list every font a user's browser can display

Is there a way in javascript to obtain the names of all fonts (or font-families) that the browser can show? (I want to give the user a dropdown with a list of all available fonts, and allow the user to choose a font.) I'd prefer not to have to hardcode this list ahead of time or send it down from the server. (Intuitively, it seems like the browser should know what fonts it has and this should be exposed to javascript somehow.)

Answers:

Answer

The JavaScript version is a bit flaky. It gets fonts by iterating through known fonts and testing.

The most accurate way (albeit having to use a propriety plugin) is to use Flash. Here you can get the list of fonts without having to test for them individually using dimensions.

You are going have to decide whether to have an exact list at the expense of not working on some devices ( iDevices, browsers without Flash plugin, etc), or a partial list with better support via JavaScript only.

Answer

Yes there is! I'm so glad you asked this question because I now want to use this too.

+1 for question, and here's your answer :)

http://www.lalit.org/lab/javascript-css-font-detect

Code from http://www.lalit.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/fontdetect.js?ver=0.3

/**
 * JavaScript code to detect available availability of a
 * particular font in a browser using JavaScript and CSS.
 *
 * Author : Lalit Patel
 * Website: http://www.lalit.org/lab/javascript-css-font-detect/
 * License: Apache Software License 2.0
 *          http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
 * Version: 0.15 (21 Sep 2009)
 *          Changed comparision font to default from sans-default-default,
 *          as in FF3.0 font of child element didn't fallback
 *          to parent element if the font is missing.
 * Version: 0.2 (04 Mar 2012)
 *          Comparing font against all the 3 generic font families ie,
 *          'monospace', 'sans-serif' and 'sans'. If it doesn't match all 3
 *          then that font is 100% not available in the system
 * Version: 0.3 (24 Mar 2012)
 *          Replaced sans with serif in the list of baseFonts
 */

/**
 * Usage: d = new Detector();
 *        d.detect('font name');
 */
var Detector = function() {
    // a font will be compared against all the three default fonts.
    // and if it doesn't match all 3 then that font is not available.
    var baseFonts = ['monospace', 'sans-serif', 'serif'];

    //we use m or w because these two characters take up the maximum width.
    // And we use a LLi so that the same matching fonts can get separated
    var testString = "mmmmmmmmmmlli";

    //we test using 72px font size, we may use any size. I guess larger the better.
    var testSize = '72px';

    var h = document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0];

    // create a SPAN in the document to get the width of the text we use to test
    var s = document.createElement("span");
    s.style.fontSize = testSize;
    s.innerHTML = testString;
    var defaultWidth = {};
    var defaultHeight = {};
    for (var index in baseFonts) {
        //get the default width for the three base fonts
        s.style.fontFamily = baseFonts[index];
        h.appendChild(s);
        defaultWidth[baseFonts[index]] = s.offsetWidth; //width for the default font
        defaultHeight[baseFonts[index]] = s.offsetHeight; //height for the defualt font
        h.removeChild(s);
    }

    function detect(font) {
        var detected = false;
        for (var index in baseFonts) {
            s.style.fontFamily = font + ',' + baseFonts[index]; // name of the font along with the base font for fallback.
            h.appendChild(s);
            var matched = (s.offsetWidth != defaultWidth[baseFonts[index]] || s.offsetHeight != defaultHeight[baseFonts[index]]);
            h.removeChild(s);
            detected = detected || matched;
        }
        return detected;
    }

    this.detect = detect;
};

Summary

How does it work?

This code works on the simple principle that each character appears differently in different fonts. So different fonts will take different width and height for the same string of characters of same font-size.

Answer

In my search for this, I also found Font.js, which adds a Font object much like Image, so it's possible to check when a font is actually ready to use. Also works on installed/system fonts. Downside is IE9+ only due to needing Object.defineProperty (other browsers have it), but if you are doing modern web, this seems like an even better option. (I will, sadly, have to go with the answer above, upvoted and moving on for now. :))

Answer

I added two methods to Lalit Patel's Detector above :

  • addFont(family, stylesheetUrl, ruleString) -> detects if the font 'family' exists, if not adds a stylesheet loading the font using either stylesheetUrl if given or otherwise ruleString
  • addFontsArr(arr) -> adds an array of fonts

With this you can do:

fonts = [ 'Arial', 'Arial Black', { family: 'Lato', stylesheetUrl: 'https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lato'}, 'Leelawadee UI']
(new FontDetector()).addFontsArr(fonts);

code:

