Fonts on the Web [duplicate]

Tags: fonts css html
Question!

The collection of fonts available to a web developer is depressingly limited. I remember reading long ago about TrueDoc, as a way of shipping fonts alongside a website - but it seems to have languished. Has anybody used this, or something similar? Is it supported by enough browsers? Am I missing a good solution?

Note that a responsible web developer does not use fonts that are only available on Windows (and especially ones that are only available on Vista), nor do they use a technology that isn't supported by at least the majority of browsers.


Update: As several people have pointed out, there's nothing wrong with providing a list of fallback fonts for people who don't have the specific font you use. I do in fact always do this, and didn't mean to suggest that this was wrong.

While my question was badly phrased, what I meant was that a designer should not make too many assumptions about what the client will have available. You should plan for how all users will see your site, not just for people using your own preferred setup.



Answers

IE supports @font-face (it started out as their proprietary technology in MS Word). Here's a blog post from the IE team about it just about a month ago.



Note that a responsible web developer does not use fonts that are only available on Windows (and especially ones that are only available on Vista), nor do they use a technology that isn't supported by at least the majority of browsers.

I think this is rather missing the point. It wouldn't matter if you did; everyone would get something sensible that they could read easily, and the ones who need to can change the font to whatever they want anyway because it's just text and all major browsers let you customise the font you see regardless of the preferences of the site designer.

There is nothing broken about suggesting fonts in your CSS that some users don't have; they just see something different from you. Different is not broken. They won't even wonder why you're using default fonts because they won't know that other people see anything different.

This is the whole point of font sets:

Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif

It's good practice precisely because it acknowledges that people will see different things.

This is good practice too:

Gill Sans, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif

So most people don't have Gill – who cares? They get a perfectly good site regardless.

And this would be fine too, but a bit weird and lazy:

Gill Sans

Irresponsible web design is doing things like setting text as images without using alt text, not using interesting fonts in font sets.

By : Polsonby


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