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FontShower for AWT

Unfortunately, Oracle has effectively decommitted Applets. This means you can no longer run the various CMP programs in a browser. You must download them and install them. You must have the most recent Java JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.8.0_131 32-bit or 64-bit. It no longer matters which browser you use.
Oracle has effectively decommited Applets, so this Applet will no longer run online in your browser, but it is a hybrid you can also download, install and run it on your own machine as standalone application. It will start and run faster if you do that. It will also work safely even if you have disabled Java in your browser.

This Applet will help you write Java code. It will show you what AWT (Advanced Windowing Toolkit) fonts are available via Java on your machine and what they look like in a variety of styles, sizes and colours. There is another version of this program called FontShower for Swing. It display colours only as decimal numbers, so this AWT version is more useful if you are primarily choosing colours rather than fonts.

Applet failed to run. No Java 1.8 or later plug-in found. If the font of interest supported all the characters, the display would look like this:
all characters

Java Requirements and Troubleshooting

FontShowerAwt is a Java Applet (that can also be run as an application) to Font Shower for AWT. You are welcome to install it on your own website. If it does not work…
  1. If Copy/Paste (Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V) do not work, you can turn them back on by modifying your java.policy file. This is not for the novice or faint of heart. instructions Your alternative is to download this program and run it without a browser.
  2. In the Java Control Panel security tab, click Start ⇒ Control Panel ⇒ Programs ⇒ Java ⇒ Security, configure medium security to allow self-signed and vanilla unsigned applets to run. If medium is not available, or if Java security is blocking you from running the program, configure high security and add to the Exception Site List at the bottom of the security tab.
  3. Often problems can be fixed simply by clicking the reload button on your browser.
  4. Make sure you have both JavaScript and Java enabled in your browser.
  5. Make sure the Java in your browser is enabled in the security tab of the Java Control panel. Click Start ⇒ Control Panel ⇒ Programs ⇒ Java ⇒ Security ⇒ Enable Java Content in the browser.
  6. This Java Applet (that can also be run as an application) needs 32-bit or 64-bit Java 1.8 or later. For best results use the latest 1.8.0_131 Java.
  7. You also need a recent browser.
  8. It works under any operating system that supports Java e.g. W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32, W10-64, Linux, LinuxARM, LinuxX86, LinuxX64, Ubuntu, Solaris, SolarisSPARC, SolarisSPARC64, SolarisX86, SolarisX64 and OSX
  9. You should see the Applet hybrid above looking much like this screenshot. If you don’t, the following hints should help you get it working:
  10. Especially if this Applet hybrid has worked before, try clearing the browser cache and rebooting.
  11. To ensure your Java is up to date, check with Wassup. First, download it and run it as an application independent of your browser, then run it online as an Applet to add the complication of your browser.
  12. If the above Applet hybrid does not work, check the Java console for error messages.
  13. If the above Applet hybrid does not work, you might have better luck with the downloadable version available below.
  14. If you are using Mac OS X and would like an improved Look and Feel, download the QuaQua look & feel from UnZip the contained quaqua.jar and install it in ~/Library/Java/Extensions or one of the other ext dirs.
  15. Upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer or another browser.
  16. Click the Information bar, and then click Allow blocked content. Unfortunately, this also allows dangerous ActiveX code to run. However, you must do this in order to get access to perfectly-safe Java Applets running in a sandbox. This is part of Microsoft’s war on Java.
  17. Try upgrading to a more recent version of your browser, or try a different browser e.g. Firefox, SeaMonkey, IE or Avant.
  18. If you still can’t get the program working click the red HELP button below for more detail.
  19. If you can’t get the above Applet hybrid working after trying the advice above and from the red HELP button below, have bugs to report or ideas to improve the program or its documentation, please send me an email atemail Roedy Green.
Java powered   Get New Java   Get New Browser   Help
FontShowerAwt is displaying the AWT fonts available on your machine via Java. Other people will have different fonts installed and will see different selections available via Java on their machines. Your browser will see a slightly different set of fonts than this Java Applet does. Java has a few extra private fonts and some browser fonts don’t work with Java.

Unfortunately, in AWT, only the basic logical fonts: Dialog, DialogInput, Monospaced, SansSerif and Serif are available for use in Labels, TextFields and TextAreas. To get other fonts shown here, you must write a custom component based on Canvas and drawString.

The Canvas displays were done with a custom AWT Canvas-based component. This lets you use all the fonts and all the characters in the fonts. The source code is available.

