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Choosing Web Fonts

written by: Robin L.•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/14/2010

The right web font makes your web site easier to read. Find out which web fonts are best for your web site.

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    There are many different types of fonts for web design. While it is possible to choose flowing scripts it isn’t always the best thing to do for the overall readability of your web site. Focus on using fonts for web design that are available to a wide range of people and that are easy to read on screen.

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    Sans-Serif Fonts

    • Arial – This is one of the most common fonts on the Internet. It is easy to read and is much like Helvetica. It prints well for which makes it useful for web sites that provide information readers may want to print. Windows commonly uses this font.
    • Verdana - This is one of the easier texts to read on a computer screen making it ideal for web sites but it doesn’t print as well as some of the other fonts. The lower case letters are larger than average in relationship to the uppercase letters. Unfortunately, not everyone has this font.
    • Trebuchet MS – This is a good font for web site design and is becoming more commonly used. It has true italic type, the first to do this from Microsoft.
    • Helvetica – this is a traditional font that is widely used and is easy to print and read.

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    Serif Fonts

    • Times New Roman – This is the most popular serif font and is available on Windows, Macintosh, and Unix computers. It is naturally smaller than most other fonts and was first designed for newspaper columns.
    • Georgia – This font has the advantage of being very clear even on smaller monitors. It looks much like Times New Roman, only it is larger.

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    • Courier New – This font looks a lot like what you would get from an old fashioned type writer in terms of style and spacing. This font is usually available on Macintosh and Windows computers while the original form, Courier, can be found on Unix and Macintosh.
    • Andale Mono – A newish font that isn’t available on Unix computers or many Windows computers. It is a cross between Georgia and Verdana.

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    Which Fonts Are Best

    For readability and uniform acceptance the best fonts for web design are Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New. Other web safe fonts include Georgia, Verdana, and Trebuchet MS.

    These fonts are generally already installed on your computer, but if you need help, check out: How to Install Fonts on your Computer.