Using Arbitrary Fonts In a Web Page

Filed under Fonts, Javascript, Web

image I’ve written here about how to embed arbitrary fonts in a flash file. This approach works, but it has several downsides.

  1. You have to have Flash. It’s not necessarily cheap.
  2. You have to go through a pretty arduous process to embed the fonts.
  3. You end up with a swf file that can be quite large, especially if you have a lot of fonts you need to embed. This can have a very negative impact on your bandwidth and the user’s experience with your site.

I understand that SilverLight has a method for using embedded fonts as well, though I’ve found very little information on it.

But I did recently come across True Font Family.

It’s not a 100% solution, since it essentially replaces specifically styled text on your site with dynamic images of that text in the font of your choosing. But, it’s got some great benefits.

  • It’s cheap, as in 27$, no royaties
  • It’s easy. Just a simple Javascript include, and a little CSS markup.
  • It’s double plus easy. You just upload the fonts you need to use as TTF files to your webserver somewhere. No messing with conversions of any kind. And since the fonts you use can be locked up in a secure spot on your server, there’s no worries of font use violations that might come from allowing end users to actually download the fonts you need for your site.

Plus, they’ve got a newer version coming out sometime in the fall that’ll do all sorts of special effects on the text as it’s rendering it.

Depending on your needs, this might be a very viable alternative to Flash.

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