Apple IIgs #41
Font Family Numbers

Revised by Matt Deatherage & Keith Rollin (November 1990)
Written by Rilla Reynolds & Jeff Erickson (May 1988)

This Technical Note lists fonts and font family numbers as well as considerations when printing to a LaserWriter printer and a word of caution about using font family numbers.

Changes since November 1988: Added information about the font family numbering convention used by those who assign font family numbers.

The following table lists fonts and their corresponding font family numbers. All family numbers are listed in decimal format except the first three.

    ID       Family Name          ID        Family Name
    $FFFD    Chicago              12        Los Angeles
    $FFFE    Shaston              13        Zapf Dingbats*
    $FFFF    (no font)            14        Bookman*
    0        System Font          15        Helvetica Narrow*
    1        System Font          16        Palatino*
    2        New York             18        Zapf Chancery*
    3        Geneva               20        Times*
    4        Monaco               21        Helvetica*
    5        Venice               22        Courier*
    6        London               23        Symbol*
    7        Athens               24        Taliesin
    8        San Francisco        33        Avant Garde*
    9        Toronto              34        New Century Schoolbook*
    11       Cairo

Fonts denoted with an asterisk (*) are resident in the ROM on the LaserWriter Plus, IINT and IINTX printers. The name of Times on these printers is actually Times-Roman. The decimal font family ID for Shaston (a modified Helvetica) is 65534 (-2), not 65524 as documented in the Font Manager chapter of the Apple IIGS Toolbox Reference.

When printing to a LaserWriter printer with the font substitution option turned on, the system substitutes Times, Helvetica, and Courier for thescreen fonts New York, Geneva, and Monaco respectively.

Prior to System Software 3.2, all non-LaserWriter fonts (except New York, Geneva, and Shaston) were converted to Courier when printing. With System Software 3.2 and later, the LaserWriter driver prints bitmap versions of the screen fonts if they are non-LaserWriter fonts unless it is driving an original LaserWriter printer. In this case, fonts which are in ROM on later LaserWriter printers are converted to Courier unless you download a PostScript version of the font prior to printing. This difference is a limitation of the current LaserWriter driver and it occurs even if the font substitution option is turned off. With System Software 5.0 and later, the LaserWriter driver uses fonts previously downloaded, although it does not download PostScript fonts itself.

Font Family Number Conventions

By convention, font family numbers that have the high bit set are designed for the 5:12 aspect ratio of the Apple IIgs computer. Font family numbers with the high bit clear are designed for computers with a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio, such as the Macintosh. Fonts designed for a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio appear "tall and skinny" when displayed on an Apple IIgs.

Some third-party font packages were released before this convention was defined; therefore, font family numbers between 1000 and 1200 (decimal) do not adhere to this convention.


Font family numbers can be arbitrary numbers which the system assigns to fonts. We recommend that you always ask for a font by name (with the Font Manager call GetFamNum), then use the returned family number as input to those calls which require it. (On the Macintosh, the Font/DA Mover checks to see if a font family number is already in use by the system when it installs fonts. If it finds that a number is already in use, it changes the current font number to an unused number. If you move a font from the Macintosh to the IIGS, the font family number is likely to be arbitrary, as is the font family number of any user-created fonts.

Further Reference

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