Using unusual fonts

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I would like the look of our website to be somewhat distinct and not
just use arial or times fonts.  Is there a list of less-used fonts
that are widely available on almost all client computers?  Is there
any way to embed fonts from the web server that will work on basically
all browsers?
thanks in advance,

Re: Using unusual fonts

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I usually just let the client's computer default to what the computer
owner has it set. However, since you have had no other answers yet, I
will pass on a bit of information. You really need more than just a
list, as there are several considerations. If possible, read a chapter
in a book discussing this matter. The first thing I found was Appendix
D labeled fonts in Thomas Powell's HTML & XHTML, 4th ed., pp. 819 -
826. If you use css to specify fonts, you have many choices. The
reference I give has examples of many fonts on Microsoft, Apple, and
Unix systems of various upgrade levels, Just select a few fonts you
like best from each of several platforms and list them in order from
the favorite to least favorite in the css. If the client computer does
not support a font, it goes to the next one you specify. If it
supports none you specify, it goes to whatever the default is for the
computer. You can control this a bit by specifying a common font
family such as arial for the last choice.

Microsoft's IE allows embedding fonts in a web page. In this way the
client computer owner does not have to download the fonts selected.
You will need to read detailed instructions on how to do this. The
main disadvantage of this method is that it works only on IE browsers.
Netscape had Dynamic Fonts based on TrueDoc at one time, but this was
discontinued with the Netscape 6.0 browser.

As a last resort, you can use some image program to generate an
unusual font as a image such as a gif or jpg. This is most useful when
you use the image generated just a few times on a page. It sometimes
is used for special symbols, etc.

Re: Using unusual fonts

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I am currently living in Africa and might not have easy access to the
Powell book.  Does anyone know of an equivalent list on the web

Re: Using unusual fonts

On Nov 21, 12:28 pm, wrote:
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I list some web references below. For more, you can use Google to
search on " font css" and on "font embed". I seldom use this sort of
thing and have not studied these references in detail. Thus the
references I supply must stand or fall on their own merits, not on my

_________________________________________________________________________________________ (shows many fonts and gives
surveys of what fonts used)  (a bit old,
but illustrates MS embedding of fonts)


Re: Using unusual fonts

Big Daddy wrote:

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Tahoma, Trebuchet are good options.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
[Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
[OS: Linux 2.6.12-12mdksmp, up 1 day, 9:12.]

                    It'll be in the Last Place You Look

Toby's Site (Was: Re: Using unusual fonts)

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Toby I have just had a trawl through your site and noticed an odd
effect. (BTW apologies for hijacking the thread!). Links to other
pages that open in the /same/ window create a huge horizontal scroll
bar while that link is loading. I took the time to capture it:

I could not understand this effect. This is with Firefox on
Slackware 12.


Now I can praise him, now that I can stand by to mourn
and speak before this web that killed my father; yet
I grieve for the thing done, the death, and all our race.
I have won; but my victory is soiled, and has no pride.

Re: Toby's Site (Was: Re: Using unusual fonts)

andrew wrote:

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Yes, that is so you know the link is loading. Not really. I've not seen
that before, but if it's just an oddity between page loads, then I'm not
too concerned about it. Thanks for letting me know though.

Yesterday I was more concerned by the fact that I'd updated my PostgreSQL
server to an 8.3 beta version, but PHP was only compiled against PostgreSQL
8.2.5. :-| Ended up going back to PostgreSQL 8.2.5, which would have
probably been a sensible version to stick to in the first place, but
recompiled PHP anyway.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
[Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
[OS: Linux, up 17:14.]

                    It'll be in the Last Place You Look

Re: Using unusual fonts

Scripsit Toby A Inkster:

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I have to disagree.

Tahoma is essentially just a condensed version of Verdana, so it has the
drawbacks of Verdana _and_ it is too dense. It might be useful for some
special purposes (e.g. as font for simple IPA notations, due to its
relatively good character coverage) but hardly for copy text.

Trebuchet MS is partly too dense, too, and it has poor implementation of
letters with diacritic marks (like ä, é, ô) in common sizes like 12pt.
It also has the en dash almost the same as the hyphen, and too big
quotation marks. (They are curly, contrary to the poor quotes in Tahoma,
but the designers didn't manage to design quotes that match the design
of the letters - quotes stand out too much.)

There's no good answer for "almost all client computers", as we can see
e.g. from the summary

Palatino Linotype might be an improvement over Times New Roman, due to
better readability on screen. But it's partly _too_ spaced, and setting
letter-spacing doesn't help, since some character pairs are too
condensed. Georgia has many nice features, like text figures (i.e.,
lowercase digits), but the features might be drawbacks too, and
Georgia's coverage is below 90%, so that the "almost all" condition is
not fulfilled.

Something like

body { font-family: Calibri, Gill Sans, Gill Sans MT, sans-serif; }

might work relatively well, if you prefer a nice and simple sans-serif
design, suitable for reading on screen. Many people will see the page in
their browser's default sans-serif font, which is not that bad, and
probably a better guess than just throwing in Arial somewhere. After
all, what would make us think that Arial is an improvement over the
browser's meaning for sans-serif?

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

Re: Using unusual fonts

Thank you, everyone, for your replies.  I found the codestyle link to
be especially helpful.

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