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The trick is in the monospace font

I use Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Office 2010 a lot, and have been discovering some neat tricks.  As I find them, I will try to share them with you for your benefit.

The Office suite has many familiar faces -- Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access.  But it also came with OneNote.  I had been given a free copy of OneNote several years ago, but never had the time to install it -- or saw the point.  But now it's fair to say that I'm relatively OneNote-obsessed.  Yes it has it's shortcomings (no video or animated GIF support), but it's a terrific place to organize your thoughts.

I play a fair amount of games, so I recently had the bright idea of pasting several FAQs from my favorite games into OneNote.  I use GameFaqs, and as you may know, some of the Faq authors go to great and elaborate links with their Ascii art.

I copied and pasted the Faq into OneNote only to be greeted with a horrific mangling of text.

Ascii art mangled (Liberation Sans)
...the horror!  The font is San Serif, but this is not the Ascii art we're looking for.

So I started poking around Gamefaqs' publicly visible CSS sheet and saw they were using Helvetica.  But of course Helvetica has been purged from Windows 7.  So I went on a search for a replacement, arriving at Liberation Sans, a similar font.  I installed Liberation Sans (type "font" in search bar, copy and paste *.ttf files into the folder that comes up).  

But the Helvetica analogue didn't do the trick.  So I went pack to poking around forums.  Finally I found an answer.... the monospace font.  It turns out you can use Courier New and get glorious, perfect Ascii art, just like you would on GameFaqs.  The key is that you must only use monospace fonts -- like Courier New.

Below are the results:

OneNote good ascii art (Courier New)
At last, beautiful Ascii art is ours!

Enjoy!  And send me your Office tricks if you'd like me to share them with the world -- I'll give you credit.




"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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