Re: FW: Font-family specification

Ian K Tindale (
Wed, 31 Jan 1996 18:11:11 +0000

The problem remains that if I don't have that particular font on my Mac at
the time, but I happen to have something so similar that it would easily do
the job, there isn't an intelligent way of it substituting down through
families on similarity - suitability for a purpose. Most normal fonts are
reasonably similar to each other, from a cursory appearance point of view,
when you consider what people are presently used to on the web - a choice
of one font all the time, whichever one you select in the browser
preferences. However, the names are SO different that they may as well be
specifying different subsubspecies of animal, vegetable and fungi.

I might have for example, an Adobe font, a Bitstream font of the same
typeface, a TrueType of some extra members of same family, and who knows
what else, but with distinctly different names - as an artist I know
they're the same, and I know which printer fonts link to which screen fonts
- but a name searching system is going to be more cumbersome and less

Shame there isn't a way of a browser assessing what fonts are present on
the system, and giving each known font a 'quality'. Then the style sheet
can pick the best match, which could still be miles away, but it's the
nearest available visual match on that system.

OTOH, how much of an overhead is the actual downloading of the intended
screen font, along with the document?

Ian K Tindale