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Tahoma is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by Matthew Carter for the Microsoft Corporation in 1994 with initial distribution along with Verdana for Windows 95.

Similar to Verdana, Tahoma has a narrower body, less generous counters, tighter letter spacing, and a more complete Unicode character set. Tahoma was designed as a bitmap rather than an outline font. The bold weight was based upon a double pixel width, rendering it closer to a heavy or black weight.

Tahoma is often compared to the humanist sans-serif typeface Frutiger. In an interview with Daniel Will-Harris, Matthew Carter acknowledges some similarities with his earlier typeface Bell Centennial.

Tahoma is the default screen font used by Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 (replacing MS Sans Serif) and is also used for Sega's Dreamcast. Bundled in the font library of Windows, the typeface is widely used as an alternative to Arial.

The Tahoma typeface family was named after the Native American name for the stratovolcano Mount Rainiermarker (Mount Tahoma) which is a prominent feature of the southern landscape around the Seattle metropolitan area.

Bundling on non-Microsoft operating systems

In 2007, Applemarker announced that Tahoma would be bundled with the next version of Mac OS X v10.5 ("Leopard"). Leopard also shipped with several other previously Microsoft-only fonts, including Microsoft Sans Serif, Arial Unicode, and Wingdings.

Free replacement

The Wine project includes a free font designed to have identical metrics to the Tahoma font. This was done because Tahoma is available by default on Windows, and many applications expect the font to be available. Before Wine included a Tahoma replacement font, applications such as Steam would not display any text at all, rendering them nearly unusable.

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