Windows Vista - Fonts

Three Ways to Preview Your Fonts

SUMMARY: Display how a particular font appears in Windows Vista.

Unsure of which font to use when creating documents or presentations? There are a variety of ways to preview how your fonts will appear onscreen in Windows Vista.

The first two methods below display the entire upper and lower-case alphabet (if applicable), as well as numbers and selected punctuation characters. To get an idea of the default spacing between characters, or lack thereof, the phrase "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" and a set of numbers in multiple sizes appear.


1. Access your Windows Vista Fonts Control Panel.

2) Double-click a font to preview it in a new window.

Windows Vista previewing font "Goudy Old Style"

3) Click the "Done" button on the font preview window to close the window.

OPTION B: Add a Preview Window to the Fonts Control Panel

1. Access your Windows Vista Fonts Control Panel.

2. Click the "Organize" button in the toolbar.

3. Select "Layout" - "Preview Pane".

Windows Vista's Fonts Control Panel with a preview pane added

Increase the width of the window and notice a new pane has been added to the right, previewing the selected font. All you need to do is click on a font to preview it here.

4. If you need to add/remove room to/from the preview area, just move your mouse pointer between the two panes until the mouse turns into a double-sided arrow. Click and hold the left button down and drag the mouse to the left or right.

5. If desired, provide even more room to the preview pane by hiding every detail column except "Name". Right-click the "Name" column header and deselect "Font type", "Size", and/or "Font file names"

OPTION C: Preview All Characters Available in a Font

Wingdings is an example of a symbol font that contains graphics instead of letters. Previewing such fonts in the aforementioned manners will not show all available symbols such as disks, smiley faces, or mailboxes. To fully preview such fonts, use the Character Map utility.

1. Select the "Start" button.

2. Type charmap and press Enter.


1. Select the "Start" button.

2. Click "All Programs".

3. Click "Accessories" to expand the folder.

4. Click "System Tools" to expand the subfolder.

5. Click "Character Map".

Running Windows Vista's Character Map utility to preview the "Wingdings" font

The "Character Map" dialog box appears. Click the pull-down next to "Font" to choose a font to preview. Scroll through to see the available characters, and then click the "X" to close the window when done.

Return to the Windows Vista - Fonts page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.