• New fonts and templates, but with traps

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    ISSUE 20.36 • 2023-09-04 MICROSOFT 365 By Peter Deegan Whenever you start a new document by clicking “Blank” (or “New”) in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or
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    • #2585114

      Limiting primary font access is just another way for Redmond to push organizations to buy only “subscription” Office instead of using perpetual license Office 2021 or 2019.

      This I don’t get? Most home-users will probably use the default theme / fonts, but I guess companies have their own theme / fonts? For example, we settled for font Tahoma a long time ago. So I don’t see how a font will drive a company to subscription, unless they want Aptos to be their font.

      That aside – we all know the whole software world is moving towards subscription, if not already. Don’t like that? Neh, your problem. we mostly use Autodesk software for our daily business, like Revit and AutoCAD. Autodesk moved to subscription some years ago, much to dismay of it’s users. And they are gradually turning on the thumbscrews. Like ditching Network Licenses in favor of user-bound licences. ‘Hey Autodesk, this user license thing is a blessing for the Evening Ltd! How to enforce license compliance if licenses are tied to a user and you don’t provide any means on how those licenses are used?!’. Neh, your problem. If we discover license overuse, we’ll send a lawyer to your company. Sigh.

      • #2585123

        Many organizations have a mix of perpetual license (Office 2016/2019/2021) and Microsoft 365 subscriptions.  Microsoft doesn’t like that because subscriptions are a lot more profitable, so Redmond takes every opportunity to ‘encourage’ switching from perpetual license.

        Office 2019/2021 have seen price increases, reduction in support/update time now a little font incompatibility.

        Certainly some organizations have deployed a custom template but many others haven’t for cost or other reasons.  You’d hope this Microsoft 365 font/template change will encourage more organizations to use a custom template with commonly available fonts.

        Software companies have moved to ‘subscription’ (really software rental) because, as you note, they get more control over software use. But also because annual/monthly payments are much more profitable and give the company a more even cash flow.

        Peter Deegan

      • #2585124

        Hi, yes, I agree that most home users will not upgrade just because they were sent a file written using Aptos font.  According to the links from the article, Font Substitution should provide a readable document.  Unless Aptos is changed enough that Word cannot find a substitute.  I will know once customers start calling me for help!

        This is pretty diabolically clever on their part.  I can imagine people using WPS Office, LibreOffice, and others might have trouble with the new documents, since Aptos is not available nor found in the Fonts folders.

        We cannot afford endless subscriptions, but I don’t fault Quickbooks or Autocad for them.  Those programs don’t seem to have comparable competition, and their tech support is constantly needed.  You cannot afford to find the company has declared bankruptcy.  However, I do fault notes apps, weather apps, etc. for their subscription plans.  Those aren’t necessary, and there are many alternatives.

        Microsoft Office/Microsoft 365 is in the gray zone: it’s necessary but there are alternatives.  The extra features keep it constantly evolving, and some new features are improvements.  Would I pay? Maybe.  But I might choose a cheaper office alternative, since my budget is limited.  Luckily, my office pays for the employee subscriptions.

        • #2585165

          Font Substitution for Aptos is pretty poor. I’ve been testing that for an Office-Watch.com article – for example in Office 2019.

          In short: ALL the Aptos variants are substituted with Calibri, except one.

          Not even Aptos Display (the new heading font) is replaced with Calibri Light (the former heading font.

          Worse: Aptos Mono is replaced with Calibri … not even another monospace font.

          Aptos Serif is replaced with an obscure serif font.

          The result is readable but looks quite different from the original with likely different pagination and text wrapping.

          Peter Deegan

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    • #2585115

      <h2>Can you say fuzzy?</h2>

      Most people who download the full installer, or perpetual license, in my experience, are older, single customers with no need to share documents in an office.  Microsoft’s tactics may be insidiously clever, but I think they will be ineffective in increasing their residuals.

      The only thing I notice is that the Aptos font body is terrible for people like me with visual acuity problems.  It is fuzzier than Calibri.  Calibri was designed for the newer LCD screens of the time.  Does Aptos have any raison-d’etre for readability?

      Thanks so much for the article.  I never knew about embedding fonts before, or opening a document to view the source, which might help in extracting text from corrupt files.

    • #2585138

      Two points:

      The EULA shown when you install almost any software clearly (well, clear in legaleeze anyway) that you do not own software.  You only pay for the right to use it, which can be taken away for a number of reasons.


      If this gets to be a big deal to Office 2019/2021 users, I wonder what would happen if the Aptos fonts were copied from the AppData\Local\Microsoft\Fontcache\4\Cloudfonts\ folder to \Windows\Fonts of Office 2019/2021 users.  Would it then be usable for them?

