MTE Explains: Why Does Windows Have So Many Fonts?

Windows comes pre-loaded with a large number of fonts; this is of no surprise to anyone who has scrolled through the available options in their software of choice. Of these fonts, some are more popular than others: Courier New, Times New Roman and Arial have been familiar faces for more than a decade of computer use, while Calibri, Cambria and Consolas have become younger, fresher options.

What about David? Batang, DokChampa, Gulum and Gungsuh? They’re all fonts that come as standard, but why? Even these examples are a small cross-section of a much longer list of seemingly unnecessary fonts.

Microsoft does provide information on these fonts, though it can take some searching to come across. In brief, these fonts are intended for use with non-Latin characters, such as those found in Hebrew or Chinese. Since speakers of these languages also appreciate choice in how characters appear, Microsoft has provided just that.

This also explains why fonts intended for other languages do not change the appearance of English characters. Therefore, it is understandable that David does not have any visible impact on Arial: it is not meant to, given its purpose.

Examples of how the fonts display are provided; the examples used are from “lorem ipsum” generators; we cannot claim responsibility for the accuracy of the texts used.



While it may not be an obvious example of a language with a non-Latin alphabet, Hebrew is nevertheless a concern for Microsoft. “David” is a relatively obvious example, given the relation of the name to the historical King David.


FrankRuehl is also a Hebrew font, intended to display Hebrew characters in their most traditional, straightforward form.



Thai lettering, while ornate in appearance, is also displayable in various styles. Thus, various fonts are included for this purpose, including Leelawadee, Jasmine UPC and Kodchiang UPC.

Interestingly, both leelawadee and jasmine are types of flower: according to Wikipedia, jasmine is used as a symbol of motherhood in Thailand, while “leelawadee” is a Thai name for what is more commonly called “plumeria“.



An extremely important family of languages over the world, Chinese characters can be represented in many different ways, and Microsoft includes quite a few different fonts appropriate for displaying Chinese characters; these range from DFKai, with what Microsoft calls “graceful strokes”, to Microsoft YaHei, which is intended to clearly display Simplified Chinese at small sizes.


Though all languages are of great importance, it would prove needless to further outline the font choices Microsoft has made over the years when they have a website listing all of the included fonts.

Nevertheless, the history of type is storied and worthy of note – this article should have hopefully shed some light on the enormous number of fonts pre-installed with Windows, and to a degree, the origin of their names.

Font design is an in-depth practice, and for many speakers, the font names must be relatable and understandable – after all, many of us will have scrolled right past them many times before.

Paul Ferson
Paul Ferson

Paul is a Northern Irish tech enthusiast who can normally be found tinkering with Windows software or playing games.

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