Web Fonts

Most of this information is now very outdated. Hopefully sometime soon I can say something more useful.

This page is a test of your browser’s ability to download and display font faces from the web. Such technology is sometimes called Web Fonts, or Dynamic Fonts, or embedded fonts. There are three incompatible methods for doing this.

This whole topic is a bit passée. While MSIE still supports the Microsoft proprietary Web Font technology, other browsers (Firefox, particularly) have no support for Web Fonts at all.

One issue with Web Fonts was the size of the font file. This was reduced by providing only the glyphs needed to render the page

Another issue was never really resolved. This was with font licensing. The result is that to this day, use of Web Fonts free of charge is very restrictive.

Bitstream developed a web font technology called TrueDoc. This has been purchased by Corel Corel on TrueDoc.

First, try using the CSS2 “@font-face” selector. This is the standard, recommended method. If the two samples appear the same, it isn’t working:

Oz Handicraft
Oz Handicraft

I’ve never seen this one work. According to WestCiv, no current browser supports the @font-face selector.

Next, Bitstream’s TrueDoc technology. The HTML code used to look like this:

<font face="SnowCap BT, monospace" size="6"> SnowCap BT </font>

I’ve never seen this work on any browser under Linux. On the Mac, it works in Netscape 4.x and iCab. On Windows, it works in Netscape 4.x, but it can be made to work in Internet Explorer using an ActiveX component: Bitstream’s Font Displayer. Curiously, Amaya on both Windows and Linux seems to download the fonts, but it doesn’t display them.

There is one other dynamic font technology: Microsoft’s proprietary “Embedded fonts”. I choose not to go into this, but see webmonkey articles.

See also this newer technology: GlyphGate.