There is no Helvetica in Microsoft Word, just Arial

Inspired by my last post, I took this test, How to Spot Arial.

I started Microsoft Word, I typed in the word “Rates”, and I changed the settings from Arial to Helvetica. Guess what? No change occurred. All the telltale signs of Arial are still there.

Perhaps it’s just my version of Word (2002), but it looks like it provides Helvetica in name only.

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9 responses to “There is no Helvetica in Microsoft Word, just Arial

  1. Yeah this is the same in word 2007. This must be illegal. If I am a soda vendor, I can’t just buy coke bottles and fill them with pepsi and tell everyone its coke.

  2. I just watched the documentary “Helvetica,” which praises this font as the gold standard. The movie makes a huge deal about the horizontal terminus of the tail in the letter ‘e.’ This is noticeably angled in Arial font. Very disappointing to see Microsoft make such a bold and sweeping decision.

  3. well its the same for me too, but if i print it, its the real Helvetica!! but why?

    • smartpeopleiknow

      Really? That’s interesting! I wonder why that is, too? That’s a mystery.

      • Some laser printers (at least in the old days) really didn’t have much memory and CPU so they have built in fonts.

        Imagine sending the font data every time to the printer and letting the printer process them for every print request.

        So to get around that we have screen to printer font mappings. You should be able to see it in your advanced printer settings.

        And also in the old days Adobe Type Manager (ATM-1) fonts are more common. This includes Helvetica that’s why your printouts will look Helvetica rather than Arial.

  4. I too have this problem it is fully Arial on screen.

    I can’t remove this impostor “Helvetica” from Word’s font menu by deleting fonts from Windows. I installed Helvetica World which seems like the real one.

  5. I just saw the movie Helvetica also, and after a bit of research it seems that there is something of a history behind the relationship between Arial and Helvetica. I guess Arial was developed by a different company and Microsoft bought the rights to it because it is cheaper. Helvetica doesn’t appear on the list of fonts in Microsoft, but if you type in “Helvetica” it will automatically change to Arial.

    • smartpeopleiknow

      Cool! Thanks, Susie. I know alot of people have said good things about the movie Helvetica: I should check it out.

  6. Helvetic is the GOLD STANDARD, in fact it is the standard. Perhaps Microsoft did not want to pay the licensing fee associated with including HELVETICA typeface with WORD. For a company that has made its fortune by including a fee for each computer ever sold in the world for a few bits of code of dubious usefulness, I find it hypocritical to not pay the modest fee to include helvetica along with word processing program. Years ago, graphic designers would purchase fonts as a stand alone product; but this practice is long gone, as is the product. But if anyone looks around at the logos, streets signs, must markers of our lives; it is apparent that Helvetica, not Arial is the international typeface of choice. Except for one of the wealthiest companies on the planet.

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