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Employing web-safe fonts

From: Typography with CSS in Dreamweaver

Video: Employing web-safe fonts

Web-Safe Fonts are those that are common to the primary computing platforms. Because designers can never be absolutely sure which font a user may have on his or her system, browsers support what are called Font-families. A Font-family is basically a list of fonts used to render the targeted text. Ideally, the user will have the first font listed in the Font-family, so that the Browser will use that to render the text. If that first choice is not available, the Browser moves on and chooses the second font found in the Font-family.

Employing web-safe fonts

Web-Safe Fonts are those that are common to the primary computing platforms. Because designers can never be absolutely sure which font a user may have on his or her system, browsers support what are called Font-families. A Font-family is basically a list of fonts used to render the targeted text. Ideally, the user will have the first font listed in the Font-family, so that the Browser will use that to render the text. If that first choice is not available, the Browser moves on and chooses the second font found in the Font-family.

If that's not available it moves to the third, and so on. The final member of a Font-family is the Generic Font in that category, like serif or sans-serif. Let me show you how Dreamweaver makes it easy to assign a Font-family. We'll use one of the Dreamweaver sample layouts by going to File > New. Make sure you're choosing Blank Page, HTML Page Type, and then under Layout choose 2 column fixed, left sidebar, header and footer.

Click Create and that will give us a basic page to work with. In the CSS Styles panel I'll go and click on Current and there you can see that the current font is listed. It's Verdana, Arial, and to see the rest of it we can go ahead click the Edit Rule button: Helvetica and sans-serif. So they're using a sans-serif font and that's for all of the text here. Let's go ahead and change that to a serif font. So in the Font-family list, I'll open that up and choose Serif font, Palatino Linotype, Book Antiqua, Palatino and serif.

When I click OK, you can see a pretty significant change to the text. Now one very solid design technique is to use one type of font for the body text and another type for headings. Since we already have a serif family for the page's text, let's create a new CSS rule to render all the headings in a sans-serif font. So we'll go back to our CSS Styles panel and I'll click on New CSS Rule here at the very bottom.

Because we're creating a Rule for a series of tags, we need to change the Selector Type to Compound, and then we'll enter in our list of heading tags which is h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and finally h6. And let's just go ahead and keep this Rule definition in this document only. I'll click OK, and from our Font- family, let's choose Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif.

When I click OK you can see the changes immediately applied. Feel free to try out the various existing Web Safe font-families in Dreamweaver. As I said you can access them either from the CSS Definition dialog box, as we just did or from the CSS Tab of the Property Inspector. It's a really good idea to familiarize yourself with these readily available options, although as you'll learn in the Defining New Font-families video in this chapter, you can also create your own.

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Image for Typography with CSS in Dreamweaver
Typography with CSS in Dreamweaver

36 video lessons · 8057 viewers

Joseph Lowery
Author

 
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  1. 3m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 16s
    1. Working with the Property inspector's HTML tab
      2m 0s
    2. Making the most of the Property inspector's CSS tab
      4m 57s
    3. Defining and changing type with the CSS Rule Definition dialog
      6m 16s
    4. Modifying type directly in the CSS Styles panel
      6m 3s
  3. 19m 45s
    1. Understanding type measurement unit options
      2m 50s
    2. Working with pixels
      2m 34s
    3. Defining a percentage-based page with ems
      6m 51s
    4. Letting users set page type size
      7m 30s
  4. 17m 36s
    1. Getting to know the basic font categories
      1m 32s
    2. Employing web-safe fonts
      3m 20s
    3. Defining new font families
      3m 22s
    4. Exploring CSS3 typeface options
      3m 9s
    5. Setting up @font-face
      6m 13s
  5. 9m 39s
    1. Dispelling the myth of web-safe colors
      1m 13s
    2. Applying color to type
      4m 52s
    3. Incorporating semi-transparent type
      3m 34s
  6. 19m 46s
    1. Setting the font-weight
      3m 48s
    2. Mandating font case
      2m 25s
    3. Exploring font variants
      1m 50s
    4. Utilizing white space effectively
      3m 40s
    5. Changing letter and word spacing
      2m 20s
    6. Defining first-line variations
      2m 19s
    7. Inserting drop caps
      3m 24s
  7. 20m 17s
    1. Applying CSS3 text effects
      5m 26s
    2. Designing type gradients
      8m 27s
    3. Rotating text with CSS transform
      6m 24s
  8. 15m 21s
    1. Implementing advanced headings with HTML5
      3m 11s
    2. Preparing CSS3 multiple-column layout
      4m 50s
    3. Future type: Defining CSS Regions
      7m 20s
  9. 24m 51s
    1. Styling unordered lists
      6m 51s
    2. Specifying a sequence with ordered lists
      5m 14s
    3. Applying definition lists
      7m 19s
    4. Targeting list items with CSS3 nth child
      5m 27s
  10. 20s
    1. Next steps
      20s

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