/**
 * JavaScript code to detect available availability of a
 * particular font in a browser using JavaScript and CSS.
 *
 * Author : Lalit Patel
 * Website: http://www.lalit.org/lab/javascript-css-font-detect/
 * License: Apache Software License 2.0
 *          http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
 * Version: 0.15 (21 Sep 2009)
 *          Changed comparision font to default from sans-default-default,
 *          as in FF3.0 font of child element didn't fallback
 *          to parent element if the font is missing.
 * Version: 0.2 (04 Mar 2012)
 *          Comparing font against all the 3 generic font families ie,
 *          'monospace', 'sans-serif' and 'sans'. If it doesn't match all 3
 *          then that font is 100% not available in the system
 * Version: 0.3 (24 Mar 2012)
 *          Replaced sans with serif in the list of baseFonts
 */

/**
 * Usage: d = new Detector();
 *        d.detect('font name');
 */
function FontDetector() {
    this.detect = detect;
    this.addFont = addFont;
    this.addFontsArr = addFontsArr;

    // a font will be compared against all the three default fonts.
    // and if it doesn't match all 3 then that font is not available.
    var baseFonts = ['monospace', 'sans-serif', 'serif'];

    //we use m or w because these two characters take up the maximum width.
    // And we use a LLi so that the same matching fonts can get separated
    var testString = "mmmmmmmmmmlli";

    //we test using 72px font size, we may use any size. I guess larger the better.
    var testSize = '72px';

    var h = document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0];

    // create a SPAN in the document to get the width of the text we use to test
    var s = document.createElement("span");
    s.style.fontSize = testSize;
    s.innerHTML = testString;
    var defaultWidth = {};
    var defaultHeight = {};
    for (var index in baseFonts) {
        //get the default width for the three base fonts
        s.style.fontFamily = baseFonts[index];
        h.appendChild(s);
        defaultWidth[baseFonts[index]] = s.offsetWidth; //width for the default font
        defaultHeight[baseFonts[index]] = s.offsetHeight; //height for the defualt font
        h.removeChild(s);
    }

    function detect(font) {
        var detected = false;
        for (var index in baseFonts) {
            s.style.fontFamily = font + ',' + baseFonts[index]; // name of the font along with the base font for fallback.
            h.appendChild(s);
            var matched = (s.offsetWidth != defaultWidth[baseFonts[index]] || s.offsetHeight != defaultHeight[baseFonts[index]]);
            h.removeChild(s);
            detected = detected || matched;
        }
        return detected;
    }

    function addFont(family, stylesheetUrl, ruleString) {
        if (detect(family)) {
            //console.log('using internal font '+family);
            return true;
        }
        if (stylesheetUrl) {
            console.log('added stylesheet '+stylesheetUrl);
            var head = document.head, link = document.createElement('link');
            link.type = 'text/css';
            link.rel = 'stylesheet';
            link.href = stylesheetUrl;
            head.appendChild(link);
            return true;          
        }

        if (ruleString) {
            console.log('adding font rule:'+rule);
            var newStyle = document.createElement('style');
            newStyle.appendChild(document.createTextNode(rule));
            document.head.appendChild(newStyle);
            return true;
        }

        console.log('could not add font '+family);
    }

    function addFontsArr(arr) {
        arr.forEach(a => typeof a==='string' ? addFont(a) : addFont(a.family, a.stylesheetUrl, a.ruleString));
    }
};
Answer

Go to deviceinfo.me and click on the font detection button.

Answer

Maybe this could be done in a completely different way, using a spritesheet with known font images for a specific character and comparing that with snapshots of a canvas element on which the same character is drawn with what the browser reports as the same font. The comparison may be done with something like resemble.js.

This is slower, but should also allow us to detect when the browser is lying.

Answer

I have recently noticed that if I set the context.font value for an HTML5 canvas, to something invalid, such as "junk", the change is ignored by the canvas. I do not know if this is browser specific, but it seems to work this way on Chrome. I have also seen other posts (HTML 5 canvas font being ignored) that indicate it happens in other browsers.

One could then write a string out with the default value, which I believe is "10px sans serif" (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/CanvasRenderingContext2D/font), set the font to one you are testing and write the string again. If it is the same as the first drawing, then the font is not available.

