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The picture below depicts fonts that are all 14pt in MS Word. However, they all have different widths. Why is it that various fonts have different sizes in Microsoft word? Doesn't a "point" mean 1/72 of an inch? If so, why do all of these fonts have different widths for the same point size? Does point size only refer to the height?

Different Font Sizes

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The width of what? Each letter has different width. – svick Feb 11 '13 at 17:52
Appears to be a duplicate of What does the size of the font translate to exactly?, where you'll find a really good answer by @DA01 that point size refers to the height of the bounding box, not what you put into it with any particular style font. – Nicole Hamilton Feb 11 '13 at 17:54
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As @NicoleHamilton comments, this is mostly a duplicate of a question at Graphic Design. But to summarize its answer, “font size” is a basic property of a font, also known as the height of the font. It is a concept that relates to the font design, not to the height (still less the width) of any particular character, and a font designer may use the font height as he likes.

Technically, the “point size”, more properly called “font size” (which may be measured in different units) only refers to the height of the font. One point equals 1/72 inch by definition by modern principles, but this is just a matter of units.

The font size has no defined relationship to the widths of characters, which may vary a lot.

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