What is the difference between a "font" and "pitch?"

Font refers to a "typeface."  Fonts are works of art and they are typically copyrighted material.  For example, the font that we have used to present this page is called "Arial."  The size of a font is expressed in "points."  For example, the point size we have used here is 12 (not to be confused with "pitch").  The font size denotes the width and height.  A "true" Windows-based program will allow a user to highlight and change the size of a font.  A font is also categorized as "fixed/ monospace" or "variable."  

The characters in a fixed font occupy the exact same amount of space.  For example, the font used for this example is "Courier," notice that every character takes the same amount of space (this is usually noticed when the letters "I" and "w" or "m" are compared).

The characters in a variable font set do not occupy the same amount of space.  Examine this line of text, each letter only take as much space as it needs.  Compare the presentation of the letters "I", "w", and "m" to the Courier font presented  earlier.

Pitch, on the other hand, refers to the number of characters printed per inch (measured horizontally).  In other words, pitch defines the amount of space between each character.  For example, a document printed at 9-pitch,  will have more spaces between its characters than a document printer at 10-pitch.  Also, a document printed at 9-pitch will yield more pages than the same document printed at 10-pitch.

The concept of pitch applies to fixed fonts.  Spacing-out a variable font will takes away from its presentation.  Consider these words spread out equally. The font is not quite as presentable as its normal spacing.

Winner2000 allows you to choose any font size and pitch as the "default" transcript font.  The translator, during translation,  applies the font to a transcript.  The editor displays the transcript in the selected font.  The user may change the font and pitch in the editor. 

When selecting a font and pitch; the user must consider the size of the font and the pitch.   Selecting a larger font (i.e. 16 points) for a text that will be printed at a lower pitch (i.e. 10-pitch) might cause the words to be squished.  On the other hand, selecting a smaller font (i.e. 10 points) for a document that will be printed on a larger pitch (i.e. 8-pitch) will spread out the words too far. 

We highly recommend that a user uses the editor to apply pitch and font size to a document to determine the intended results, then apply the changes to the page layout and user preferences.

Refer to "How to Select a Default Font" TechTip to setup a transcript font in Winner2000.


Last Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2007