Answer
<SCRIPT>
    function getFonts()
    {
        var nFontLen = dlgHelper.fonts.count;
        var rgFonts = new Array();
        for ( var i = 1; i < nFontLen + 1; i++ )
            rgFonts[i] = dlgHelper.fonts(i); 

        rgFonts.sort();
        for ( var j = 0; j < nFontLen; j++ )
            document.write( rgFonts[j] + "<BR>" );
    }
</SCRIPT>

<BODY onload="getFonts()">
<OBJECT id=dlgHelper CLASSID="clsid:3050f819-98b5-11cf-bb82-00aa00bdce0b" width="0px" height="0px">
</OBJECT>
Answer

There is a way to do this using document.fonts

The returned value is the FontFaceSet interface of the document. The FontFaceSet interface is useful for loading new fonts, checking the status of previously loaded fonts, etc.

  • Returned values are verbose with weight, style, etc.
function listFonts() {
  let { fonts } = document;
  const it = fonts.entries();

  let arr = [];
  let done = false;

  while (!done) {
    const font = it.next();
    if (!font.done) {
      arr.push(font.value[0]);
    } else {
      done = font.done;
    }
  }

  return arr;
}
  • Returns only the font family
function listFonts() {
  let { fonts } = document;
  const it = fonts.entries();

  let arr = [];
  let done = false;

  while (!done) {
    const font = it.next();
    if (!font.done) {
      arr.push(font.value[0].family);
    } else {
      done = font.done;
    }
  }

  // converted to set then arr to filter repetitive values
  return [...new Set(arr)];
}

I have tested it without linking any fonts in the HTML, then linked Roboto font, tested again and it got added to the result.

Answer

FontFaceSet.check() solution

  • Detecting all available fonts is common browser fingerprinting technique so it is unlikely any JS API will ever be added which will directly return a list.
  • FontFaceSet.check() support is good enough to be used but will need a fallback e.g. this answer for older browsers.
  • Checking the following list of fonts takes 150ms+ so will need to be run only as required and the result cached.

Windows 10 Font List

'Arial',
'Arial Black',
'Bahnschrift',
'Calibri',
'Cambria',
'Cambria Math',
'Candara',
'Comic Sans MS',
'Consolas',
'Constantia',
'Corbel',
'Courier New',
'Ebrima',
'Franklin Gothic Medium',
'Gabriola',
'Gadugi',
'Georgia',
'HoloLens MDL2 Assets',
'Impact',
'Ink Free',
'Javanese Text',
'Leelawadee UI',
'Lucida Console',
'Lucida Sans Unicode',
'Malgun Gothic',
'Marlett',
'Microsoft Himalaya',
'Microsoft JhengHei',
'Microsoft New Tai Lue',
'Microsoft PhagsPa',
'Microsoft Sans Serif',
'Microsoft Tai Le',
'Microsoft YaHei',
'Microsoft Yi Baiti',
'MingLiU-ExtB',
'Mongolian Baiti',
'MS Gothic',
'MV Boli',
'Myanmar Text',
'Nirmala UI',
'Palatino Linotype',
'Segoe MDL2 Assets',
'Segoe Print',
'Segoe Script',
'Segoe UI',
'Segoe UI Historic',
'Segoe UI Emoji',
'Segoe UI Symbol',
'SimSun',
'Sitka',
'Sylfaen',
'Symbol',
'Tahoma',
'Times New Roman',
'Trebuchet MS',
'Verdana',
'Webdings',
'Wingdings',
'Yu Gothic',

macOS/iOS Font List

'American Typewriter',
'Andale Mono',
'Arial',
'Arial Black',
'Arial Narrow',
'Arial Rounded MT Bold',
'Arial Unicode MS',
'Avenir',
'Avenir Next',
'Avenir Next Condensed',
'Baskerville',
'Big Caslon',
'Bodoni 72',
'Bodoni 72 Oldstyle',
'Bodoni 72 Smallcaps',
'Bradley Hand',
'Brush Script MT',
'Chalkboard',
'Chalkboard SE',
'Chalkduster',
'Charter',
'Cochin',
'Comic Sans MS',
'Copperplate',
'Courier',
'Courier New',
'Didot',
'DIN Alternate',
'DIN Condensed',
'Futura',
'Geneva',
'Georgia',
'Gill Sans',
'Helvetica',
'Helvetica Neue',
'Herculanum',
'Hoefler Text',
'Impact',
'Lucida Grande',
'Luminari',
'Marker Felt',
'Menlo',
'Microsoft Sans Serif',
'Monaco',
'Noteworthy',
'Optima',
'Palatino',
'Papyrus',
'Phosphate',
'Rockwell',
'Savoye LET',
'SignPainter',
'Skia',
'Snell Roundhand',
'Tahoma',
'Times',
'Times New Roman',
'Trattatello',
'Trebuchet MS',
'Verdana',
'Zapfino',

