14. April 2024

Free standards: fonts to replace Times, Arial and Courier New

As a user of a free operating system (Ubuntu Linux) and free software (LibreOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox, GIMP etc.) it was time to take a look at free alternatives to the standard Windows fonts. It feels alsmost as the last small step to take.

Basically, it is easy to find free fonts. But there are so many that it even is confusing. As I find the fonts provided by Microsoft („Times New Roman“, „Arial“ and „Courier New“) in a simple way very practical (maybe I just got used to), I feel the free alternatives should resemble these.

There is no question that the fonts mentioned are omnipresent and, in the eyes of some, are therefore heavily used. But so far I have not been able to find fonts that I consider to be similarly practicable in the long term (I am open to recommendations).

Since I have searched at many occasions, was satisfied and then forgot the result of my search, I started to write down my results. I cannot theoretically base my selection on font size, style, and ascenders and descenders, but I looked at all the fonts in longer texts and found them to be really convenient.

My standard fonts

Linux Libertine (GPLv2, Open Font License 1.1, Free Serif, NimbusRomNo9L (replacing: Times New Roman)

Anonymous Pro (Open Font License) (replaces: Courier New)

Roboto (Apache License, Version 2.0) / Carlito (replacing: Arial)

Travelling Typewriter (Free for personal use) – old typewriter

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