# What is the purpose of defining font synonyms and how are they accessed?

In ConTeXt, one can define a font synonym, as shown in this simple typescript example at the ConTeXt Wiki. In following the example given, I cannot see any way to access the individual levels. I can use `{\nimbus This is some text.}` or `texcommand=\nimus` to set the font to Nimbus, but `{\Sans This is some text.}` and `\textcommand=\Sans`, does not let me access the font. This becomes a problem, as, if I need to change the font within the document, instead of changing `Sans` to the new font, I must instead rename all appearances of `\nimbus` throughout my source files.

• Why is `definefontsynonym` used?
• Why do options like `\Sans` and `\SansBold` fail to work in the same way that `\nimubs` does?
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Use `\sans` and `\sansbold` or `sans` as style option instead of the capital versions. If your font is really called Nimubs `\nimubs` should work, otherwise `\nimbus` will do the trick. –  Marco May 11 '12 at 12:06
The `\nimbus` command is not a font synonym at all, it is a typeface switcher, resulting from the first `\definetypeface` in the example. As you discovered, actual font synonyms cannot be accessed as commands.
So why are font synonyms good? Because the typescript internals are set up such that they use names like `Sans` and `SerifBold` instead of literal font names. That replacement in the internals allowed various macros to be combined into shorter code while at the same time allowing extra flexibility. If you want further details, reading the fonts chapter in the reference manual or buying the book will help.