A variety of programs on your computer allow you to change a font. For example, word processing programs allow you to change font face, size and styles. Word processing, presentation and Web authoring software all allow you to specify the font face of your documents. You can only use fonts that are installed on your computer, and these fonts vary by operating system. Mac and Windows computers share some common fonts but no cursive fonts.
If you create a text document on a Windows computer and use a cursive-style font for certain elements, such as headings, you will want others to be able to view those elements in the font you chose, regardless of their operating system. If you use both Windows and Mac computers, you may need to be able to edit a file on either operating system. If you use an incompatible font, the program may not display it correctly if it does not have the font. Similarly, if you create a website and want to use a custom font that all your visitors can see, you will want to use one that is common to multiple operating systems.
There are no common cursive fonts on both the Mac and Windows operating systems by default. Windows includes many basic serif, sans serif, and language-based fonts but no cursive fonts. Mac computers do include a copy of the cursive font Brush Script, but this is the only pure cursive font available. While this is a default font on Macs, users of Windows-based computers can procure it by only purchasing a cope of Adobe's Creative Suite software, which includes Brush Script among several other fonts.
Other Common Fonts
While Mac and Windows computers share no common cursive fonts, they do share some other base fonts. These shared fonts include the Arial family, Franklin Gothic, Impact, Tahoma and Times New Roman, to name a few. These aforementioned fonts are all basic, and most of them are safe for Web use; however, fonts with serifs may be difficult to read online. The two operating systems also share the fonts Symbol, Webdings and Wingdings, which all use symbols and graphic representations of objects or ideas. Comic Sans is also a font common to both systems that has a style similar to printed handwriting but is not cursive.
If you are creating a word processing document or even a Web page for use on multiple operating systems, you should pick a font that is common to all computers. Alternatively, you can purchase fonts for installation across multiple computers; however, than can become quite costly if the font is not available for free. If you are creating a Web page, you can upload fonts that use the .ttf or .eot extension to your server and reference it via CSS so that all visitors, regardless of operating system. Note that Internet Explorer only recognizes ".eot" fonts while other browsers recognize both font types. Use the following syntax in your style sheet, after uploading the font to your website: