[Gllug] Wide availability of fronts

Nix nix at esperi.org.uk
Fri Jun 29 20:26:42 UTC 2007

On 29 Jun 2007, Alain Williams verbalised:
> What fonts to use is my question, ie which fonts are available everywhere ?
> Fortunately all that is needed is one font with italic & bold varients.
> My first thought was 'Times Roman', but I find that my OpenOffice 2.0
> (CentOS 4.5) does not have it.
> Drat! What should I choose ?

One of the fonts from the list of fonts required to be supported by
PostScript printers?

The smallest list I can find (13 fonts) is

Courier, Courier-Bold, Courier-BoldOblique, Courier-Oblique, Helvetica,
Helvetica-Bold, Helvetica-BoldOblique, Helvetica-Oblique, Symbol,
Times-Bold, Times-BoldItalic, Times-Italic, Times-Roman

I'd say Times (New) Roman or an analogue, and Helvetica or an analogue,
is going to be available just about everywhere. Helvetica is nasty
enough even in print that I'd recommend Times New Roman for body text
(not least because it's serifed but also because Helvetica is simply
cramped and crabby. IMNSHO of course, but Bringhurst agrees with me so
there must be something to this prejudice ;) ).

Of course a lot of the problem is that nearly identical typefaces often
have wildly different names because the names are trademarked. Hence
Helvetica/Arial, Times Roman/Times New Roman and ten thousand more
baroque variations. Most systems have aliasing mechanisms to map common
names like Helvetica into the system's differently-named variant. (On
Linux boxes this role is largely filled by fontconfig.)

`... in the sense that dragons logically follow evolution so they would
 be able to wield metal.' --- Kenneth Eng's colourless green ideas sleep
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