Commonly used terms in Monotype Fonts platform and Monotype Desktop App

Supriya Bisht avatar
Written by Supriya Bisht
Updated over a week ago

This section describes the commonly used terms in the Monotype Fonts platform and desktop application.

A - D

Add-on fonts

Also known as third party fonts. Indicates the fonts that you require in addition to the fonts included in your base inventory.

This feature allows you to search a font either by entering its name, tag, family, foundry, or image. It also shows the recommended and recent search.

Advanced typography

Indicates a filter that narrow downs search results by type features, such as alternates, fractions, kerning, ligatures, numerical alternates, shaping, small capitals, and spacing.

Alternates (Advanced typography filter)

Alternates are different shapes of glyphs for the same character in a typeface. For example, small caps, swash characters, contextual alternates, case-sensitive forms, etc.

Browse/Search Filter

Filter (search criteria) used to browse the entire Monotype Fonts library and refine your font search results. Monotype Fonts platform has the following filters:

1. Monotype tags

2. Style

3. Variable fonts

4. Visual properties

5. Language

6. Foundry

7. Sources

8. Advanced typography

E - H


A quick way to save font families or styles for later use. Favorites are private to the user.


Folders help to organize font lists, web projects and digital ads. You can have nested folders.

Note: You cannot add fonts directly to a folder. Create a font list, web project, or digital ads to add them in the folder.


A collection of letters, numbers, punctuation, and other symbols used to set text (or related) matter. Although font and typeface are often used interchangeably, font refers to the physical embodiment (whether it’s a case of metal pieces or a computer file) while typeface refers to the design (the way it looks). A font is what you use, and a typeface is what you see.

Font APIs

Services provided by font providers (such as Monotype, Adobe, Google, Microsoft, and foundries) or platforms (such as Monotype Fonts). These services allow developers to access and integrate custom fonts into their websites or applications programmatically. See Monotype APIs.

Font download

Selected users with license can download and install individual font files or variable fonts to their workstations for use in their projects.

Font family/Family/Typeface

A typeface (or font family) is a design of letters, numbers and other symbols, to be used in printing or for electronic display.

Font format

A font format is a font file holding font data. There are three types of font formats, bitmapped, stroke, and outlined.

Outlined font formats are scalable and widely used. The most commonly used outlined font formats are PostScript, TrueType (.ttf), OpenType (.otf or .ttf), and Web Open Font Format (.woff and .woff2).

Font license

A font license (also known as EULA or end-user license agreement) is a legally binding document authorizing you to use font software under pre-defined conditions.

font lists List of fonts grouped together for desktop use and team sharing.

Font pairing is the art of combining two or more fonts that create a harmonious, stylish, readable, and well-balanced design.

Font pairing plays a crucial role in achieving visual appeal and readability for your creative project (such as logo, poster, flyer, invitation, social media post, website, book, journal, or presentation) that contains text.

Font subscription

A font subscription service simplifies the process of font discovery, use, and licensing. When you subscribe to Monotype Fonts, you will get a license for all the fonts in the Monotype Fonts' library.

Font syncing

Syncing is the primary method of accessing fonts by transferring fonts from the browser dashboard to the Monotype Desktop application. The synced fonts and font families are automatically accessible in most creative applications. There is no need for users to download individual font files.

Font tags

Font tags are a convenient tool for organizing the company fonts. Tags can either be public or private.

Font tags - private

Private tags are custom tags that can be added by a company admin to fonts and families as an advanced filtering option. These tags are private, meaning they are only visible to users in your company. Users will see them when searching for fonts, on family and font pages, etc.

Font tags - public

Public tags are visible to everyone. The Monotype team adds public tags to font families to help other users navigate the Monotype Fonts library.

Font tracking and reporting

A process used by Monotype Fonts to identify and report any unlicensed and inconsistent use of fonts. It helps you to protect your brand and avoid licensing infringement.

Foundry/Font foundry/type foundry

A company or individual designer who creates and distributes digital or physical fonts and typefaces. These foundries design and produce fonts for various platforms, such as print, web, or mobile applications.

Fractions (Advanced typography filter)

A fraction feature enables the dynamic creation of composed fractions from numbers and the slash or fraction character. Available fractions through this feature can vary from one font family to other, but may include either diagonal fractions or stacked fractions.

Free font

A font that can be downloaded and used without paying any licensing fee.

Note: Some free fonts are not actually free. They may be free for personal use but they often require additional licensing for commercial use.

I - L

Imported fonts

Third party fonts that you want to import into Monotype Fonts. It includes the following types of fonts:

  • Fonts purchased from a foundry that is not the part of Monotype.

  • Fonts custom-designed for your brand by Monotype studio.

Keep Fonts Forever

A feature that allows you to retain access to production fonts even when a foundry decides to remove them from the Monotype Fonts' library.

