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Microsoft fonts not web fonts

Just a note that the seven MS fonts in the default font list (Arial, Comic Sans, Georgia, Impact, Tahoma, Trebuchet, Verdana) will not display on a Mac or other system that doesn’t have them installed. (Macs with Office should have them, but lots of people don’t have Office.) They are replaced by the default sans font (even Georgia, a serif, oddly):

(I have Impact installed on my Mac, so it shows up, but I don’t have Georgia, so it is replaced by default sans.)

Places where they fail:

  • The font picker list in the editor Style panel.
  • The editor/preview window
  • The web, once published - this one is especially problematic, since Windows users may be publishing sites thinking those are web fonts and not realizing they are using desktop fonts assumed to be on the user systems, alá 1999.

So I have to wonder if they belong on the list, though I don’t know how you take anything out of the list now that people have built sites around those fonts.

And PS- Comic Sans, really?


Hey Allen, these web safe fonts should come installed on your mac from the get go (including comic sans).

More info here:

Hey Allen,

We have no excuses for Comic Sans :frowning: We’ll pull it soon and put it behind a cheat code or something. To our defense, we are not a Fortune 500 company… yet. :blush:

For the other fonts, we do provide fallbacks based on, but seems like they were really outdated. I’ve just updated the fallbacks, but they only get updated if you make a change in the dropdown again.

I’m having trouble remembering, but I believe the intent was to give people the alternative to use Websafe fonts without loading any extra font faces (e.g. from Google or Typekit), possibly at the expense of not getting the exact same font. We should probably show some sort warning icon for these fonts in the dropdown.

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i’m guessing the konami code?

Interesting @thesergie; It’s possible that I disabled some of those (though that page says they can’t be), or that since my system predates 10.5, that Apple may not include the same font sets in updates that they do in a new version of 10.5.

Either way I guess I’m in the 2.52% - 8.29% of Mac users without them installed (based on Georgia and Tahoma respectively, according to the page @callmevlad linked to), so I guess that explains why others haven’t noted the issue.

Still, these days webfonts at ~100% penetration are safer these days than web safe fonts, it would seem.

Makes sense, @callmevlad. Some indicator on those might be nice for folks who started web dev since web fonts became commonplace and may not know that web safe fonts are only mostly safe.