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Multispace font

Combines the best features of monospace and non-monospace fonts
  [vote for,

Monospace fonts are useful for things like ASCII art and aligning tables, but not very aesthetically pleasing, and therefore not favored for reports and the like.

non-monospace fonts look good (usually), but lack the regularity of monospace. even with tab stops, the alignment of a table or such will be thrown off when switching users or applications.

What i propose is a font in which each character is a small multiple of a given width. For example, slim characters like i, l, and single spaces get one unit. mid-sized lower-case characters get two. w, m, and most capital letters get three. Possibly M and W get four. Either way, height of the font is the equivalent of 4 units.

nick_n_uit, Jan 16 2007


       Isn't this what actually happens? "Each character is a small multiple of a given width" just means that a character has width. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
angel, Jan 16 2007

       So the multi-spaced fonts would all conform to the same templates for i=1 space, a=2 spaces, and w=3 spaces etc. ?   

       That way, when you cycle between multispace fonts you do not alter the layout?   

       (Of course, if the unit used for space changes, you might skew a table)
Jinbish, Jan 16 2007

       What [angel] said:
i - 2px
f - 4px
n - 5px
m - 9px
wagster, Jan 16 2007

       The difference between this font and the types [angel] and [wagster] are describing is that instead of characters having a large variety of widths, they only have a small number (3-4) of different widths, and all the larger widths are multiples of the smallest. And, since a single space falls into the smallest width category, tabular data can be aligned the same way it can in monospace fonts.   

       The title is a bit misleading, but I couldn't think of a latin prefix that meant "not many, but more than one" when I initially posted.
nick_n_uit, Jan 17 2007

       The Latin "pauco-" or Greek "oligo-" mean this. You mean integral multiples of the space available. Personally, i've never got used to proportional spacing and see it as unnecessary. Maybe i'm getting old.
nineteenthly, Jan 17 2007

       The government should use such fonts when printing sensitive data; I don't know why it doesn't. When using a finely-proportionally-spaced font like Times Roman (the government standard) it's often possible to identify blacked-out words by carefully measuring the amount of space they take. There are some definite limits to this approach, but given a list of suspected words it may be possible to determine which one fits with much more specificity than if the government used a font with fewer character widths.   

       Alternatively, the government could use special software to slightly randomize word spacing.
supercat, Jan 17 2007

       This sounds useful, [nick]. I have often resorted to typing a space and then resizing the space character to be a larger or smaller font in order to nudge other characters over a bit. If the space's width were a greatest common divisor of the other widths, it would become a makeshift tab key. Good for beginners.
phundug, Jan 17 2007

       Isn't this why you use a table?
K o R, Jan 20 2007


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