some more research.

And according to this Google groups thread Outlook 2007 uses Word as the HTML rendering engine for Outlook now. And while the thread implies that you can change the font setting from within the Outlook settings hierarchy, I found otherwise. So start Word, click on the Office logo (main menu?), hit Word options at the bottom. Click on Advanced, scroll all the way down, click on the button for “Web Options…”, the fonts tab, and finally change the Proportional font to something more pleasing, again, my choice is Calibri.
</a bit more technical section>

Change that, enable ClearType and enjoy better fonts. Note, Bill Hill, the guy that helped invent ClearType says that there are studies that prove faster reading times and increased productivity when you use smoother, more readable fonts.


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