Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

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Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

Postby cranfan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:33 am

Default fonts on my site are defined in an external stylesheet as
body { font-family: Arial; font-size:62.5%;}
This works fine in Windows and Mac.

To test my site I installed Linux Mint 13 (Mate) and loaded a selection of browsers from the Repository. I made two installations on separate PC’s. I left all browser settings as their defaults.

Firefox, Opera, Konqueror and Reconq displayed my pages as expected.

Web (Epiphany) overrides the default font style (i.e. it is not Arial) and also displays too large a font size.

Midori displays too large a font size. (installed in windows, midori displays the correct font size).

I believe Web (Epiphany) is designed principally for the GNOME desktop environment and maybe this is a factor or do I need to design differently for these two browsers to make them display the fonts correctly in Linux?
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Re: Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:01 am

I don't use either of those browsers myself, but in common with most browsers, somewhere in their settings they have a tick box for "Allow pages to choose their own fonts" which is usually selected by default. Before you start redesigning your website I would check to see if that option is still selected in your versions of Epiphany and Midori.
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Re: Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

Postby cranfan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:00 pm

Thanks.

In Web (Epiphany) the default is set as 'Use system fonts' and the user options are not available, unticking this allows the user to define their own fonts.

In Midori, by default 'Always use my font choices' is unchecked, so you would expect that my default css styles would apply. However, there is also a field defined as 'Proportional Font Family' where you can change the font style and size. This field impacts on the web page without the need to tick the 'Always use my font choices' box? So this is probably overriding the css style.

Neither browser offers the option to configure an Arial font and I wonder if this part of the problem? A quick search on the web suggest that there is no Arial font in Linux.
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Re: Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:23 pm

Oh it is available alright, but it may not be installed by default on all distros. On Ubuntu based distros the package that includes the font is this:

Code: Select all
apt-cache show ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Package: ttf-mscorefonts-installer

 This package allows for easy installation of the Microsoft True Type
 Core Fonts for the Web including:
 .
   Andale Mono
   Arial Black
   Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
   Comic Sans MS (Bold)
   Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
   Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
   Impact
   Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
   Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
   Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
   Webdings
 .
 You will need an Internet connection to download these fonts if you
 don't already have them.
 .
 NOTE: the package fonts-liberation contains free variants of the Times,
 Arial and Courier fonts. It's better to use those instead unless you
 specifically need one of the other fonts from this package.
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But not everyone will have that package because it is a microsoft font and linux users don't like microsoft. The default web font on Linux appears to be Serif.
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Re: Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

Postby cranfan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:50 pm

Thanks.

I added Liberation Sans as an alternative default font and this seems to be okay as an equivalent to Arial.

I don't understand however why some of the browsers didn't need this. Unless they include the font with the browser or accurately map some alternative?
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Re: Font style and size differences in some Linux browsers

Postby Orbmiser on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:58 pm

Well in the great sea of browser users. I would think Midori & Epiphany are very very small group of fish to put too much time or worry into it. Midori is so new and evolving so expect major changes that may no longer work or not needed at all down the line.

Just a thought and hope you can resolve the issue quickly and easily.
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