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Helvetica Not In Control Panel

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  • Ray Shapp
    To all, Is the Helvetica font style proprietary? According to the Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetica this style is used by a huge
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 27, 2008
      To all,

      Is the Helvetica font style proprietary? According to the Wikipedia article at
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetica this style is used by a huge variety of
      organizations, and in very many of my web pages, I specify "arial, helvetica",
      however, I don't see Helvetica listed in the Fonts folder in Control Panel on
      any of my five computers. Why is it not listed?

      For maximum compatibility, should I be specifying "arial, sans-serif" instead
      of "arial, helvetica"?

      Thanks for the info.

      Ray Shapp
    • Greg Chapman
      Hi Ray, ... Yes! ... True again! ... Because Microsoft wouldn t pay the royalty and came up with its close copy called Arial. However, I understand that Apple
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 27, 2008
        Hi Ray,

        On 27 Jan 08 22:59 Ray Shapp <ras45@...> said:
        >
        > Is the Helvetica font style proprietary?

        Yes!

        > According to the Wikipedia ... this style is used by a huge
        > variety of organizations, and in very many of my web pages,

        True again!

        > I specify "arial, helvetica", however, I don't see Helvetica
        > listed in the Fonts folder in Control Panel on
        > any of my five computers. Why is it not listed?

        Because Microsoft wouldn't pay the royalty and came up with its close
        copy called Arial. However, I understand that Apple did pay and you
        will find it on those machines.

        Similarly, Microsoft came up with "Times New Roman" when most other
        operating systems bundle "Times".

        > For maximum compatibility, should I be specifying "arial,
        > sans-serif" instead of "arial, helvetica"?

        Most would argue for:
        "arial, helvetica, sans-serif"

        So that Apple systems get Helvetica, unless they've installed any
        Microsoft software that bundled some fonts, and the rest get whatever
        font responds to the generic "sans serif".

        Greg
      • Ray Shapp
        Hi Greg, Thanks for clarifying this fonts style issue. I ll begin adding sans-serif to my standard
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 27, 2008
          Hi Greg,

          Thanks for clarifying this fonts style issue.


          <<Most would argue for:"arial, helvetica, sans-serif">>

          I'll begin adding "sans-serif" to my standard declarations.

          Regards,

          Ray Shapp
        • Greg Chapman
          Hi Ray, ... You should always have one of the generic fonts in your declaration, as a fall back. If you only use specify named fonts and the visiting computer
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 27, 2008
            Hi Ray,

            On 28 Jan 08 05:55 Ray Shapp <ras45@...> said:
            > I'll begin adding "sans-serif" to my standard declarations.

            You should always have one of the generic fonts in your declaration,
            as a fall back. If you only use specify named fonts and the visiting
            computer does not have any of them installed they will use their
            default font. On Windows machines that is "Times New Roman", not even
            close to what you intended, and not an especially good screen font
            anyway.

            Greg
          • loro
            Greg ... I d say Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif would be better considering people say Helvetica looks better than Arial. According to Code Style practically
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 28, 2008
              Greg
              >Most would argue for:
              >"arial, helvetica, sans-serif"
              >
              >So that Apple systems get Helvetica, unless they've installed any
              >Microsoft software that bundled some fonts, and the rest get whatever
              >font responds to the generic "sans serif".

              I'd say 'Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif' would be better considering
              people say Helvetica looks better than Arial. According to Code Style
              practically all Macs have Arial, so that's what they'll get if it's
              listed first. Not that it matters much. They'll get something.
              http://www.codestyle.org/css/font-family/sampler-MacResults.shtml

              Ray, you may also want to read this. A couple of years old, so things
              may have changed.
              http://realworldstyle.com/fonts.html

              Lotta
            • Ray Shapp
              Hi Greg and Lotta,
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 28, 2008
                Hi Greg and Lotta,

                <<I'd say 'Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif' would be better >>

                I'm beginning to incorporate this spec in all new and updated pages.

                Thanks again for the help.

                Ray Shapp
              • Marcelo de Castro Bastos
                ... I would add an extra piece of info regarding the above link: A large portion of Windows machines (mostly those with Microsoft Office installed) have a font
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 29, 2008
                  Interviewed by CNN on 28/1/2008 22:30, loro told the world:
                  >
                  > Ray, you may also want to read this. A couple of years old, so things
                  > may have changed.
                  > http://realworldstyle.com/fonts.html
                  >
                  >

                  I would add an extra piece of info regarding the above link:

                  A large portion of Windows machines (mostly those with Microsoft Office
                  installed) have a font called "Lucida Sans Unicode" that's almost
                  identical to realworldstyle's first choice for Macs, Lucida Grande.
                  Besides the consistency between Mac, Windows and Unix, you have the
                  bonus of putting as first-choice a font with reasonably good Unicode
                  coverage.

