Did you ever know that stylistic alternates can be enabled on Microsoft Word?
Well I didn’t. (Until now.) And I’m in furore.
During my early beginings as a Word user, I got the impression that Microsoft Word was a rip-off and that the developers did not bother about small typographical elements like discretionary ligatures, or stylistic alternates. And so I dismissed Word as a design-centric word processor. (I suspect it was because of the unclean interface and sub-par fonts in the past versions of Word).
It was only when I did a quick search on my browser that I realised that typographical features for geeks could be toggled on. I was in a designer’s paradise. Recently, I have been downloading all sorts of free fonts from various sources (think Google Fonts and GitHub), and have been having a whale of a time tinkering around them.
But I have also uncovered a rare gem from Word’s own warehouse of typefaces. And that typeface is Gabriola. Gabriola is a neat calligraphic typeface with an astonishing number of stylistic alternates (“salt”s for short). You could say it’s Microsoft’s version of Bickham Script, which is avialable on Adobe Fonts.
Some free fonts
Meanwhile, I’ll share with you a couple of open-source fonts that you can download and try out on Microsoft Word:
- Space Mono (a “future-retro” monospaced typeface with nice inktraps)
- Pacifico (a great handwriting font that I’ve included in another of my posts)
- IBM Font Family (the corporate typeface for technology giant IBM, includes sans, sans condensed, serif, and mono styles)
- Inter (a high-legibility neo-grotesque developed for screens)
- Raleway (a modern sans serif intended for display purposes)
- Grafier (an avant-grade interpretation of Baskerville)
- 36 Days (a nonsense font akin to ransom notes [but more stylish])
Happy testing! And remember: Stay home and stay safe from the coronavirus!