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View Poll Results: Are embedded fonts worth the trouble? (Specifically: for an online fiction/art zine)

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  • Yes

    0 0%
  • No

    7 87.50%
  • Sometimes (Please elaborate in a reply.)

    1 12.50%
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
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    How do I embed fonts? Should I even bother?

    I want to embed a font in my page, and still have it viewable in netscape and IE without the user having to download anything.

    From the tutorials that were recommended in previous threads I've noticed that Truedoc seems to have been the answer. I can't seem to find any (free) software that will convert to this format though.

    Does anyone know of any software I can use?
    Is truedoc the only format that can be read in all browsers? And if not, what are some others I can try?

    Thanks.
    Shining Waters Fantasy Literature
    http://galileo.spaceports.com/~lucrece

  2. #2
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't bother since there are a whole host of user-agents; such things as embedding fonts is discussed within the CSS 2.1 Working Draft "Font descriptors and the '@font-face' declaration don't exist in CSS 2.1."

    This suggests that it will be removed and superseded by the forthcoming CSS-3 methods, theoretically it could allow you to use SVG to help substitute font importation but still CSS-3 hasn't fully hit the road.
    Last edited by xhtmlcoder; Jan 13, 2003 at 12:06.

  3. #3
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    If you're just using the font for headings, etc. Then just make an image out of the words and put them on your page. If you're using it for body text then it's honestly not worth the hassle. The company I work for uses a PostScript font as their standard for print; however, for web we just use Arial, Helvetica and Times New Roman.

  4. #4
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    Use Flash to Embed Anti-Aliased Fonts

    Font-embedding and SVG

    Font-embedding will probably become a reality once the SVG standard is more widely supported.

    In the meantime a good way to provide crisp font images is to embed the text block in Flash. This will also work with dynamic text. Another alternative for dynamic text blocks is to use PHP and the Boutell GD library (http://www.boutell.com) with TrueType support enabled.

    You will need to store a copy of the fonts that you will be using on your server (preferably in a directory outside of the document tree) and you can use the font without having to worry about licensing / embedding issues since the font itself will be protected.

    J.M. Nicholls
    London
    Last edited by jmn; Mar 27, 2003 at 08:52.

  5. #5
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    It always requires a plug-in.

  6. #6
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    Plug-In Free Solutions

    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    It always requires a plug-in.
    It is true that SVG currently requires a plug-in but it will be provided by on standards-based browsers natively as part of their native XML support.

    How long this will take is anybody's guess. MSIE is always light-years behind the current standards. PNG support on MSIE is a case in point.

    The PHP / GD library option that I mention is entirely server-based and does not require any special technology at the client end. It dynamically generates .jpg, .png and even .wbmp images.

    To quote from their site :

    http://www.boutell.com/gd/

    The GD graphics library is an open source library which allows programmers to easily generate PNG, JPEG, and WBMP images from many different programming languages.

    Version 2.0.x provides much better support for gorgeous antialiased truetype text on arbitrary truecolor backgrounds, such as JPEG images.

    A good example of GD in action is on the Netcraft web survey site :

    http://www.netcraft.com/Survey/Reports/200302/graphs.html

    As you can see it can be used to generate business graphics but it can also produce anti-aliased text graphics with any TrueType font that you copy to your server.

    No plug-in needed at the client-end. All that is needed is any browser which support JPEG image files.

    J.M. Nicholls
    London

  7. #7
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    And you're downloading an image instead of text....?? Doesn't sound like a very practical solution to me....

    G

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    And you're downloading an image instead of text....?? Doesn't sound like a very practical solution to me....

    G
    I agree that streamed web-based fonts would be a more better and more elegant solution but until these become a reality we seem to be limited to solutions which either involve a plug-in (e.g. Flash and SVG) or providing text-images (supplemented, of course, by the textual content in <alt> and <title>tags).

    Are you recommending another possible option?

    J.M. Nicholls
    London

  9. #9
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Not another option. No. Wasn't flaming you either!

    It's just that IMHO people should just use whatever font they like for, say, page titles as graphics, but pick the most appropriate web-safe font for their body copy and make do. I would never entertain the thought of reams of copy as a graphic. I just think it's a bad idea, though you're quite right -- it's the only 100% safe 'solution'.

    G


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