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Old 05-23-2005, 11:07 PM   #1
snobird
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What standard, common Linux fonts to use in websites?


Hello!

What fonts are most likely to be included in most Linux distributions?

I'm working on a website and I'm trying to make it look as consistent as possible under Linux, Windows and eventually Mac. One particular stumbling block is the inconsistent font selection among different computers. When coding a website you can specify your first choice of font, then the second, third and so on until you finish with one of the five "catch-all", leave-it-up-to-the-browser-to-choose-for-you, font-family declarations (serif, sans-serif, cursive, fantasy and monospace). Things look OK in Windows but when I load the website in Linux the font is too bold, too wide and just plain too big. I've tried specific point size, em size, general descriptive size (large vs. x-large) but no good. I get the site fixed in Linux and it's messed up in Windows and vice-versa.

I've searched the internet for answers. I'm looking for fonts that have similar proportions and characteristics on different OS's. I found some for Windows and Mac but Linux is elusive.

For example. These fonts share similar characteristics and are quite common on their respective OS's.

1. The "catch-all", last resort choice: sans-serif

2. For Windows: Verdana and Arial

3. For Mac: Helvetica

4. For Linux distributions: ???

I hope I've illustrated my question well enough to make sense.

Anybody got some ideas?

Thanks!

~Snobird
 
Old 05-24-2005, 12:29 AM   #2
reddazz
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Sans-serif family would be a good option for Linux users who have not installed MS TT fonts. When I develop webpages, in the css, I use verdana, arial, helvetica and the sans-serif family.
 
Old 05-24-2005, 05:36 PM   #3
runlevel0
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Re: What standard, common Linux fonts to use in websites?

Quote:
Originally posted by snobird
Hello!
What fonts are most likely to be included in most Linux distributions?
The most trendy right now is Verdana, which also has a good acceptance among web developers.

I can't remember if it comes with the standard Linux font-sets but there is a ms-core fonts package available with the standard MS fonts such as Arial.

http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/

The more fonts the more fun ;)
 
Old 05-25-2005, 12:45 AM   #4
snobird
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Hello!

Thanks for the MS TT tip. Which made me think of another question. What percentage of Linux users do you suppose have installed these MS fonts? I didn't because I didn't know about them (newbie). I imagine the MS fonts would most likely be installed for document compatibility between "office" programs. On the other hand there may be some Linux users who are so vehemently opposed to anything MS that the fonts wouldn't be installed.

Are these correct assumptions?

Anyway this is a subject more of curiosity than necessity for the time being. The website I'm working on is a personal project. There was just one division where the font differences messed up the positioning on different OS's. None the less, a good example of why websites should be checked on various platforms.

Those of you who make websites, do you have any recommendations for forums specific to website creation? I'd like a forum where I could get input from Linux and Mac users/designers as well as Windows. Along with learning LInux, I'm also learning how to build websites. This is a good place for my Linux questions, but I think I should ask my website questions in a more website specific forum.

Thanks for your help!
~Snobird
 
Old 05-25-2005, 09:31 AM   #5
vharishankar
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I use MSTT fonts. I guess the best option to design sites would be to use generic font families like
Code:
sans-serif
serif
monospace
You could also safely use
Code:
helvetica
arial
times
Make sure you have more than one font(s)/font families specified in your CSS classes to ensure proper font substitutions in case of missing fonts. That way you can specify less common fonts in your CSS but you can substitute it with a close-matching font if it's not available.
 
Old 05-26-2005, 07:54 AM   #6
runlevel0
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Quote:
Originally posted by snobird
Hello!

What percentage of Linux users do you suppose have installed these MS fonts?
Lots, tons XD
I would say 90%, it's almost a standard package.

Quote:

I imagine the MS fonts would most likely be installed for document compatibility between "office" programs. On the other hand there may be some Linux users who are so vehemently opposed to anything MS that the fonts wouldn't be installed.
Not necessarily. There's generally no such thing as a radical anti-MS political issue: One thing is using free alternatives and another is using a package like this, which BTW is discontinued by MS itself and free to use.
Compatibility issues are not specially important, every app which needs a font can find more or less similar versions, and Verdana is Verdana, it doesn't matter where it came from.
There's also a fashion issue, as many people find Arial to be the most fashionable font (this has changed lately to Verdana).
Anyway, fonts a such a minor issue that even RMS would care.

Quote:

There was just one division where the font differences messed up the positioning on different OS's. None the less, a good example of why websites should be checked on various platforms.
That's more a browser question. If what you want is that the fonts use always the same space try a 'fixed' type.
The display of a given page depends more on the browser and it's capabilities to read things like CSS as on the underlying OS.
What you can do to test your pages is installing some extra-browsers. I try my blogs with Mozilla, Firefox, Konqueror, Opera and Epiphany. I even tryied to get IE6 working on my Gentoo net. In an Freesoft GUI like KDE or Gnome you can use the handy multiple desktops and edit the page's code on one side while having 4 or 5 browsers on the other virtual desktops.

Quote:

Those of you who make websites, do you have any recommendations for forums specific to website creation? I'd like a forum where I could get input from Linux and Mac users/designers as well as Windows. Along with learning LInux, I'm also learning how to build websites. This is a good place for my Linux questions, but I think I should ask my website questions in a more website specific forum.


If you want a Forum like this you should take a glance at PHP, PhpBB or similar.
You could also use CMS's like Drupal , Movable Types or Wordpress.
I'm not sure about Drupal, but Movable types and Worpress are mutliplatform.
 
Old 05-26-2005, 08:12 AM   #7
akilles
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Hey, I've often thought about this as I develop web-sites.
As a general rule I've set to use this CSS line:
font-faily: Verdana, Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

I've googled the web, and a page at TLDP gave some good info:
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/html_single/Font-HOWTO/
Especially section: 3.2. Configure Your Desktop
which states:

Quote:
The main idea is to use good hinted fonts all around. As a general rule, we'll use Tahoma 8pt for desktop widgets, LucidaTypewriter 8pt for monospace text, and Verdana 8pt, 9pt or 10pt for fluent text reading or web surfing.
After reading this I've always used Verdana and Tahoma as first 'n second choice.

-Geir
 
Old 05-26-2005, 09:40 PM   #8
vharishankar
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Yes Tahoma and Verdana are quite pleasing fonts. More so than Arial.

I think that Serif-based fonts are not quite suitable for online viewing.
 
Old 05-27-2005, 02:59 AM   #9
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harishankar
Yes Tahoma and Verdana are quite pleasing fonts. More so than Arial.

I think that Serif-based fonts are not quite suitable for online viewing.
I have ever used Tahoma on a site (will try that some time now that its been mentioned here), but verdana and arial look okay. Serif fonts can look okay but it depends on how and where they are used.
 
Old 05-27-2005, 03:33 AM   #10
akilles
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The difference in looks of before-mentioned fonts aren't ig.
http://www.gfoto.org/tahoma.php
I made a quick script that lists the four fonts, side-by-side, sizes 1-19px

The differences aren't easilly aparent.

-Geir
 
Old 05-27-2005, 08:12 AM   #11
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally posted by akilles
The difference in looks of before-mentioned fonts aren't ig.
http://www.gfoto.org/tahoma.php
I made a quick script that lists the four fonts, side-by-side, sizes 1-19px

The differences aren't easilly aparent.

-Geir
You are right. They all look really nice though.
 
  


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