                  So, I suggest amending realworldstyle's suggested list this way:

                  font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Verdana, Geneva,
                  Lucida, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

                  Regarding the other fonts... the author mentions that Geneva is
                  "preferred" to Arial and Helvetica, but doesn't explain his reasoning.
                  Might be something related to bad Arial and Helvetica fonts in old Macs,
                  or something. I don't know.

                  I like the Lucida fonts; they are generally very legible and
                  well-designed. "Lucida Console," for instance, is my preferred
                  monospaced font, because it manages to look good while not having too
                  much of a "typewriter" look.

                  Verdana is somewhat of a controversial choice. While it looks very crisp
                  on screen (it was designed for screens, like its companion, the serif
                  font "Georgia"), it has a very large x-height that looks odd if you mix
                  it with other fonts -- Verdana typically "looks" one or two points
                  larger than other fonts. Also, because of that, a page rendered in
                  Verdana might end up looking quite different from a page rendered in
                  Lucida Sans, Arial, or Helvetica -- different BEYOND the normal expected
                  difference in fonts. Look at this page, which explains better the issues:

                  http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/verdana.html

                  There are other fonts that might be considered as valid options. I don't
                  remember my reasoning right now, but some time ago I added "Trebuchet
                  MS" to my sans-serif alternates list. I think it had something to do
                  with having about the same metrics as Arial, but looking better.

                  Windows Vista and Office 2007 come with a new set of fonts that might be
                  better choices in some circumstances.

                  Linux machines are a harder problem; the font mix is hardly
                  standardized, and some distros (mostly old ones) suffer from a bad Arial
                  clone. So it might be useful to add a common Linux font, like Bitstream
                  Vera Sans, to the list.




                  -=-=-
                  A critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned.
                  * TagZilla 0.066 on Seamonkey 1.1.7
                • Marcelo de Castro Bastos
                  The update pack to Notetab Pro 5.6 has been available for a few days now. Just open Help/Check for Updates menu and get it. The main Notetab page still
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 29, 2008
                    The update pack to Notetab Pro 5.6 has been available for a few days
                    now. Just open "Help/Check for Updates" menu and get it.

                    The main Notetab page still mentions only the 5.5 version, though.

                    Marcelo

                    -=-=-
                    Spell chequers dew knot work write.
                    * TagZilla 0.066 on Seamonkey 1.1.7
                  • sisterscape
                    In addition to font choice, there is the issue of font sizing. I found these two links very helpful in sorting things out:
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 29, 2008
                      In addition to font choice, there is the issue of font sizing. I found
                      these two links very helpful in sorting things out:

                      http://www.thenoodleincident.com/tutorials/box_lesson/font/index.html#screens

                      http://www.thenoodleincident.com/tutorials/typography/index.html

                      In addition, I started a thread over at Sitepoint on this very issue.
                      It includes feedback from Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyers concerning
                      the font sizing practices on the ALA site (which suffers from the sub
                      1em glitch mentioned by Owen Briggs):

                      http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=309991




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                    • Ray Shapp
                      Hi Marcelo and sister Many thanks for your comprehensive answers. Ray Shapp
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 30, 2008
                        Hi Marcelo and sister

                        Many thanks for your comprehensive answers.

                        Ray Shapp
                      • Axel Berger
                        ... Two additions perhaps: If your layout gets more refined, don t forget to test the fallbacks too. And remember that since time immemorial all browsers offer
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 30, 2008
                          Ray Shapp wrote:
                          > Many thanks for your comprehensive answers.

                          Two additions perhaps:
                          If your layout gets more refined, don't forget to test the fallbacks
                          too.

                          And remember that since time immemorial all browsers offer the settings
                          "ignore font styles and sizes", "ignore colours", and "use only my
                          preffered font size", which is how three out of four of my browsers are
                          set up. One of the three also ignores all CSS and renders the pure HTML,
                          while all of them ignore scripts unless explicitly allowed for the site,
                          which I am much less likely to do than just leave in disgust.
                          Any well made sites must work with these limitations, they need not be
                          especially beautiful that way, but they have to be useable.

                          Axel
                        • Ray Shapp
                          Hi Axel,
                          Message 12 of 12 , Feb 1, 2008
                            Hi Axel,

                            <<since time immemorial all browsers offer the settings
                            "ignore font styles and sizes", "ignore colours", and "use only my
                            preffered font size",>>

                            Yes, two of my four PCs ignore all the best efforts of the web designers.


                            Thanks for mentioning it.

                            Ray Shapp
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