downloadable fonts : Java Glossary

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downloadable fonts

aka webfonts or Google web fonts. The problem with specifying fonts in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), is your choices will not be honoured unless the user already has that font installed on his operating system/browser. You can ask him to make sure it is installed. If the font is free, you can provide a link to it, and ask him to download and install it, but almost for sure, he will ignore you. What you want is some automatic way of including a crucial font with your web page.

The modern W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) CSS scheme calls the downloadable fonts web fonts. The key is @font-face. You use it like this in your style sheet:

The following font formats may be supported: .eot, .pfb, .pfa, .ttf i.e. embedded-opentype, truetype, opentype, truetype-gx, speedo, Speedo, intellifont, woff. You may need to serve the font in several formats, e.g. ones suitable for Windows, Linux, Mac and the browser decides which one it likes best. For example:

woff is the new W3C font standard. It is basically TrueType or PostScript compressed with a bit of metadata to support web fonts.

Disadvantages

Advantages

Google Web Fonts

Google provides web fonts free. All you have to do is include stylesheets for the fonts you want for the page. You don’t even have to compose the style sheet. Google does it for you. You include a request for a font in your header like this (provided by the Google website.)

It is just an ordinary style sheet link. Google then transparently generates a corresponding style sheet for you like this and provides it directly to your clients:

The contents of the generated *.css seems to be stable, so I suspect it is safe to write your own style sheet with those contents, handling more than one font per style sheet, or incorporating that code in an existing style sheet.

@font-face tutorial
CSS Web Font Specification
Font Squirrel: prepare various formats of fonts for @font-face use
FontDeck
Fontspring: flat rates for fonts for desktop, web, ebooks, apps
Google free webfonts: work in your website
Legacy How to set up embedded Fonts: using *.pfr and *.eof files
Microsoft embedded Fonts
Typekit

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