Re: FW: Font-family specification

Benjamin C. W. Sittler (
Thu, 25 Jan 1996 16:21:08 -0700 (MST)

On Thu, 25 Jan 1996, Chris Wilson (PSD) wrote:

> I sent this a couple days ago, but our mail service burped and ate it. :^(
> I'll try again.
> I stated a while ago that I would like to see the font-family specification
> change from a whitespace-separated list, with spaces in font names changed
> to dashes, to a comma-separated list, with whitespace allowed in font family
> names. I would like to more strongly recommend that this be done, and here
> are a number of reasons why:
> 1) Commas are rarely if ever used in font names; spaces are widely used.
> Some of the most popular fonts on the Microsoft Windows platform (remember,
> it is the most popular OS out there) have spaces in their names (e.g.,
> "Times New Roman") - to force document authors to make this translation is,
> I believe, foolish. Although ideally all stylesheets will be authored by
> machine, not by hand, this is unrealistic in the short term.
> 2) Comma-separated, with whitespace allowed, is how the Microsoft <FONT
> FACE=""> extension works, so some people with be used to using that
> mechanism.
> 3) There is no easy way to auto-convert between the two, since "Times New
> Roman" might be in whitespace-separated format, and equate to
> "Times,New,Roman". Bleah.
> 4) Most importantly, spaces need to be preserved in font names for copyright
> reasons. This actually means the names need to be preserved completely, but
> I'm assured commas are not a problem. In a quick look at the 58 fonts
> installed on my system, none of them use commas, but only 14 of them do
> *NOT* use spaces in their names.

A simpler solution comes to mind: use double or single quotes around the
font name: "Lucida Bright" or 'Lucida Bright', for example, would have no
problems in a space-delimited list. (I only suggest the single-quote
version(') for use inside the STYLE attribute, because I personally think
it looks uglier, and font names may use the apostrophe (also ') for
possessives.) So, for example, "Dave's Wild, Wacky and Wonderful Waterfall
Font" would be perfectly legal in a space- or comma-separated list.

Benjamin C. W. Sittler