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Font and font selection

What is font?
 
In simple way we can say:
 
A font is a group of characters representing a language.
 
A Glyph is representation of a character or combination of characters or an alternate character, and a font is a collection of Glyphs or in other words a group of Glyph represents a font.
 
We do not view or print character. We view or print Glyphs.
 
In English all characters are unique and each Glyph represent a single character. Since we use different English fonts, e.g. Arial, Courier, Helvetica, Tahoma, Times, etc. there are several collection of Glyphs for each font name. This gives many advantages. For example - one can easily change font by replacing a font by another font or one may create a completely new font by creating a new set of Glyphs for the entire font characters, etc.
 
In Indian language fonts there are conjunct characters. A conjunct character is a combination of two or more base characters. There is no rule or fixed design for the conjunct characters and hence there is no character-to-character relationship between two fonts of an Indian language. 
 
One may also notice that to create a particular conjunct character shape one font may use a single Glyph and some other font may use two or more Glyphs. 
 
The Unicode Consortium, which was incorporated in January, 1991 in the state of California, came out with a new character encoding concept with certain standards, called "Unicode", where a unique number was provided for every character. Font created using those standards is called Unicode compliant font. By using Unicode compliant font, one can use the font on any platform, with any program and can get almost all the advantages one gets while using English font, e.g. switch between fonts, etc.
 
To know about Unicode please click here.