System (typeface)

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Date created1988; 36 years ago (1988)

System is a family of proportional raster fonts distributed with Microsoft Windows.[1] Sharing the same letterforms as Microsoft Sans Serif, the font family contains fonts encoded in several Windows code pages, with multiple resolutions of the font for each code page. Fonts of different code pages have different point sizes. Under double-byte character set Windows environments, specifying this font may also cause applications to use non-System fonts when displaying texts.

In Windows 2000 or later, changing script setting in some application's font dialogue (e.g. Notepad, WordPad) causes the font to look completely different, even under same font size. Similarly, changing language setting for Windows applications that do not support Unicode will alter the appearance of the font.

When Windows is running with low system resources, System is the fallback font used for displaying texts.

The copyright message in the .FON file says the font was designed by Microsoft Corporation in 1988–1989.

Microsoft also created CGA, EGA and 8514/A versions of the font. The 8514 variant remained in use on modern Windows Versions such as Windows 10 and 11 versions as a high-DPI version.

Lorem ipsum text rendered in the System font
The System font

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Microsoft Typography". Microsoft. June 11, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2024. Microsoft licensed bitmap fonts from Bitstream, but made significant modifications to them. The first Windows user interface font was 'SysFixed' the fixed-pitch bitmap font included with Windows 1. Windows 2 added support for the proportional bitmap font 'System'.