Frequently Asked Questions

Is your current disk compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11 and Word 2013? Word 2016? Word 2019? Word 2011? OS 10.7? OS 10.8? OS 10.9? OS 10.10? OS 10.11, OS 10.12, OS 10.13, OS 10.14? OS 10.15? OS 11? OS 12?  OS 13?  OS 14?  64-bit computers?

Yes. And if there are changes to either Windows or Mac OS X operating systems such that our fonts don't install or work properly, we will update our installers and fonts.

You might see a message when installing or using LinkLetter on Mac OS 10.13 or 10.14 that you need a newer version. It's just a warning message, and the app will run correctly. We have new Mac apps for Mac OS 10.15 and newer available as an Upgrade, if you already have a license.

My older installer doesn't work anymore on my new computer. What can I do?

If your Mac is Catalina (OS 10.15) or newer, you must buy an Upgrade to run the installer or LinkLetter - Catalina changed everything for Macs.

All CDs and DVDs that we distributed since 9/4/04 have a "RawFonts" folder on them, allowing manual installation without running the installer. Read the ReadMes for directions. If your new Windows computer is 64-bit, and your CD is older than 4/25/09, you won't be able to run either the installer or LinkLetter, and will need an upgrade, but you can use Raw Fonts for the Manuscript. On the Mac side, Apple removed backwards compatibility with OS 10.7, and if your older CD is earlier than 11/3/11, the installer won't run and you will have to install the fonts manually. Read the RawFonts ReadMes for directions.

Can't I buy just one font?

Yes and No. We don't sell fonts (unless you want a custom font, which start at $300 and go up). We do sell licenses to use our fonts. A Single User License costs $49.95, whether you use just one font or all the more than 1000 that are on the current disk. If you choose to buy a DVD ($5), you get access to everything we sell.

What is on the DVD?

Our Teacher Pack fonts disk contains 36 handwriting font families (AB, CCU, DN, ...), plus our Specialty and Decorative fonts. The handwriting font families typically have 13-15 Manuscript variations and nine cursive variations. CF, CL, LG, MX, Spencer, and RU have fewer variations. The sample sheets show you all of the variations in each font family. You may install any or all of the font families on the DVD. You are buying a license to use all the fonts.

What is a "font family"?

Our TrueType fonts install as families, with numerous variations for both Cursive and Manuscript in each family. The variations typically include dots, outlines, arrows, and rules, with combinations such as "Manuscript Dots Arrows Rules" and "Cursive Outlines Rules." Each font family also includes programs to correctly link (and unlink) the Cursive text.

Do your fonts work with Google Docs?  With Chromebooks?

No.  Unfortunately. 

Google Docs was designed so that several people on different computers can all work on the same document.  That means that all those (hypothetical) people must have exactly the same fonts on their computers.  The only way to guarantee that is to disallow all additional fonts.  No fonts from any developer are allowed — it's not just us.  While this model might work well in the business world, for teachers just wanting to make handwriting lessons, it's a disaster.

Chromebooks aren't like Mac or Windows computers.  They lack an expandable operating system and cannot use fonts from any developer.  A few years ago, someone posted how to add a font to a Chromebook, but it looked so complicated and fraught with danger that even us EFI'ers were intimidated with the instructions.

How are the fonts used?

Handwriting fonts are a teacher tool, used to make up printable worksheets for students to trace or copy. The beginning student will need more help, so Rules, Outlines, Arrows, Dots, and Starting Dots are appropriate. As the student masters letter shapes and develops the small muscles, less and less help is needed. We have handwriting fonts for each of these styles that enable you to do these tasks, and more. Within your current word processor (Word, Pages, iWork, Open Office, etc.), type in your DOL, phrases, or spelling lists, print out copies for each student, and pass out perfect examples to trace, copy, with blank lines to write on at any size you want. If only some students need more help, just change the font to something more appropriate.

How do you get the cursive to link?

A well-behaved cursive links smoothly from one letter to the next, using graceful curves that we (and the dictionary) call ligatures. These ligatures need to be inserted between base letters, and are specific for each pair of letters. That is, the ligature between a and b is quite different from the ligature between b and a. All the logic of selecting which ligature connects each pair of letters has been coded into a program that we supply called -- appropriately -- LinkLetter. Each font family has a different LinkLetter and they are NOT interchangeable. Using Linkletter is very easy. Do your typing using the cursive font, Select the text to be linked (highlight it), Cut from the Edit menu, run LinkLetter, and Paste. The resultant text will look gorgeously connected. If you change the font, however, it will look like gibberish. Pages 5 and 6 of the User Guide describe the process in more detail. The linking process takes less than 10 seconds to do.

Do you have the Direct Instruction/SRA orthographics font?

Yes, it is part of the Specialty Fonts package. Here is the link to a sample page: DirInst.pdf

How about Phonics support?

All of our manuscript fonts have simple Phonics (long, short, silent, combination). See Phonics.pdf. Please note that there is no agreement on what constitutes "Phonics", so we implemented what we think are the common symbols and may or may not have every symbol of any particular workbook. But we have a lot of them there.

How about foreign accent characters?

Our manuscript fonts have acute accent, grave accent, circumflex, tilde, diaeresis (or umlaut) mark, ring, cedilla, ae, oe, o slash, and German double s. Only the DN font family has French, Spanish, and German accents available in cursive. european.pdf is the sample sheet of the European variations.

Benson, MX, and Spencer also have Spanish accents when using Cursive.

All three Hawaiian font families link the cursive -- including the kahako and okina -- without a break in the word. That is pretty tricky to do, and as far as we know, nobody else can do this.

