How to embed fonts in HTML?

I'm trying to figure out a decent solution (especially from the SEO side) for embedding fonts in web pages. So far I have seen the W3C solution, which doesn't even work on Firefox, and this pretty cool solution. The second solution is for titles only. Is there a solution available for full text? I'm tired of the standard fonts for web pages.




Things have changed since this question was originally asked and answered. There's been a large amount of work done on getting cross-browser font embedding for body text to work using @font-face embedding.

Paul Irish put together Bulletproof @font-face syntax combining attempts from multiple other people. If you actually go through the entire article (not just the top) it allows a single @font-face statement to cover IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome and possibly others. Basically this can feed out OTF, EOT, SVG and WOFF in ways that don't break anything.

Snipped from his article:

@font-face {
  font-family: 'Graublau Web';
  src: url('GraublauWeb.eot');
  src: local('Graublau Web Regular'), local('Graublau Web'),
    url("GraublauWeb.woff") format("woff"),
    url("GraublauWeb.otf") format("opentype"),
    url("GraublauWeb.svg#grablau") format("svg");

Working from that base, Font Squirrel put together a variety of useful tools including the @font-face Generator which allows you to upload a TTF or OTF file and get auto-converted font files for the other types, along with pre-built CSS and a demo HTML page. Font Squirrel also has Hundreds of @font-face kits.

Soma Design also put together the FontFriend Bookmarklet, which redefines fonts on a page on the fly so you can try things out. It includes drag-and-drop @font-face support in FireFox 3.6+.

More recently, Google has started to provide the Google Web Fonts, an assortment of fonts available under an Open Source license and served from Google's servers.

License Restrictions

Finally, has put together a nice wiki'd list of Fonts available for @font-face embedding based on licenses. It doesn't claim to be an exhaustive list, but fonts on it should be available (possibly with conditions such as an attribution in the CSS file) for embedding/linking. It's important to read the licenses, because there are some limitations that aren't pushed forward obviously on the font downloads.


Try Facetype.js, you convert your .TTF font into a Javascript file. Full SEO compatible, supports FF, IE6 and Safari and degrades gracefully on other browsers.


No, there isn't a decent solution for body type, unless you're willing to cater only to those with bleeding-edge browsers.

Microsoft has WEFT, their own proprietary font-embedding technology, but I haven't heard it talked about in years, and I know no one who uses it.

I get by with sIFR for display type (headlines, titles of blog posts, etc.) and using one of the less-worn-out web-safe fonts for body type (like Trebuchet MS). If you're bored with all the web-safe fonts, you're probably defining the term too narrowly — look at this matrix of stock fonts that ship with major OSes and chances are you'll be able to find a font cascade that will catch nearly all web users.

For instance: font-family: "Lucida Grande", "Verdana", sans-serif is a common font cascade; OS X comes with Lucida Grande, but those with Windows will get Verdana, a web-safe font with letters of similar size and shape to Lucida Grande. Linux users will also get Verdana if they've installed the web-safe fonts package that exists in most distros' package managers, or else they'll fall back to an ordinary sans-serif.


And it's unlikely too -- EOT is a fairly restrictive format that is supported only by IE. Both Safari 3.1 and Firefox 3.1 (well the current alpha) and possibly Opera 9.6 support true type font (ttf) embedding, and at least Safari supports SVG fonts through the same mechanism. A list apart had a good discussion about this a while back.


Check out Typekit, a commercial option (they have a free package available too).

It uses different techniques depending on which browser is being used (@font-face vs. EOT format), and they take care of all the font licensing issues for you also. It supports everything down to IE6.

Here's some more info about how Typekit works:


I asked this a while back. The answer is basically that it doesn't work. :(


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