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embedding fonts in html w/ mac -- alternative to weft

I've used weft for forever, because I didn't need something new, it work fine, and all the articles I read about embedding seemed to focus on new and ever more complicated ways to embed fonts that were dependent on newer and newer technology....which seemed self-defeating.  Embedding fonts is used to make fonts more accessible so using technologies that not everyone has/has enabled just seems silly.

Anyway, I'm now doing most of my work on a mac and it's a real pain to have to switch over just to embed fonts.  But weft is by microsoft, not mac compliant and is completely ancient.  Is there some free and simple alternative?
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lovewithnoface
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lovewithnoface
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lherrouCommented:
lovewithnoface,

Short answer: no.

Long answer: As you know, for a font to display in a client browser, the client computer MUST have that font installed. Site visitors who does not have it installed will not be able to see the text in that face. There's no easy way around this. Microsoft tinkered with WEFT (which you are currently using), but development of that stalled a few years ago, and never was a reliable solution for most sites.

There is a technique using flash to substitute fonts but it's tricky, and has it's own drawbacks. The technique is called sIFR (scalable Inman Flash Replacement). Essentially, you replace short bits of plain text rendered in the default or CSS-specified font with text rendered in your selected font by a combination of javascript, CSS, and Flash.

Here's the official page, with more information, how-to's, and links:
http://www.mikeindustries.com/sifr/

Some drawbacks:
1) Limited to those with flash and modern browsers (due to the CSS and JS needed to implement it - but remember that using this technique, users who are unsupported still get the text specified by HTML/CSS prior to replacement). Flash is well-supported these days; JS, even in supported browsers, may be turned off in some instances. Flash may be limiting in accessibility. The bottom line is know your audience.

2) Font size does not dynamically scale - page must be reloaded if page size is changed, also limits accessibility if user tries to re-size font for readability. (although, see here: http://projects.forkandspoonhelmet.com/ontextresize/)

3) Flash areas can be "sticky" and not allow scrolling via mouse wheel (user annoyance factor).

4) Text cannot be selected (for copy-n-paste, for example). This may not always be a bad thing.

5) Loading times in the font-replaced areas may be increased. The more you use it in a page, the more of an issue this can become.

6) Some issues making it work properly on clickable link text.

7) Best suited to small sections of text, such as headers, etc.

None of these are necessarily show-stoppers, just tradeoffs (like many others we make as we design web pages) that you should be aware of.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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lovewithnofaceAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply,
sorry it's taken me so long to get back--I wasn't receiving ee email for a bit....



that's what I was afraid of...

I'm more curious about the first half of what you said---what makes WEFT unreliable?  I was fairly nervous about using it and always set up a seriously long family running--the first few of which I'd need to embed, the next most everyone should have and the last (generally serif and sans-serif) things that would at least get the generally idea across.  and then I'd go test the live page on computers that I knew didn't have a particular font installed and never seemed to have problems

it's a little difficult--I'm trying to avoid newer technologies and even sometimes simple things like images just because there's so little cross browser compatibility and I want the pages I program to be available to everyone---the more things involved in displaying text the more often the text doesn't display.

in this case it's not an issue for the majority of the pages, just headings and a few links

is there any reason I can't just use weft until the end of time/something new and better
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lherrouCommented:
1) No support in non-MSIE browsers
2) Longer download times for users
3) Fonts may have copyright restrictions which do not permit embedding in a web page

;)
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lovewithnofaceAuthor Commented:
1:  huh?  that's not what I was using to test....

2:  yes, of course, but in my case, it's not an issue.  it's very few letters per page and I try to make sure that loading times are reasonable for all the individual elements and the page as a whole (i.e. great for cable/dsl/whatever, good for 56k, reasonable for 28k)  in terms of where the kbs and mbs come in, the fonts are way down on the list of things I need to worry about

3:  yeah, but there's SO much out there that isn't copyright restricted but that people just don't have.  the mac font manager is great--I can keep separate collections for fonts that have no copyright restrictions, that have no embedding restrictions, that have only x embedding restrictions.  so maybe the font I want to use has copyright restrictions and I can't-I find an alternate.  that's WAY better then a choice between serif and sans-serif


1 sounds problematic--I may have to ive up and find something more complicated and less available, but two and three aren't problems at all
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lherrouCommented:
Yeah, it's that first one that's the killer - I'm finding that for the sites I design, visitors are dropping under 75% MSIE (all versions), as alternative browsers become more widely known.
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lovewithnofaceAuthor Commented:
yeah, i'm hovering at around 60 percent--unfortunately most won't update to 7.0

i'm still confused though--you said no support for non MSIE browsers, but when I was doing this I tested on IE and Firefox (the main two browsers) on a computer that I made sure did NOT have the fonts I was testing...and the page displayed the same way (properly) in both

does no support mean that it doesn't work at all (i.e. I must have messed up and the fonts were on the machine) or irregular, undependable...
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lherrouCommented:
Well, as far as I know, it's still not supported in non-IE browsers. I have FF 2.0.0.10, and I can't see any WEFT fonts. Take a look at this site, though: http://www.cameraontheroad.com/?p=524

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lovewithnofaceAuthor Commented:
Thanks...that's great reading and also links to some articles i hadn't read before.

And, while I('m pretty sure that I) checked that the specific font files weren't on the computer I was using as a test, I was using family codes....so I could have just gotten close enough.

Fracks!   If only I could stop everyone from using IE and have firefox support embedding!

That's what I'm wishing on next star....or you know, something more important....

Thanks again...
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lovewithnofaceAuthor Commented:
Very complete, took the time to come back and clear up confusion on my part more than once.  I'm accepting all the answers because they were all helpful and people should read all of them.

Totally irrelevant q, especially as I don't even know who gets to see these comments (which might be put on this form), what happened to the button where you got to choose which one was the accepted and the rest were assisted?
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lherrouCommented:
You and me both... :)
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