Article: Which fonts can I use on my website? What if I want to use others?

by Dianne Reuby

If you've done any word processing or desktop publishing,
you'll be used to using all sorts of fancy fonts for
headlines, logos, and banners. For your web pages, you'll
have to do things differently.

What if I put a "fancy" font on my web page?
If you haven't got the same fonts on your PC that I have
on mine, your browser will just show a font that's as close
as it can find. If you're not using a PC, or the Windows
operating system, then again your computer will display a
font as close to the one specified as it can.

If you want to use fancy or nonstandard fonts on your web
site, for example on a banner, you'll have to create a
graphic file with the text in it. The banners that you see
as headers and ads on web sites are all graphics even when
they look as though they are all text.

Which fonts can I use without using a graphics program?

Windows usually includes Arial, Helvetica, Times Roman,
and Verdana, as well as Comic Sans MS, Trebuchet, and
Impact, unless the user has removed them from their PC.

Mac users should have Arial on their machines.

The problem is that in many parts of the world, people don't
have a PC or Mac at home. They use college or university
workstations, and these are usually using the Unix operating
system instead of Windows. If they do have a home PC, they
use the free Linux operating system and software. Both show
Verdana and Arial very badly.

So if you want as many visitors as possible to view your
pages as you intended them to, you should choose a range of
fonts, like this:

In this example, Arial and Helvetica are two common sans
serif fonts browsers will look for your first choice
(Arial), then the second (Helvetica). If they can't find
those two, they'll look for any font that's the right type

Happy site building

About the Author

Dianne Reuby is coauthor of the ebook "First Website
Builder". Dianne created and runs the First Web Builder
site, dedicated to providing ebooks and tips for new
Visit FWB at

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