FontFaceSet.check()

const fontCheck = new Set([
  // Windows 10
'Arial', 'Arial Black', 'Bahnschrift', 'Calibri', 'Cambria', 'Cambria Math', 'Candara', 'Comic Sans MS', 'Consolas', 'Constantia', 'Corbel', 'Courier New', 'Ebrima', 'Franklin Gothic Medium', 'Gabriola', 'Gadugi', 'Georgia', 'HoloLens MDL2 Assets', 'Impact', 'Ink Free', 'Javanese Text', 'Leelawadee UI', 'Lucida Console', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'Malgun Gothic', 'Marlett', 'Microsoft Himalaya', 'Microsoft JhengHei', 'Microsoft New Tai Lue', 'Microsoft PhagsPa', 'Microsoft Sans Serif', 'Microsoft Tai Le', 'Microsoft YaHei', 'Microsoft Yi Baiti', 'MingLiU-ExtB', 'Mongolian Baiti', 'MS Gothic', 'MV Boli', 'Myanmar Text', 'Nirmala UI', 'Palatino Linotype', 'Segoe MDL2 Assets', 'Segoe Print', 'Segoe Script', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe UI Historic', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'SimSun', 'Sitka', 'Sylfaen', 'Symbol', 'Tahoma', 'Times New Roman', 'Trebuchet MS', 'Verdana', 'Webdings', 'Wingdings', 'Yu Gothic',
  // macOS
  'American Typewriter', 'Andale Mono', 'Arial', 'Arial Black', 'Arial Narrow', 'Arial Rounded MT Bold', 'Arial Unicode MS', 'Avenir', 'Avenir Next', 'Avenir Next Condensed', 'Baskerville', 'Big Caslon', 'Bodoni 72', 'Bodoni 72 Oldstyle', 'Bodoni 72 Smallcaps', 'Bradley Hand', 'Brush Script MT', 'Chalkboard', 'Chalkboard SE', 'Chalkduster', 'Charter', 'Cochin', 'Comic Sans MS', 'Copperplate', 'Courier', 'Courier New', 'Didot', 'DIN Alternate', 'DIN Condensed', 'Futura', 'Geneva', 'Georgia', 'Gill Sans', 'Helvetica', 'Helvetica Neue', 'Herculanum', 'Hoefler Text', 'Impact', 'Lucida Grande', 'Luminari', 'Marker Felt', 'Menlo', 'Microsoft Sans Serif', 'Monaco', 'Noteworthy', 'Optima', 'Palatino', 'Papyrus', 'Phosphate', 'Rockwell', 'Savoye LET', 'SignPainter', 'Skia', 'Snell Roundhand', 'Tahoma', 'Times', 'Times New Roman', 'Trattatello', 'Trebuchet MS', 'Verdana', 'Zapfino',
].sort());

(async() => {
  await document.fonts.ready;

  const fontAvailable = new Set();

  for (const font of fontCheck.values()) {
    if (document.fonts.check(`12px "${font}"`)) {
      fontAvailable.add(font);
    }
  }

  console.log('Available Fonts:', [...fontAvailable.values()]);
})();

Answer

The short answer is. Not much has changed regarding fonts detection in browsers in 2020 except that using Flash is now an even worse idea.

There's currently no browser native system to "list" all available fonts. However, browsers will let you check if a font is loaded/ready using the FontFaceSet API. It's pretty well supported in modern browsers.

This is intended to show if a web font is completely downloaded BUT it will work for system fonts as well. The catch is you have to provide a list of fonts to check.

So in conjunction with a user agent test (not always accurate), you could produce a list of common system fonts for each device type. Then test against those and any web fonts you load.

NOTE: This will NOT give you a full list of available fonts, but you can check for fonts commonly installed by MS Office or Adobe products.

Tags

Recent Questions

Top Questions

Home Tags Terms of Service Privacy Policy DMCA Contact Us Javascript

©2020 All rights reserved.