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Standard Web Fonts 'Updated' In Vista 452

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-leave-well-enough-alone dept.
BladesP9 writes "Beginning with Vista, Microsoft has updated the standard Web Core Fonts that it has used since the late 1990s. 'With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has unleashed something quite new on the Web — the "C" fonts; Cambria, Calibri, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel.' The article goes on to state that 'if you're a web designer and not using Vista then this download is mandatory since it will let you see your page as your Vista users see it.' The article includes a PDF document offering visual comparisons of the old and new fonts (pdf)."
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Standard Web Fonts 'Updated' In Vista

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  • Haha (Score:4, Funny)

    by reset_button (903303) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:44PM (#21043831)
    I saw the words "standard" and "Vista" in the same sentence and had to laugh! :-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271)
      Microsoft has never referred to these as new core web fonts. TFA seems to confuse them starting with a "C" as meaning "core". I read an article directly from Microsoft (which I fail to locate at the moment) that said they start with a "C" because they were all designed specifically to take advantage of ClearType, but there were also three market-drone "C" words that were stressed. None of them were "core".
    • by h2g2bob (948006)
      Standard fonts [w3.org]:
      • serif
      • sans-serif
      • cursive
      • fantasy
      • monospace
  • Yawn (Score:3, Informative)

    by BladeMelbourne (518866) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:45PM (#21043845)
    We knew this last year. How is this "news that matters?"
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:49PM (#21043913)
    > With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has unleashed something quite new on the Web -- the "C" fonts; Cambria, Calibri, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel.'

    Furthermore, "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" shall heretofore be referred to as "Collar, Consolidate, and Choke."

  • Not an improvement (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Verteiron (224042)
    Looking at the PDF, I see problems with some of the new fonts already. In Cambria, the horizontal bar of the lowercase letter "e" is a complete blur, as the the bar of "A". Corbel has similar problems. These issues are not visible at any zoom level with the fonts the aforementioned are intended to replace.

    On the upside, Consolas looks pretty nice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Frosty Piss (770223)

      In Cambria, the horizontal bar of the lowercase letter "e" is a complete blur, as the the bar of "A". Corbel has similar problems.
      Not on my monitor.
    • Consolas does look nice, and quite a lot like Computer Modern Typewriter. Calibri is also very nice, and to my untrained eye at least seems extremely close to Computer Modern Sans.

      The spacing of Cambria looks odd. Not sure if that's the font's fault though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by daeg (828071)
        Not all of the fonts are intended for all purposes. We use Cambria on some printed materials and it looks nice. Constantia is great printed, too.

        Segoe UI, also part of Vista, is also a great UI font in my opinion. We use it on our Intranet and continue to get compliments from the older staff. Arial and the other standard web fonts just aren't that usable for short, concise bits of text you find in user interfaces.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by urbanriot (924981)
      The issue you speak of does not occur on my monitor either. Perhaps you have a PDF rendering issue?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ecuador (740021)
      There is something wrong on your side. It looks fine on both my systems (and tried looking at 66%, 75%, 100%, 116% etc).
      I really liked Calibri and Consolas BTW.
  • by neo-mkrey (948389) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:50PM (#21043949)
    I could swear I read about these "new and improved" fonts a few months ago.
  • Consolas rocks (Score:5, Informative)

    by mbadolato (105588) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:51PM (#21043961)
    The Consolas font is a phenomenal mono-spaced font, and I've been using it for a year or more. You can download it [microsoft.com] from MS for free but it's an exe file. Once installed though you could easily, say, move the TTF file over from your Windows virtual machine to your "real" system and have access to it there. :)
    • Re:Consolas rocks (Score:4, Informative)

      by garbletext (669861) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:01PM (#21044149)
      If it's anything like the microsoft fonts used by msttcorefonts you can just treat the exe as a cab file and cabextract it.

      I agree that consolas is nice, but wtf is that gross Candara font? It has a faint stench of Comic Sans MS about it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        just tried cabextract on setup.exe, and it complains "no valid cabinets found". It works fine with the Ms TT core fonts.
    • Re:Consolas rocks (Score:5, Informative)

      by skyshock21 (764958) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:13PM (#21044339)
      Alternately, you can find a .zip file of all those fonts' TTF files here - http://www.techtoolblog.com/wp-content/uploads/VistFonts/VistaFonts.zip [techtoolblog.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ortholattice (175065)
      You can download it from MS for free but it's an exe file.

      Unfortunately, it's not quite free. First you have to purchase Visual Studio 2005. I ran the setup.exe, and just before it finished installing (it completed two sets of progress bars without complaint) it said, "Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 must be installed prior to installing this package."

    • I call shenanigans! (Score:3, Informative)

      by TigerNut (718742)
      In the PDF examples, the font's line spacing is different. Are the fonts being presented notionally equal in size? It's easy to claim something is more readable even if it's only fractionally larger in line spacing or character size.
  • "mandatory"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brunascle (994197) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:51PM (#21043967)

    if you're a web designer and not using Vista then this download is mandatory since it will let you see your page as your Vista users see it.
    no, it's not mandatory. what's mandatory is that you understand that what you see, especially with regard to fonts, is not what others see.

    if getting these fonts is mandatory, then you better get bitstream vera sans too, because that's what i'm seeing.
  • Or, maybe, Vista could just use the standard fonts that already exist.
    • Or, maybe, Vista could just use the standard fonts that already exist.
      Ummm...

