Unfortunately there is no unified font handling system for Linux. You will have
to configure each individual program so you can use TrueType, Type 1 or fonts
that pique your fancy. And each program may well have its own way of doing
this so you will have to RTFM. Desktop Environments like GNOME and KDE may
provide much of this functionality however for apps that are under their
Most GUI apps should be able to use TrueType, and Type 1 fonts too.
Wordperfect for Linux, however, cannot use TrueType. (See the
links section below for more on Wordperfect.) Text editors, terminal programs
and the like need fixed width fonts, and do not play well with TrueType or
other scalable fonts.
Though not discussed here, Type 1 fonts provide many of the same benefits
as TrueType and are historically better supported in the Unix world. You
likely have many of these installed already. Unfortunately however, Type 1
are not a web standard like TrueType. But they are suitable for many other
purposes. They are where it's at for printing. See ghostscript for more on this.
While it is possible to specify a default point size for the xfs font
server, very few applications will actually use this value.
Abiword comes with a suite of fonts, called 'Abisuite'. Apparently,
some of these fonts have the same names as some of the well known MS
TrueType fonts: Arial, etc. And apparently, these are of much less
quality. And because of the way X searches for fonts, it may find these
first and use these, even if the 'real' ones are installed and may be the
preferred choice. The solution is to uninstall 'Abisuite'.
The new Xft rendering extensions of XFree86 4.x will mostly supplant
similar features as provided by xfs, and older XFree86 extensions. For
instance, font aliasing should be done in XftConfig
if the new extensions are being used. This would only be true where
the application is built against a toolkit (like QT or GTK) that supports
the new extensions. This is still not universally supported. In fact,
only KDE is wide spread support.
Timings HOWTO, the ins and outs of getting the most from your monitor.
(Applicable only to XFree86 v.3.x.)
Many good tips for installing fonts and for applications such as StarOffice,
Applixware, Wordperfect, Ghostscript, TeX/LaTeX.
A TrueType HOWTO, good tips for printing, and a few application specific tips.
TrueType font support for X. This is the origin of the "freetype" font module
for XFree86 4.x, and Red Hat's xfs. Good site, and good links to other
information related to fonts and TrueType.