17.6 Font Considerations

The font determines the characteristics of letters, numbers, and symbols displayed on your PC screen. Fonts may have different sizes (width, height, etc.), attributes (bold, underline, etc.) and styles (Courier, System VIO, Helvetica, Swiss, etc.).

Some fonts are described as being proportional fonts while other fonts are described as fixed or non-proportional fonts. A proportional font uses a different amount of space to display different characters. A fixed font uses the same amount of space to display each character.

For example, the characters "EEE" would require more space than "iii" if a proportional font were used. If a fixed font were used, the same space is used by both "EEE" and "iii".

The advantage of using fixed fonts is that the size of the input field displayed will indicate the exact number of characters which can be entered. If a fixed font is used, a three character input field will appear to display space for exactly three characters, remembering that "EEE" and "iii" use the same space.

If you have selected a proportional font, the amount of space used in the input field will depend on the text entered. You may only see "EE" even though "EEE" was entered. This truncation is a result of the fonts selected and not the application. Be careful when selecting proportional fonts.

If you are retrieving the cursor location (e.g. CURSOR_LOC PARAMETER for DISPLAY, REQUEST or POP-UP), you should use fixed (i.e. non-proportional) fonts.

The X_UIM (User Interface Manager) allows you to change the font being used to present information. The actual font selection facility is a supplied part of the Windows operating environment.

Although any font may be chosen, the choice will depend upon the resolution of the monitor being used. The following fonts are recommended as being the most suitable for the most common VGA monitor resolutions:

MS Sans Serif

Size 8

MS Serif

Size 8


Size 8


Size 8


Size 10


Note that changing fonts is not a common operation. Once a font has been chosen it is usually used from then onwards with no change. When you change fonts the following may happen:

Finally, you should know that the details of the font that you select are stored and remembered from session to session.

They are stored on, and associated with, the workstation that you are using, not with any user profile that you are using.

If you change the font used on a workstation you are changing it for all users of the workstation. If you move to another workstation your selected font will not follow you to the new workstation.