Sans-serif for the web

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Dirk Kruisheer, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. In designing a new website I should like to include names of the standard
    (screen proof) sans-serif fonts of Apple and Linux as well. So would anybody
    help me complete the following specification?

    font-family: verdana, xxx, yyy, sans-serif;

    Many thanks in advance,

    Dirk
     
    Dirk Kruisheer, Aug 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <> wrote in message
    news:BzwYa.167356$...
    > Dirk Kruisheer pounced upon this pigeonhole and pronounced:
    > > In designing a new website I should like to include names of the

    standard
    > > (screen proof) sans-serif fonts of Apple and Linux as well. So would

    anybody
    > > help me complete the following specification?
    > >
    > > font-family: verdana, xxx, yyy, sans-serif;

    >
    > This is what I use, in part:
    >
    > body {
    > font-family: sans-serif;
    > font-size: 100%; /* redundant, but makes your point */
    > }
    >
    > No worries about what fonts your visitor has. Verdana is too wide. Google
    > for hundreds of discussions about why this is not a good font to use.
    >
    > --
    > -bts
    > -This space intentionally left blank.


    That makes sense, thank you.
    Dirk
     
    Dirk Kruisheer, Aug 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. Beauregard T. Shagnasty <> wrote:

    > body {
    > font-family: sans-serif;
    > font-size: 100%; /* redundant, but makes your point */
    > }


    Setting font-family to sans-serif would work in an ideal world, but
    browsers actually implement the generic font names rather poorly, mapping
    them to relatively odd actual fonts, in part.

    If you wish to suggest a sans-serif font for your document,

    body { font-family: Arial; }

    is a simple approach. It will work in most browsing situations, and few
    people have serious dislike for Arial. The text may look larger than the
    user wants, since he may well have tuned the font size according to the
    properties of Times New Roman, but this is tolerable. Opinions differ on
    the question whether you should mention sans-serif as the second option.

    > No worries about what fonts your visitor has.


    Well, the problem is that you don't know what they have as the browser's
    interpretation of sans-serif either.

    > Verdana is too wide.


    Wide? I would say that it has a large x-height and other properties that
    make it too different from other fonts, so that if the user's font size is
    suitable for his default font, it's too big for Verdana.

    > Google for hundreds of discussions about why this is not a good font
    > to use.


    Right. I just tried to summarize the key point. There's nothing wrong with
    making Verdana the _browser's_ default font, if the user likes it. But
    authors should think twice before suggesting it in an author style sheet.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 7, 2003
    #3
  4. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > If you wish to suggest a sans-serif font for your document,
    >
    > body { font-family: Arial; }
    >
    > is a simple approach. It will work in most browsing situations, and few
    > people have serious dislike for Arial.


    Yes, but some might not have it. *Always* include a fall-back generic
    font, eg:

    body { font-family: Arial, sans-serif; }

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS | mailto: | pgp:0x6A2A7D39
    aim:inka80 | icq:6622880 | yahoo:tobyink | jabber:
    http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/ | "You've got spam!"
    playing://(nothing)
     
    Toby A Inkster, Aug 7, 2003
    #4
  5. In article <BzwYa.167356$>, Beauregard T.
    Shagnasty wrote:

    > No worries about what fonts your visitor has. Verdana is too wide. Google
    > for hundreds of discussions about why this is not a good font to use.


    Some links:

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/fontsize.html
    http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/fontface-harmful.html

    --
    Lauri Raittila <http://www.iki.fi/lr> <http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts>
    Saapi lähettää meiliä, jos aihe ei liity ryhmään, tai on yksityinen
    tjsp., mutta älä lähetä samaa viestiä meilitse ja ryhmään.
     
    Lauri Raittila, Aug 7, 2003
    #5
  6. Toby A Inkster <> wrote:

    >> If you wish to suggest a sans-serif font for your document,
    >>
    >> body { font-family: Arial; }
    >>
    >> is a simple approach. It will work in most browsing situations, and
    >> few people have serious dislike for Arial.

    >
    > Yes, but some might not have it.


