Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What happened to Courier?

Okay, so maybe I'm unobservant. So sue me. I've written a considerable amount in the past year, but for various reasons I haven't paid close attention to word counts and manuscript format. But with the Chicken Ranch sample chapters and the current Turkey City WIP, accurate word counts have suddenly become more relevant.

So tell me, what the hell happened to my Courier font?

Courier, that plain, dull, workhorse font that pretty much every manuscript formatting primer swears by for its uniform character spacing and ease of word-count calculation, has vanished from every single computer I work on. How did this happen? When did this happen? Why did I not notice before now? I first noticed this on my old Dell 4600, my home office PC that I do the vast majority of my writing on (I use Word Perfect to write with, just so you know). A month or so back, I did a complete re-install of Windows XP because of some lingering instability issues, and over the course of several days, re-installed all of the software I normally use. At this point, I noticed that some of my writing--those using the courier font, natch--were showing up with ugly square blocks where the quote marks were to go. If I tried to print, the whole document reverted to "Courier New," an invention of Microsoft's that is over-sized and not a particular favorite of mine.

No problem, I though. I'd simply move the files to my laptop and print from there (the laptop running Windows Vista--not my personal choice, but hey). Lo and behold, no Courier there, either. With growing concern, I pulled out a huge CD set of clip art and font files I keep on hand. No Courier there, either. Nor was plain Courier to be found on my computer at work (which runs MS Word). I'm finding Courier (W1) and Courier PS. There is a whole family of Courier New variations, and also Adobe's Courier Std variants. But no plain, simple Courier.

Did I miss the memo on the planned obsolescence of the Courier font? You folks out there paying more attention to these kinds of things, what are my font options for manuscript formatting?

Now Playing: Prince The Black Album


  1. I learned to embrace Courier New. I didn't like it, but I did it.

  2. But how do you figure word counts? I was used to the nice, comfortable 250 words per page old Courier gave...

  3. Courier was installed with printer drivers for some HP printers and with early versions of Adobe Reader. If at one time you had an HP printer and still have the installation disk, you might try re-installing it and see if the font is added.

  4. AH! That explains it. For many, many years I used a HP DeskJet 500. I finally put it away because ink refills are getting significantly harder to find. Heck, I think it's original drivers were on floppy discs. I'm certain they're long gone. Maybe I can find the driver online to download...