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Arial vs. Aerial: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 14, 2023
Arial refers to a type of font, while aerial pertains to air or the atmosphere.

Key Differences

Arial is a sans-serif typeface that has been widely adopted in various applications, especially in digital media. It's characterized by its clean and modern design. On the other hand, aerial is an adjective that describes things related to the air, like an aerial view from a plane.
When crafting documents or digital designs, one might choose the Arial font for its readability and versatility. However, when speaking of an antenna, one might use the term aerial to denote its function of transmitting or receiving signals through the air.
Arial has become a common default font in many software applications, including Microsoft Word. It has a neutral design that doesn't distract from the content. In contrast, an aerial maneuver in gymnastics or sports refers to a move performed in mid-air without hand support.
It's important to avoid confusing these terms. If you're referring to the design and layout of a text, Arial is the appropriate choice. However, if you're discussing something that exists or operates in the air, like a drone capturing aerial photographs, then "aerial" is the correct term.
Arial is just one of the many fonts available to designers and typographers. It belongs to a family of fonts that offers various weights and styles. However, aerial views or perspectives allow one to see landscapes and objects from an elevated position, offering a broader view of the surroundings.

Comparison Chart


A type of sans-serif typeface
Related to the air or atmosphere


Adjective describing position or relation to air

Common Associations

Fonts, text, digital design
Drones, views, maneuvers, antennas


Used to display text
Describes something that operates in or pertains to air


Typeface design
From Latin "aer" meaning air

Arial and Aerial Definitions


Offers various weights and styles.
The Arial Bold option was perfect for the heading.


Relating to the air.
Birds have an aerial lifestyle.


Part of modern typography.
Arial became a staple in contemporary typography.


Capturing images from above.
Aerial photography provides unique perspectives.


A popular sans-serif font.
The document was typed in Arial.


Of, in, or caused by the air.


Commonly used in digital platforms.
Websites often default to Arial for readability.


Existing or living in the air.


Neutral design without serifs.
For a minimalist design, they chose Arial.


Reaching high into the air; lofty.


Suggestive of air, as in lightness; airy.


Unsubstantial; imaginary.


Of, for, or by means of aircraft
Aerial photography.


(Botany) Growing or borne above the ground or water
Aerial roots.


A radio antenna, especially one suspended in or extending into the air.


An acrobatic maneuver performed in midair, as in skateboarding.


A flip in which the body turns over sideways with the arms and legs spread similar to a cartwheel.


Living or taking place in the air.
The seabirds put on an astonishing aerial display.


Made up of air or gas; gaseous.


Positioned high up; elevated.
The aerial photographs clearly showed the damage caused by the storm.


Ethereal, insubstantial; imaginary.


Pertaining to the air or atmosphere; atmospheric.


(aviation) Pertaining to a vehicle which travels through the air; airborne; relating to or conducted by means of aircraft.


(botany) Above the ground


A rod, wire, or other structure for receiving or transmitting radio, television signals etc.


A move, as in dancing or skateboarding, involving one or both feet leaving the ground.


(photography) An aerial photograph.


Of or pertaining to the air, or atmosphere; inhabiting or frequenting the air; produced by or found in the air; performed in the air; as, aërial regions or currents; the aërial maneuvers of a fighter plane.


Consisting of air; resembling, or partaking of the nature of air. Hence: Unsubstantial; unreal.


Rising aloft in air; high; lofty; as, aërial spires.


Growing, forming, living, or existing in the air, as opposed to growing or existing in earth or water, or underground; as, aërial rootlets, aërial plants; the aerial roots of a philodendron.


Light as air; ethereal.


Operating or operated overhead especially on elevated cables.


Operating or moving in the air.


A pass to a receiver downfield from the passer.


A metallic wire, rod, or combination of rods connected to an electronic device, designed to send or receive radio or television signals.


A pass to a receiver downfield from the passer


An electrical device that sends or receives radio or television signals


In or belonging to the air or operating (for or by means of aircraft or elevated cables) in the air;
Aerial particles
Small aerial creatures such as butterflies
Aerial warfare
Aerial photography
Aerial cable cars


Growing in air;
Aerial roots of a philodendron


Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air;
Figures light and aeriform come unlooked for and melt away
Aerial fancies
An airy apparition
Physical rather than ethereal forms


From a high vantage point.
The aerial view of the city was breathtaking.


Performed in the air.
Gymnasts perfected their aerial flips.


Equipment related to air, like antennas.
The radio's aerial needed adjustment.


Does Arial have different variations?

Yes, Arial has variations like Arial Bold, Arial Italic, etc.

Is an aerial photograph taken from the ground?

No, an aerial photograph is typically taken from above, often from an aircraft or drone.

Is Arial a default font in many software applications?

Yes, Arial is a common default in software like Microsoft Word.

Is Arial a type of font or typeface?

Arial is a type of typeface, often referred to as a font.

What does aerial mean in gymnastics?

In gymnastics, aerial refers to a move performed in mid-air without hand support.

Can Arial be used in both digital and print media?

Yes, Arial is versatile and can be used in both digital and print.

What's an example of an aerial object?

Drones and helicopters are examples of aerial objects.

Is Arial a serif font?

No, Arial is a sans-serif font.

Can aerial also refer to antennas?

Yes, in some contexts, an antenna is also called an aerial.

How is the word "aerial" pronounced?

Aerial is pronounced as "air-ee-ul."

Can the word "aerial" relate to broadcasting?

Yes, in some regions, "aerial" refers to antennas used in broadcasting.

Is an aerial view the same as a bird's-eye view?

Yes, both terms refer to views from a high vantage point.

Do aerial dancers perform in the air?

Yes, aerial dancers use apparatuses to perform suspended in the air.

Who designed the Arial typeface?

Arial was designed by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders.

Is Arial a good choice for long texts?

Yes, Arial is often chosen for its readability in long texts.

How long has the Arial typeface been in existence?

Arial was introduced in 1982.

Does "aerial" always refer to things high in the sky?

Not always. It generally pertains to air, but its context defines its specific reference.

Is there a cost to use the Arial font?

Arial is typically included in software packages, but licensing might be needed for commercial use.

Are Arial and Helvetica the same?

No, while similar, Arial and Helvetica are distinct typefaces.

What is an aerial root in plants?

Aerial roots are roots that grow above the ground, often seen in plants like orchids.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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