    • #2585152

      There is a way to add these fonts to the Windows fonts folder.

      In Explorer, navigate to the font sub-folders under:


      select the TTF file or files, right click on the selected group, and left click  “Install for all users” in the right-click menu. This will add them to the Windows font folder, where they are available for all applications.

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    • #2585160

      According to Microsoft’s New Office theme page:

      Default Office font

      Aptos is the default font across all of Office. Learn more about the history of Aptos here. The Aptos font will be available for download (coming soon).

      So, if anyone “really” wants it, it appears MS will make it available for download/use at some point in the future.

      BTW, Aptos is basically the Bierstadt font under an alias, most likely so MS could copyright it, and there are numerous font sites where it’s available for download/installation as a TTF font.

    • #2585164

      So, if anyone “really” wants it, it appears MS will make it available for download/use at some point in the future.

      That’s a typically Microsoft tricky wording. When they say ‘download’ that doesn’t mean everyone can download it.

      Elsewhere they’ve been very clear that Aptos fonts are for Microsoft 365 apps only.  It’s unlikely that will change unless there’s a major customer revolt.

      Bierstadt is widely available (it was one of the default font candidates) but has been greatly expanded to make Aptos.

      Peter Deegan


    • #2585168


      Decades ago Consumer Reports did a report on some format of the font/printer products and discovered that, based on 11 pt body, Times New Roman used less ink than the, then new, Arial. They recommended users set their default to Times. But, growing older and as a former typographer, I discovered I needed to use a larger size Times for the same readability as with Arial. Calibri seems to have carried that failure to a higher degree. Since 99% of my output was on a laser printer the cost of “ink” was less than that of paper.

      Money could also be involved when Microsoft has to license quality fonts. If I settle on Palatino as my default, MS may get nicked for another fraction of a cent for my use.

      My only solution that is half-way reliable is never use Blank or Normal templates. Create a new one personalized to me. In addition to “my” fonts, it can correct margins and include macros to make my output mine!



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    • #2585218

      Just for fun I searched my computer for .TTF files. The result was 1474 .TTF files on my computer. If I have ever used 10 of those that would probably be a lot.
      Why are there so many font files when most of them look identical to some other font?
      Is there a font war going on?
      How can I fight font pollution?

      • #2585227

        Remember *.TTF files are present not only within the c:\Windows\Fonts folder but, also within winsxs.
        Still FAAAAR too many, unless using graphic design software, where most will install further fonts by default.

        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
      • #2585324

        As Microfix says … there’s often a lot of backup/old versions of fonts in the WinSxS folder. You can ignore them. On a test machine, I found over 500 .ttf files in that folder alone.

        However, counting the number of .TTF files gives a very misleading OVERcount of the fonts installed.  That’s because most single fonts are made up of multiple .TTF files.

        For example, Arial is listed as a single font but is made up of four .ttf files, one each for normal, bold, italic and bolditalic.

        On my test machine with largely standard install, the Control Panel fonts shows 183 fonts but the underlying /Fonts folder has 533 .ttf files.

        So I’d not be too concerned about the number of fonts on your computer. Look at the count in Control Panel | Fonts.

        Even if that count was 500+ it’s not a problem for Windows which can handle many more.

        The problem of many fonts isn’t technical – it’s finding/selecting the font in a long Font selection list. In Office for Windows, it’s long overdue for improvement.

        Peter D.


    • #2585275

      A brief web search shows several download sites for the Aptos font.  They are usually for personal use.

      Anyone able to vouch for any of the website’s safety and their font usability.

    • #2585279

      Actually, you can get all of the Office cloud fonts on a plain Win10/11 system, without having any Microsoft Office.

      The secret is that the little Mail app that comes pre-installed with Windows also supports the Office cloud fonts! Just open up Mail, add an account, and start to compose a new message. As you pick each font with a cloud icon from the drop-down (remember to cycle through the bold and italic options for each), that font is immediately (no need to start typing) added to the AppData folder mentioned above.

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    • #2585284

      Why not save yourself all the hassle and use LibreOffice. I gave up on MS office years ago. I still have to use it a little where I do some voluntary work, but I loathe it and always glad to get back to LibreOffice at home.


      • #2585409

        Fully agree with LibreOffice.  This sort of nonsense is why I abandoned Microsoft for anything except the operating system.  I’ll do my best to stick to software that conforms to published standards.

    • #2585301

      Thanks for the heads up about Aptos fonts. When I get to work tomorrow, I’ll check my work copy of MS Office and make sure I change the default font to “Office 2013-2022 Calibri”.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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