I have known about the weird dingbat fonts since the first time I tried to change the font on MS word and stumbled upon them. Since then I never questioned them, I just thought hey cool. Now I have some questions.

What is the purpose behind creating dingbat fonts?

Is there anyone/entity that actually uses/needs these types of fonts?


They provide symbols to use in documents. Looking at the link you provided, things like checkmarks and arrows are provided, so that you can insert those in places that they make sense.

They have since been replaced by unicode characters, which has given a lot of the more popular items their own character code, and that has been the widely accepted way of defining these symbols now.


I've used fonts like these in Crystal Reports to generate ticked/unticked check boxes and bullets. Using them is a lot better than say, loading up an image of a smiley face and embedding it in your application. But, these fonts were created long ago. Wingdings has been around since before I was ever introduced to Microsoft Windows.

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