How to: use custom fonts

ClauseBase offers a variety of standard fonts — such as Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana — from which you can choose in various places relating to styling. However, sometimes this is not enough, and you insist on using custom fonts.

Why you may not want to use custom fonts

Fonts seem like an easy topic for most users, but actually have many delicate issues attached to them:

A font file must be available on the document’s recipient computer, otherwise the document will look and print differently on the recipient’s computer — which may vary from usually negligble (slightly different spacing of letters and paragraphs) to downright problematic (certain letters are replaced by empty rectangles or weird characters).

The font availability can be achieved in two different ways:

  • Either the font file is installed on the device. This will be almost guaranteed to be the case for the truly standard fonts (Times New Roman and Arial). It will usually also true for secondary fonts (such as Verdana and Courier), but you should not expect it to be true for other fonts.

    Be aware that, while installing a font is not a difficult operation, font installation is actively disabled on many corporate Windows desktops and laptops — i.e., the IT department must intervene. In any case, asking a user to install a certain font is not exactly polite. However, if a . DOCX/.PDF file will only be used internally, and a special font is part of the company/firm’s branding, then it can be safe to assume that that special font was indeed pre-installed on all the recipients’ computers.
  • Or the the font file is embedded into the .DOCX / .PDF file. The advantage is that no installation is necessary at all, but the disadvantage is that the size of the file will increase enormously — a simple 50 KB .DOCX or .PDF file can easily blow up to more than 1 MB if the regular, bold and italic versions of a single font are being embedded.

It is therefore advisable to stick to the standard fonts, only use custom fonts for strictly internal documents (i.e., when you can assume that the font-file was pre-installed), and very exceptionally use custom fonts if there really is no other way.

How to use custom fonts in ClauseBase

Step 1: Create a .DOCX file with one or more embedded fonts

In order to use a custom font in your documents, you should first create a .DOCX file that contains an embedded version of that font.

To do so in Microsoft Word, please check Microsoft’s instructions.

Step2: Upload the .DOCX file

Next, you should upload the created .DOCX file to some location in the ClauseBase file system. If other users (in particular anonymous users) will need to access the same file, then make sure the file is in a shared location, e.g. your organisation’s or department’s library.

Step 3: Reference the .DOCX file

Each time you want to actually use the font, you need to reference the .DOCX file in the “Custom fonts” section of the Page stying:

Step 4: Specify the font to use

At the location where you want to use the custom font, you should reference it explicitly by choosing “(Custom font…)” in the fonts dropdown list. For example, in the screenshot below, we are selecting custom font “Bainsley”:

Be aware that when this font is not installed on your end-user’s device, the user will not see the actual custom font on his/her screen, but Arial instead. When creating a .PDF or .DOCX file, however, the custom font will be embedded and therefore show up in his/her MS Word or PDF reading application.

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