Java ignores your vector, bitmap and PostScript fonts. It can only use the TrueType and OpenType fonts.

The alternate vanilla AWT TextArea display is based on a native OS (Operating System) peer (as are as Label and TextField). It can only display the 5 basic logical fonts and then only some of the characters in those fonts. You have no control in Java over whether TextAreas are anti-aliased. They are rendered by the OS, not Java and hence are controlled by whether font smoothing is turned on in the Control Panel.

You may not notice any difference with font-smoothing anti-aliasing. Look for the anti-alias smoothing especially in very large font sizes in capital W in the fonts with thin spidery diagonals, e.g. Bodoni, Book Antiqua, Garamond, Serif and Zapf Calligraphic.

Some of the fonts may just show empty squares. These are older 8-bit fonts that don’t support 16-bit Unicode used by Java. Don’t necessarily delete them ( by clicking control panel ⇒ fonts ⇒ delete) since word processing documents, or the DOS (Disk Operating System) box, may still be using them. on the other hand, pruning out ugly fonts you never use will speed up your machine.

FontShowerAWT will only show Fonts supported under Java. To see how all possible Unicode glyphs render in all supported fonts, see the Unicode Applet.

Font Support Under Java
Font Type Extension Java version 1.6Windows Java version 1.6Linux Java version 1.6Fedora Old Java Windows Notes
(TrueType internally)
otf High-end fonts for Windows.
(PostScript Adobe CCF (Composite Container Format) internally)
otf High end PostScript fonts. You can detect these by the file signature { 0x4F, 0x54, 0x54, 0x4F } — the string "OTTO", at the head of the file.
TrueType ttf Most common font for Windows.
PostScript pfm/pfb Older style PS fonts. Supported by PostScript printer hardware. Windows itself supports PS fonts, at least with Adobe Type Manager, but Java ignores them.
Bitmap fon Used primarily for small font sizes. Come only a small set of point sizes.
Vector outline fon These are obsolete. Used by Windows without Java.
8-bit fonts any Java needs 16-bit fonts. It won’t use 8-bit fonts directly. Old or specialty 8-bit fonts can be used by stitching them together with a Unicode mapping, a daunting task.
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)fonts svg Vector fonts used in Linux. They tend to be free. Java does not out-the-box support them. Opera 10 beta supports them and allows them to be downloaded with a web page so you can use fonts the viewer does not necessarily already have installed.

AWT will only support the five basic logical fonts, unless you paint on a Canvas, however, oddly under Fedora and AWT you can use up to 82 of your installed fonts. If you try to use more, you get an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException. The above information may be incorrect or may become incorrect at any time. Feel free to try any fonts with Java on any platform. The worst that could happen is they won’t work.

2.9 2009-01-23 free Java
more infoprecisscreenshotbrowse source repository
for the current version of FontShowerAWT.
Displays AWT fonts available to Java on your machine in various styles, sizes and colours.
download 178K zip for FontShowerAWT Java source, compiled class files, jar and documentation to run on your own machine either as an application or an Applet.

Runs on any OS that supports Java e.g. W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32, W10-64, Linux, LinuxARM, LinuxX86, LinuxX64, Ubuntu, Solaris, SolarisSPARC, SolarisSPARC64, SolarisX86, SolarisX64 and OSX.

First install the most recent Java.

To install, extract the zip download with WinZip, (or similar unzip utility) into any directory you please, often J:\ — ticking off the use folder names option.

To check out the corresponding source from the Subversion repository, use the TortoiseSVN repo-browser to
access fontshowerawt source in repository with [Tortoise] Subversion client on

After you have installed the jar, you can run it as an application. Type:

java -jar J:\com\mindprod\fontshowerawt\fontshowerawt.jar

adjusting as necessary to account for where the jar file is.

download ASP PAD XML program description for the current version of FontShowerAWT.

$1989.00 US donated so far. If the CMP utilities solved your problem, please donate a buck or two, or donate to one of the charities featured in the footer public service ads throughout the website and get a tax receipt.

FontShowerAWT is free. Full source included. You may even include the source code, modified or unmodified in free/commercial open source/proprietary programs that you write and distribute. Non-military use only.
browser Fonts shows what fonts your browser supports
FontShower for Swing
FontShower Student Project
other downloads
Reuters Unicode Displayer
Rich Franzen’s colourwheel Applet

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