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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Web Safe Fonts, is it time to add to the list?

    Hi,

    The web safe fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times, etc aren't exactly exciting are they?

    Am I the only one who thinks its time to add to the list?
    Should more fonts be added to the list. Should fonts like Helvetica Neue, that look great as a heading font be added to the list?

    Personally I think the sans-serif fonts that are safe to use are getting boring because everywhere you go its either arial or verdana. I don't think there is enough diversity within the fonts that can be used, its either with or without serifs.

    I look forward to your responses.

    Michael.

  2. #2
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    There is no reason why you can't specify a reasonably popular font followed by one of the really safe ones in your CSS so that most people will see the popular one and the few who don't have it will still see the page in the safe font that they do have.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  3. #3
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    I get what your saying, but a i've found that when you design a layout with a font like helvetica neue for your headings, then you try it on another computer without the font, it can have a negative effect on the design.

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    SitePoint Evangelist Karpie's Avatar
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    So then obviously Helvetica Neue is not a websafe font and should not be added to the list.

    By all means, use it in your designs, as long as you're aware that only a small percentage of users will be seeing it (unless you want to get all fancy and use sIFR or something).

  5. #5
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by L4DD13 View Post
    The web safe fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times, etc aren't exactly exciting are they?
    They aren't very 'safe' either. The only one of those that comes with my GNU/Linux distro is Times. On the other hand, Windows users don't have Times (they get Times New Roman instead).

    Don't assume that any font is 'safe' – as in available to everyone. Specify some of the most common fonts for Windows, Mac and Linux and then make sure to use a generic font family like serif of sans-serif at the end of the list.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    Nicking the Bevel Highway Seven's Avatar
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    Web safe fonts aren't just added to some authoritative list and then declared web safe, which is what I believe you were getting at in your OP.

    Web safe fonts are basically fonts that are shared across enough computers to be considered somewhat universal and therefore "safe" to use, though as AutisticCuckoo pointed out, even those fonts aren't 100&#37; universal.
    Daniel

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    Screw Linux.

  8. #8
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by cAPS lOCK View Post
    Screw Linux.
    that is a most unprofessional attitude, and hardly helpful at all to this particular thread

    if you were aiming for humour, you missed

    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  9. #9
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    haha, fun stuff. I would stick to the basics for a while, until the browsers and operating systems update. There are still so many users using older machines that are not compatible. You need to design for the masses in most cases. It also depending on who you are targeting. If it is a younger user base, you can try more exotic fonts. For an older audience, using a 5-6 year old computer and OS, keep it simple.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist Karpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knicksfan77 View Post
    If it is a younger user base, you can try more exotic fonts. For an older audience, using a 5-6 year old computer and OS, keep it simple.
    The whole point is that you can't, and not because of computer/OS age, its because of computer/OS variance. All of the supposed 'safe fonts' don't come standard on a lot of machines, such as Linux or Mac machines.

    And to the guy that said 'screw Linux', I hope you realize that the very vast majority of servers on the internet are Unix and Linux machines. Without them, you wouldn't be seeing much, or you'd be seeing it a lot less reliably.

    *shudders at the thought of using IIS*

  11. #11
    Nicking the Bevel Highway Seven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knicksfan77 View Post
    For an older audience, using a 5-6 year old computer and OS, keep it simple.
    Hey! My PC is 5 years old and I'd hardly consider myself an "older" audience!

    (30 is the new 20, didn't you know?)
    Daniel

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot Crey_Design's Avatar
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    I agree that now font is 100% safe, and unfortunately, I think there are more PCs out there that don't have any of the more popular fonts, like Helvetica.

    I'd love to see the default font list revamped with some more pleasing fonts.

    I've had my fill of Verdana.
    Chris Reynolds
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  13. #13
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The safe fonts are those that are found on Windows Linux and Mac. You'd need to force everyone to install another font in order to increase the number of safe fonts. Te only way to do that is to pick ones already supported on most platforms and convince the creators of the platform that doesn't support it to add it to their next version. Once they do that we all just wait for how ever many years it takes for everyone to upgrade to that version and then it becomes a safe font.
    Stephen J Chapman

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