UTF-8 System Fonts
September 29, 2004 8:18 PM   Subscribe

CharacterEncodingFilter: Which default system fonts have good UTF-8 support? [teh more, she ees inside]

The project I am currently involved with deals in text chock-o-block with characters that reside way outside the boundaries of ISO 8859-1. This text is to be displayed to a highly heterogeneous computing environment through a browser [ aka the Internet :-) ]. Internally we have relied on Arial Unicode but this is not installed by default anywhere. Does anyone know which system fonts (Win, Mac, Linux) have the best UTF-8 support out of the box? I need good fallbacks for the CSS font suggestions. Especially if I can get as far away from Arial as possible while still being sans-serif.
posted by Fezboy! to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
On Mac OS X, Lucida Grande is probably the best bet.
posted by Utilitaritron at 10:06 PM on September 29, 2004


Another point to bear in mind is that different browsers will handle this sort of thing differently. On the Mac, for example, if you use Safari to browse Chinese-language text (that is, text marked 'lang="zh"'), Safari will render that text in the same font it uses for Japanese text. If you browse the exact same page in a Mozilla-family browser, the Chinese text will be rendered in a Chinese-specific font, and Japanese text in a Japaneses-specific font.

This assumes that you haven't specified a font that the system can match, of course--I just wanted to point out how convoluted the problem is. I agree with Utilitaritron on Lucida Grande for OS X.
posted by adamrice at 7:27 AM on September 30, 2004


Roger on the Lucida Grande. IIRC Lucida is generally included on Linux as well. Also, thanks for reminding me about making explicit lang declarations. That's something easy I can just pull from the metadata during the transform. Any little bit helps here—this problem is convoluted, but that's what happens when ethnomusicologists are allowed to make tech decisions. The best I can do is cope...
posted by Fezboy! at 7:36 AM on September 30, 2004


Windows XP installs Lucida Sans Unicode, FYI.
posted by signal at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2004


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