I recently watched an interesting film on font design that was a reminder of how fonts seem to live and breathe beside us day in and day out, often times going unnoticed. In an age where the sheer volume of information is overwhelming, the subtleties are sometimes lost, and sometimes make all the difference, speaking to our subconscious in ways we may not understand.
Fonts have intrigued me since I stumbled upon the vast storehouse within MS Word. Not that we were allowed to use them in school, mind you. I remember being given a list of fonts that were approved for graded papers in school. I think every student has has the conversation with his/herself that goes along the lines of “If I changed the font from Times New Roman to Verdana, would it look like I wrote more?” Perhaps it was this sort of almost forbidden nature of the vast array of fonts that has held my curiosity.
Microsoft’s Truetype fonts on Linux are always a bit of a dance with the devil. Since they are proprietary most Linux distributions will not include them in the default installation and only use fonts licensed under the GPL These fonts handle the day to day applications fairly well. There are some instances, however, when a web page, or a Powerpoint presentation will not render correctly, completely, or not at all. Our culture is so entrenched in these fonts that it’s only when you cannot use them that you notice just how common they really are.
In previous releases, SUSE to provided MS Truetype fonts through their online updater after installation. As of this post, openSUSE 11.0 provides no such update through the official channels. Luckily, the BuildService has provided the community with the ability to easily add and access packages built by other members of the community. Below are links for 1-click install to both MS webcore-fonts, and webcore-fonts-vista. These two packages should give you all the lovely pretty fonts that we’ve become so accustomed to.
Update: Check back after each release of openSUSE’s 11.x series for updated packages.
Update 2: As of 11.4, the fonts are no longer automatically installed during the initial update; however, they are still available via the update repository under “fetchmsttfonts.”