    So what? They will get the default font of their browser, which is, for
    all that we can know, the font they have selected. Maybe it's not very
    exciting, but readable - if it isn't readable, the user will have hard
    times on _many_ pages.

    > *Always* include a fall-back generic font


    Actually, that's the advice I explicitly stated as debatable.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 7, 2003
    #6
  7. In article <>, Toby A Inkster
    wrote:

    > Yes, but some might not have it. *Always* include a fall-back generic
    > font, eg:


    Why? Users default font is practically always good enaugh. If you fall-
    back, be sure to have reason. Sans-serif is usually pretty safe choise
    for fallback, but all other generic font families are not. See discussion
    about week back:
    http://groups.google.com/groups?th=9e544f20ec642c36



    --
    Lauri Raittila <http://www.iki.fi/lr> <http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts>
    Saapi lähettää meiliä, jos aihe ei liity ryhmään, tai on yksityinen
    tjsp., mutta älä lähetä samaa viestiä meilitse ja ryhmään.
     
    Lauri Raittila, Aug 8, 2003
    #7
  8. Toby A Inkster <> wrote:

    > But weren't you just arguing that fallback fonts were crap?


    No, I wrote, "browsers actually implement the generic font names rather
    poorly". You seem to confuse generic font names with browser's default
    font.

    >>> *Always* include a fall-back generic font

    >>
    >> Actually, that's the advice I explicitly stated as debatable.

    >
    > No, the advice you explicitly stated as debatable was setting the
    > font-family to a generic font family, such as sans-serif. My advice
    > was to set it to a specific font with a generic fallback.


    I wrote exactly this: "Opinions differ on the question whether you should
    mention sans-serif as the second option."

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 8, 2003
    #8
  9. Dirk Kruisheer

    C A Upsdell Guest

    "Dirk Kruisheer" <> wrote in message
    news:3f3291bc$0$26127$4all.nl...
    > In designing a new website I should like to include names of the standard
    > (screen proof) sans-serif fonts of Apple and Linux as well. So would

    anybody
    > help me complete the following specification?
    >
    > font-family: verdana, xxx, yyy, sans-serif;
    >
    > Many thanks in advance,


    See http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/res_fonts.htm
     
    C A Upsdell, Aug 8, 2003
    #9
  10. kchayka <> wrote:

    > I'm one of those that has a "serious dislike" for Arial - I'm so sick of
    > seeing it on web pages that I've seriously considered expunging it from
    > my system. I removed Verdana some time ago.


    Well, if it's _that_ serious, removing it from the system would solve the
    problem, and font-family: Arial on Web pages would effectively get ignored
    (and the browser's default font used instead) on your browser.

    > The only serious problem I've heard about with generic font families is
    > the IE/serif size bug.


    There are some others listed on the page
    http://css.nu/pointers/bugs-nn.html
    which is pretty old now, but partly still relevant. For Netscape 4, it
    reports:
    - generic Cursive or Fantasy won't show
    - generic 'sans-serif' mapped to illegible font

    > I have never seen or heard of any issues with
    > generic sans-serif.


    In addition to bugs, there's the choice of the actual font, which is a
    quality issue. In particular, my IE 6 seems to use a sans-serif font with
    characteristics between Arial and Verdana, roughly speaking, and it seems
    to be a typical compromise that combines the drawbacks of both
    alternatives. This is of course largely subjective, but objectively, there
    does not seem to be any way to change the interpretation of sans-serif
    on IE.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 9, 2003
    #10
  11. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > In particular, my IE 6 seems to use a sans-serif font with
    > characteristics between Arial and Verdana, roughly speaking, and it seems
    > to be a typical compromise that combines the drawbacks of both
    > alternatives. This is of course largely subjective, but objectively, there
    > does not seem to be any way to change the interpretation of sans-serif
    > on IE.


    Sounds like Tahoma. If you were to delete the font, I guess your problem
    would be solved.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS | mailto: | pgp:0x6A2A7D39
    aim:inka80 | icq:6622880 | yahoo:tobyink | jabber:
    http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/ | "You've got spam!"
    playing://(nothing)
     
    Toby A Inkster, Aug 9, 2003
    #11
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