Friday, January 6, 2023

What's the Deal with Fonts?

Web-safe fonts
Web-safe fonts are fonts likely to be present on a wide range of computer systems, and used by Web content authors to increase the likelihood that content displays in their chosen font. If a visitor to a Web site does not have the specified font, their browser tries to select a similar alternative, based on the author-specified fallback fonts and generic families or it uses font substitution defined in the visitor's operating system.

Microsoft's Core fonts for the Web
Since being released under Microsoft's Core fonts for the Web program, Arial, Georgia, and Verdana have become three de facto fonts of the Web.
Main article: Core fonts for the Web
To ensure that all Web users had a basic set of fonts, Microsoft started the Core fonts for the Web initiative in 1996 (terminated in 2002). Released fonts include Arial, Courier New, Times New Roman, Comic Sans, Impact, Georgia, Trebuchet, Webdings and Verdana—under an EULA that made them freely distributable but also limited some rights to their use. Their high penetration rate has made them a staple for Web designers. However, most Linux distributions don't include these fonts by default.

CSS2 attempted to increase the tools available to Web developers by adding font synthesis, improved font matching and the ability to download remote fonts.

Some CSS2 font properties were removed from CSS2.1 and later included in CSS3.

Fallback fonts
Main article: Fallback font
The CSS specification allows for multiple fonts to be listed as fallback fonts. In CSS, the font-family property accepts a list of comma-separated font faces to use, like so:

font-family: "Nimbus Sans L", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
The first font specified is the preferred font. If this font is not available, the Web browser attempts to use the next font in the list. If none of the fonts specified are found, the browser displays its default font. This same process also happens on a per-character basis if the browser tries to display a character not present in the specified font.

Generic font families
To give Web designers some control over the appearance of fonts on their Web pages, even when the specified fonts are not available, the CSS specification allows the use of several generic font families. These families are designed to split fonts into several categories based on their general appearance. They are commonly specified as the last in a series of fallback fonts, as a last resort in the event that none of the fonts specified by the author are available. For several years, there were five generic families:[6]

Fonts that do not have decorative markings, or serifs, on their letters. These fonts are often considered easier to read on screens.

Fonts that have decorative markings, or serifs, present on their characters. These fonts are traditionally used in printed books.

Fonts in which all characters are equally wide.

Fonts that resemble cursive writing. These fonts may have a decorative appearance, but they can be difficult to read at small sizes, so they are generally used sparingly.

Fonts that may contain symbols or other decorative properties, but still represent the specified character.
CSS fonts working draft 4 with lesser browser support

Default fonts on a given system: the purpose of this option is to allow web content to integrate with the look and feel of the native OS.

Default fonts on a given system in a serif style

Default fonts on a given system in a sans-serif style

Default fonts on a given system in a monospace style

Default fonts on a given system in a rounded style

Fonts using emoji

Fonts for complex mathematical formula and expressions.

Fangsong (Chinese: 仿宋体)
Chinese typefaces that are between serif Song and cursive Kai forms. This style is often used for government documents.

Read more, here.

Ryan Stone @ 707-480-0959 /or
Terry Minion @ 707-434-9967

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