Times Newer Roman is a sneaky font designed to make your essays look longer

By Chaim Gartenberg

As someone who is ostensibly a professional writer, I can say with some authority that sometimes, writing is hard. And when you’re staring at page three of an essay that your professor has insisted should be at least five pages, single-spaced, in size 12 Times New Roman font... sometimes, you need a little help.

Any skiving student worth their salt knows the usual tricks to make an essay look longer: use larger punctuation marks and spaces, mess around with the margins, maybe even try to creep up to a larger font size. But now, there’s an easier solution: Times Newer Roman, a font from internet marketing firm MSCHF (which you may remember from the Tabagotchi Chrome extension). Times Newer Roman looks a lot like the go-to academic font, but each character is subtly altered to be 5 to 10 percent wider, making your essays look longer without having to actually make them longer.

According to Times Newer Roman’s website, a 15-page, single-spaced document in 12 point type only requires 5,833 words, compared to 6,680 for the standard Times New Roman. (That’s 847 words you don’t need to write, which is more than twice the length of this post!)

To get around things like the fact that actual Times New Roman is a licensed font, Times Newer Roman is actually “an altered version of Nimbus Roman No.9 L (1), a free and open-source font meant to mimic the size and look of the original Times New Roman typeface.” All the changes that MSCHF has made simply make the Nimbus Roman No.9 L characters wider, leaving the vertical heights untouched. So, hopefully, it’s tougher to notice the difference.

Of course, it’s the digital age, so there are some downsides: Times Newer Roman will only work for assignments you have to submit by hand or in a PDF. If you’re sending in a Word document using a custom font that professors almost certainly don’t have installed won’t help. Similarly, Times Newer Roman is only useful for hitting larger page counts; if you have a strict word count limit, you’re out of luck.

Times Newer Roman is available now as a free download. (Please note that The Verge does not actually condone cheating on your essays.)