Kerning (Advanced typography filter)

The built-in spacing of a typeface is intended to produce an even texture in any letter combination. Certain combinations, like LT, VA or To tend to look gappy and loose with the default built-in spacing. Kerning is an additional adjustment to those problem pairs that corrects the excess or inadequate space.


Indicates the language search filter. Select a language to view the typefaces available in your preferred language.

Ligatures (Advanced typography filter)

Special glyphs that are actually two or more letters combined into one. In cases where two adjacent characters would normally bump into each other, a ligature allows the letters to flow together more gracefully. This usually makes word shapes more aesthetically pleasing. Some common ligatures are ‘fi’, ‘fl’, ‘ff’, ‘ffl’, etc.

M - P

Missing Fonts Detection

Monotype Desktop App allows you to detect missing fonts within your document.

If a missing font is detected, the Monotype Fonts library is checked for availability of the missing font. If available on the Monotype Fonts website, you can quickly sync the fonts to your computer and restore the appearance of your document.

Monotype Desktop App

Application installed on your computer to simplify font management and eliminate the need to manually look for missing fonts.

Note: It is important to download and install the Monotype Desktop app on your computer to sync the fonts and families from the Monotype Fonts platform.

Monotype Fonts

A global typography hub that offers access to the world's most vast and diverse font library, intuitive license and font management, web font hosting, font deployment and AI backed search and discovery.

Monotype Tags

The tags generated through Monotype’s proprietary AI classification engine. These tags are created based on popular user requests.

Monthly ad impressions

Maximum number of times the HTML5 digital ads containing the font can show up on people's screens.

Note: This may vary depending on your subscription plan and its associated license. Contact customer support to know more about this.

Monthly page views

The maximum number of times the webpage(s) containing the font can load on people’s devices.

Note: This may vary depending on your subscription plan and its associated license. Contact customer support to know more about this.

My Library

A Monotype Fonts feature that allows you to organize, curate, and share your fonts with your team. You have total control on your library and it can be synced to your Monotype Fonts desktop app.


One of Monotype’s digital commerce websites, where 230,000+ individual fonts are available for licensing.

Numerical alternates (Advanced typography filter)

Numbers can come in multiple styles that vary in their widths or heights. Height variations are either lining or old style, and widths are either tabular or proportional. Available alternates can vary from font family to font family.

Production font

A production font is a font that is utilized for a purpose described by a license that you hold for the font. For example, this could be a font that is utilized under a desktop license, on a web page, or within a software application.

Q - T


Also known as users. This is the number of team members who can access Monotype Fonts library.

Shaping (Advanced typography filter)

Shaping refers to the presence of OpenType Layout tables that enable a variety of typographic functionality. For example, certain scripts like Arabic or Devanagari require different shapes of characters depending upon their context (placement within a word). Shaping can also refer to support of dynamic mark placement (arbitrary accented characters), connected scripts and more.

Share with others

This icon displays in My Library. It indicates the number of users that have access to these fonts.

Share with whole company

Click this to share the font library with all existing and new company users.

Small capitals (advanced typography filter)

Small caps are capital letters that are approximately as high as the x-height of the lowercase letters. When properly designed small caps are absent in the selected font, many applications can create small caps by scaling down the capitals. However this makes these fake small caps too light and narrow, and they don’t harmonize properly with the lowercase. Originally small caps were only available for the roman text weight(s), but nowadays many type families also have them for the italic styles and full range of weights.

Spacing (Advanced typography filter)

The Capital Spacing feature in OpenType increases the default spacing between characters when setting all capital letters for better rhythm and legibility.


Indicates Single Sign On that ensures a unified and secure experience for users.


A typeface style.


In typography, a font superfamily or typeface superfamily is a font family containing fonts that fall into multiple classifications.

Superfamilies may include fonts grouped together for a common purpose that are not exactly complementary in letterform structure.

Swappable font

If your Monotype Fonts plan includes swappable fonts, it means you can swap out your commercial production fonts once per quarter (every three months) with fonts within the same tier.

Synced fonts

Fonts synced to your machines using Monotype Desktop App.


A type is a character or letter that is printed or shown on a screen.

Type Sample

List of pangrams in 39 languages that allows you to test the type for all the letters available in the preferred language.


A typeface (or font family) is a design of letters, numbers and other symbols, to be used in printing or for electronic display.


Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed.

U - Z

Variable fonts

A variable font is a single font file that can behave like many fonts. Support for variable fonts is quite broad and growing consistently.

Visual properties

Specify desired weight, width, x-height, contrast, and slant.

Web projects

Web projects are similar to font lists, but they can be deployed online with tracking.

A font identification tool developed by Monotype for instant automated identification of the font used in a photograph, scan, or artwork.

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