I'd like an extra fancy font for certificates. Do you have one?

Yes! Look at our EFI Extra Fancy, PM Ornamental, EFI Copperplate, and EFI Manuscript Calligraphic fonts.

Is this a reputable company?

We've been in business since 1994; this is a home-based business that has been our major source of income. We try very hard to treat our customers as we would like to be treated. We offer an unconditional Lifetime Money Back Guarantee on our products. One or two people a year request their money back, which we refund promptly. We also give refunds to teachers who have purchased our fonts for themselves, and whose schools have purchased a Site License. Our fonts are in more than 20,000 U.S. schools, 8,000 homes, and in several foreign countries. So, yes, that's pretty reputable. If you want a local-to-you reference, we can probably supply you with one.

Will the fonts work on my computer?

Our TrueType fonts come on disk for Apple Macintosh OS X (10.6-10.10 OR 10.11-10.15) and Microsoft Windows (Windows 95 and newer) operating systems. (If you are Linux-ing, things are pretty dicey. Manuscript will probably work, but not Cursive.) You don't have to learn a new program -- the fonts are compatible with most Macintosh and Windows word processing programs -- anything with a Fonts menu.

The fonts must be installed on the computer where your word processor is installed. In some districts, the word processor is installed on, and run from, a server. In this situation, you only need to install our product on the server.

In most network environments, the word processor is installed on the individual computers, so the fonts need to go on each computer. You can copy the contents of the disk to your server, and run the installer from each individual computer. In Mac environments, you can also "push" our fonts and programs to each computer. On Windows networks, you can set up a logon script that installs the product when each computer is started up. Or if you use "imaging", just put the fonts on the image and click the button.

Do the fonts look better on paper?

You bet! Screen renderings of handwriting fonts are pretty awful. You can download sample pages for each of our fonts families, and print the samples on your computer, using your printer. You need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or higher to print these pages. The samples are listed on sample_pages.html.

Are there any known problems?

Sure -- we can't control what other companies' products do that mess up our products. Microsoft is notorious for changing something that completely messes up our fonts (Word 2004, 2007, 2008), our installers (XP Service Pack 2, Vista, and Win 8.1, 64-bit), or our LinkLetter programs (by changing the method of putting data on the Clipboard). Apple did in all our LinkLetter programs with the innocuous-looking 10.5.4 free update, and then obsoleted all our installers when 10.7 removed backward-compatibility. Then Apple came out with Catalina, and obsoleted all our installers and LinkLetter programs. Each time, we have to redo the disk to accommodate Microsoft or Apple. Unfortunately, when a completely satisfied user upgrades to a new computer, the Teacher Pack fonts might have to be upgraded also. We report every problem we encounter to the manufacturer. Some word processors have problems with some of our fonts. The problems that we know about are listed on our PC Known Problems and Mac Known Problems pages. For information about installing and using our fonts on Macintosh and Windows operating systems, see our Operating System Information page.

Will your fonts work with NeoOffice or OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

Macintosh: We made extensive changes in August, 2008 so Linkletter can handle cursive text that was created in Neo Office and Open Office 2.0 and higher. You might still have problems with Neo Office or Open Office cursive text if you relink cursive text with more than one font family (for example, don't mix a DN cursive font and a ZB cursive font in the same text that you want to be re-linked).

Windows: OpenOffice works fine with our Manuscript fonts, and with most of our Cursive fonts. OpenOffice 2.0 and higher does some unusual things with our most "complicated" fonts, like Russian. See PC Known Problems for more information.

We reported bugs to the OO people in 2006, and they acknowledged that their RTF processor was "weak." There was no indication that they would fix the problem soon, however. When Release 3 Beta came out in July 2008, we did more extensive testing, and documented some easily reproducible problems using only system fonts (Arial, Times New Roman). Instead of fixing the problem, they closed our bug report and said it was identical to the one of 2 years ago, which was still open(!). We just cannot relate to a group that would rather add new features than fix obvious bugs.

Can publishers use your fonts?

Yes, we do support publishers in their use of our fonts! You can use the fonts to produce anything you want in print, in webpages, or as .pdfs. What you produce is your copyright. We will convert the normal TrueType fonts to PostScript or .otf for one font family, at no cost, if you purchase a Business Project License. The Business Project License is for 10 seats for the project, and additional seats may be purchased if needed. (A "seat" is one simultaneous user.)

We do not claim any kind of copyright on anything you produce using our fonts, provided that your product does not include our fonts in a usable electronic form. That is, anything on paper or video is free game, but anything electronic should be such that the purchaser of your product does not get full use of our fonts for free.

You can use our fonts to produce printed material, and you can furnish our fonts to your printer for the purpose of producing your material. The printer cannot use the fonts for someone else.

We ask that the publisher/author include a small blurb in the legal area to the effect that "The fonts used in producing this book can be purchased from Educational Fontware, Inc, 1-800-806-2155." Including this is not required - but we would like your customers to know where to get our fonts.

Do you design custom fonts? Will you modify your own fonts for us?

Yes to both. If you want a custom font designed, we can do that. Designing cursive fonts from scratch is not cheap - figure on $3,000 as a ballpark number. Manuscript font families are about a third of that. We can modify any of our products in any way you want, and can tell you when things will get expensive. Small mods to existing fonts are not very costly.

There are four ways that you can contact us for more information, or to order any of our products:

Call 1-800-806-2155 (our free Tech Support and order number). We take orders over the phone. We're in Bellingham, WA, in the Pacific time zone.

You may print the Order Form.

Send us e-mail:

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