What Is A Font?
A "font" is a computer file that tells your computer how to represent the characters on the keyboard. The word originally came from the case of metal slugs that a printing shop would have on hand to physically set type in a press. Nowadays the process is much easier and involves less ink and machine oil.

A Smaller Question: What Does A Font Include?
Computer fonts may vary widely in the number of characters they include. Some fonts only include the "lower ASCII" characters, which include numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and some punctuation. Others may utilize more of the "space" available and include special characters like copyright, paragraph, or section. Still others may include an entire range of foreign (non-US) characters like the British pound Sterling, the accented vowels, umlauts and cedillas.

All KillerFonts are created with a cosmopolitan outlook. Except for a few specialized mathematics characters (like "summation", "less-than-or-equal-to", or "approximately-equal-to"), everything is included. The serial killer of your choice could as easily write in French as in English.

Another Question: What Type of Fonts Are There?
There are two major types of font files in use today. TrueType fonts were developed by Apple for the desktop publishing capabilities of the Macintosh. However, as Microsoft Windows enabled graphics- oriented publishing for the PC, they also adopted the TrueType standard. Nowadays, most PC fonts are TrueType fonts. The other kind of font is PostScript, based on technology developed by Adobe Systems. PostScript is a true cross-platform font system, and is mainly used in large-scale typesetting and design. Most home computers need a PostScript interpreter to take advantage of the PostScript language.

What Do I Do With My Fonts?
Once downloaded and decompressed (UnZipped for Windows, UnStuffed for Macs), the font should be installed as is correct for the system you're using. Mac files need to be dragged on top of the System Folder in order to be properly catalogued (simply putting them into the "Fonts" folder will not work). Windows fonts should be installed through the Control Panel. If your operating system does not know the font is there, it will not appear in any application!

What Are All These Font Files Anyway?
PC users have it simple--the installed TrueType font will appear on the screen with no further problem. For Mac users, the system needs a bitmap file to properly display the fonts at screen resolution (72 dpi). All font packages for the Mac have two components: the font file that tells the printer what to do, and the ".bmap" (bitmap) suitcase that tells the screen what to do. You will need to drag both files onto the system folder for a complete installation.

The Small But Important Question: Help!!!!
You've completed the info, charged the card, and downloaded the font--and now you are completely lost. Let's see what we can do about that.

Mac Users
If Netscape (or the browser you're using) managed to download the file, it is probably resting on the desktop of your computer. If not, it's probably wherever Netscape has been told to save downloaded files. Check in the Options menu, select General Preferences, and click on the "Applications" tab. The download folder should be listed here. There is, however, a chance that Netscape balked at downloading the file.

For whatever reason, Netscape does not like the Self-Extracting Archive format and sometimes will ask for a nonexistent plug-in. Simply save the file to your disk anyway; this will destroy the self-extracting feature but you will have the file available. StuffIt should be able to decode the information contained inside. Of course, the whole purpose of the self-extracting file was to make it unneccessary to have StuffIt in the first place, but such is Netscape.

Double-click the .sea file and it will work its magic automatically. The file will unStuff into a folder on the desktop and inside it will be two files: the font suitcase and the bitmap file. For those of you who ran afoul of Netscape's hang-ups, simply unStuff both files you find in the archive. Then, drag both files on top of the "blessed" system folder (the folder with the picture of the Mac on it on your hard drive) and the system will take over from there.

Windows Users
I have not heard of any problems downloading zip files with Netscape, so fortunately you are one step ahead already. The problem, of course, is finding the file you've downloaded. For Win95 users, the simple way to do this is to search for all zip files on your computer with the Find feature on the desktop. One of the zip files you will find should look suspiciously like a KillerFont: named "franklin.zip" or "jesse.zip" or whoever you decided to buy. For Windows 3.11 users, you will need to use the search feature in the File Manager in the same way.

Unzip this file with WinZip or PK-Zip or whatever zip program you prefer. While the file is unZipping, make a note of what it is unZipping-- it should tell you that it is unZipping "MONGOBAR.TTF" or "ZODIC___.TTF" or something similarwhile it unzips. This is the TrueType font itself, and if you lose that, you can use the File Manager or Find command to search for it later.

Wherever the font ends up, you can install it using the Fonts control panel (in the Control Panels click-up in the Start button for Win95; or double-click the Control Panels icon in the Main folder for Win 3.11). Click "Add", specify the directory the Killer Font lives in, and the system should automatically recognize the file format and show it to you in the dialog box. Select that font, "add" it, and you're done.

ALL Users: DO NOT copy the font files into the "Fonts" folder or directory. THIS WILL NOT WORK! The system must be "told" that the font exists and that you would like to use it.

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Copyright © 1997, Digital Download Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or in anyway reused. Killer Fonts is a trademark of Digital Download Inc. Fonts and Web design by Corporate Imaging, L. Theodore Ollier and Dennis Phillips respectivly.