Need To Browse The Characters In A Font? Here's How.

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The other day I needed to be able to browse through all the characters in a specific Windows font that's installed on my PC.  It's a font aimed at web designers which contains hundreds of useful icons and other specialist characters that you can use on your site, and is called Font Awesome.  You'll find it at http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/ if you're interested, along with documentation on how to use it on the web.

Having installed the font on my PC, I needed to be able to browse its contents quickly and easily.  A search for programs with names such as "character set" and "font character viewer" brought up some potentially useful software, but much of it was out of date or didn't work properly.  Or was more concerned with producing me a list of all the fonts installed on my computer.

And then I remembered that Windows actually has a character viewer built-in!  It's called Character Map, and lets you look through all the different fonts on your PC and then browse through the collection of characters in them.  If you use Windows 8, just bring up the Search charm and look for Character Map.  In other versions of Windows, it's on the Start menu under Accessories.  Or just type CHARMAP from a command prompt.  Once it's loaded, you can then choose your font and browse its constituent characters quickly and easily.

 

 

 

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Comments

The fonts you refer to are called "fixed width fonts" because each character takes up the same amount of line width.
You can Google search for fixed width fonts and find lots of info.
There are plenty of free fonts out there...
Here's one list to start with

http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=503

Sure would be nice to know some other Fixed size fonts to use in Batch files besides the usual Courier and Courier New. I like writing Batch files and, of course, they need to be fixed size to line up stuff. Enjoyed the CHARMAP tip.