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I frequently find myself producing printed material without the luxury of using commercial typefaces.

What typefaces typically installed with operating systems or software applications are good enough in a pinch? If you can, provide the typeface name, the software that it's bundled with and suggested uses (headlines, body, etc).

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I'm not looking just for free typefaces but for typefaces that are likely to be installed on personal or business computers. –  Sean Aug 26 '11 at 15:12
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3 Answers

Check out http://www.google.com/webfonts My favorite font there is "Open Sans".

Also check http://www.dafont.com/

But always read the license of each font. All of them are free but some cannot be used in some cases. So be sure to read the license.

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Windows, MacOS and most Linux distros come with a pretty wide variety of fonts. The ones shipped with the operating systems tend to be of pretty good quality. One gotcha is that older imagesetting equipment may not play nicely with truetype or opentype fonts, and not many Type 1 fonts come with Windows these days. However to run into this sort of compatibility issue you're looking at kit going back to the first half of the 1990s or before.

One good way to get a cheap set of decent fonts is to buy an older version of Corel Draw off Ebay, even back to really old ones like version 7 (I got a copy for NZD40 once). This comes with something like 1,000 Bitstream fonts in Type 1 and Truetype.

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I have many many quality fonts (that means minimum N B I BI, full glyph support), but it depends what you want to do with them. For logo design or "not copy" many fonts will be suitable, but for copy you need to be very strict. For copy I had a crush on Walkway, it's a beautiful Sans Serif. Try Arkandis Digital Foundry, I get many designs done from the fonts there.

Be careful with free fonts or very cheap fonts there is a massive font forgery industry. http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/

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