      It does. All the same fonts that used to be there are still there. If a web page specifies Arial, you still get Arial. It's not as if MS have removed the old standard fonts and are redirecting calls from the old ones to the new ones.
  • Timeline? (Score:5, Informative)

    by stonecypher (118140) <stonecypher AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:53PM (#21043997) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft actually released these fonts with the last Office batch, and also allows you to download them freely from MSDN (just like the T series and the V series.) This all happened about 18 months ago. Thanks for noticing. (And, yes, people should download them, because Candara is just gorgeous.)
  • Free Standard? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:53PM (#21044003) Homepage
    Shouldn't standard fonts be freely available cross-platform? I don't see an .gz, .bz2, .rpm, or .deb. Or did I just miss them?
  • Ummm.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:54PM (#21044015) Journal
    The article...

    FYI, this seems to be the article [hunlock.com] in question.

    • by timbck2 (233967)
      I was wondering where the article link was. Thanks!

      (Someone please mod this +1 Informative!)
    • From the article:

      Filed: Sat, Apr 14 2007 under Programming|| Tags: css1 webdesign fonts

      Now that's what I call bleeding edge news for nerds .

      Tags: old, stale, !news, ~nothing, sigh

  • Why? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by QuietLagoon (813062)
    Why would web designers want to use fonts that require the use of Windows Vista to render? Isn't it bad enough that web designers have to work around all the bugs in IE?
  • Ummm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by julesh (229690) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:54PM (#21044021)
    "The article goes on to state ..."

    What article? The only link is the PDF with the examples, which doesn't exactly answer my question: why is it "mandatory" to get Vista? Why can I not simply continue using the old, perfectly acceptable fonts?
  • by A Friendly Troll (1017492) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:54PM (#21044029)
    The "C" fonts - all of them - look absolutely horrible if you don't have ClearType enabled.

    They are quite nice (I think they replace the default Times New Roman and Arial in Office 2007) and very legible by design, but totally useless for CRT owners and LCD owners who don't like ClearType.

    I don't think we're yet at the point of assuming that the vast majority of people have ClearType enabled, and won't be there for another half a decade. So, if you are making a web page of some sort, please refrain from using these new fonts - you might scare away a lot of your visitors. Verdana and Georgia (hell, even Trebuchet) are much better choices for the time being.
  • Glad to see Microsoft has not lost its hunger to innovate.
  • by aardwolf64 (160070) on Friday October 19, 2007 @12:55PM (#21044035) Homepage
    I know this is Slashdot and all (and no one reads the articles anyway), but we can't even pretend to read the articles in question if you don't give us a link. Sure, the PDF is great, but how about linking to the actual article?

    keyword: whereisthelink
  • Crapola
    who-Cares-ia
    Compatiblity-break-a-you-face-firefox-a
  • Consolas 1/l/I; 0/O (Score:5, Informative)

    by _xeno_ (155264) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:03PM (#21044177) Homepage Journal

    Since their example didn't show it, and most tech types care, here's my take on Consolas's 1/l/I differentiation. Essentially, it's Courier New. The glyphs are practically identical. One has a sloping top, lowercase L has a flat top, and uppercase I has a bar across the top. Lucidia Console works almost the same way, except that a lowercase L has no bar on the bottom.

    Contrast with my personal favorite, BitStream Vera Sans Mono: one and uppercase I work the same way, but lowercase L is notably different. This is especially useful for languages like Java where a lowercase L at the end of a number is valid and marks it as a long.

    On the 0/O issue, Consolas goes with a line through the zero, Lucidia Console uses a slightly higher and narrower glyph compared with the uppercase O, and BitStream Vera Sans uses a dot in the middle.

    Over all, I still prefer BitStream Vera Sans Mono for my console font. Consolas is a big improvement over previous monospaced fonts available in Windows, but BitStream Vera Sans Mono is perfectly usable and, in my opinion at least, slightly better.

    • by nuzak (959558)
      > here's my take on Consolas's 1/l/I differentiation. Essentially, it's Courier New.

      They look different when you're not using a screenreader or braille term, which you obviously are.

      Or maybe you mean Lucida. The new fonts are basically less heavy versions of the ones in the middle column, because cleartype made the old fonts appear too black.
      • by nuzak (959558)
        GP: sorry about the snark, you were talking about the comparison of 1/l/I -- yeah, Consolas was designed to be a "programmer font". I imported it into Linux, but I end up having to use other fonts in emacs, since Consolas doesn't look so hot without AA (emacs on win32 does do AA though, big win there!)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by maxume (22995)
      Jeff Atwood, giant ad whore that he is, has a nice article on programming fonts:

      http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000969.html [codinghorror.com]

      with screenshots showing the differentiation that you are talking about(as rendered on Vista, with Cleartype enabled).
  • Yippee? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sta7ic (819090)
    Microsoft is trying to make news by announcing what they're working on, hailing it as the next great thing for the desktop PC/web/office/coffee industry, and then telling everyone to got on board the train before it starts moving.

    Like others, I fail to see the news here. It's nothing new to build something and tell everyone to use it in the hopes that it becomes the next de-facto standard, or as posted above, just to get it some market share so that other developers in any field will take the new product s
  • We developers wont be fooled into being forced into vista just for 3-4 fonts. You could have done this 'update' to Xp's too, just like you "updated" xp's core files without telling anyone.
  • by chemguru (104422) <infinite1der.gmail@com> on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:05PM (#21044213) Homepage
    Yeah, but we still have to deal with Comic Sans [geofffox.com]...
  • by _bug_ (112702) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:10PM (#21044297) Journal
    I've ranted about this before [bridgew.edu].

    Not everyone will have these fonts; not for a long time, anyways. Browsers will then instead use the default sans serif font (Helvetica or Arial typically). Pages viewed in Arial or Helvetica that were intended for Calibri will, at least, not look good and, at worst, be completely unreadable.

    Why?

    Calibri (which is the one font in the group certain to become the choice of future web developers) has a different size than, say, Arial. A 1em or 12pt or 14px tall Calibri character is going to actually be smaller than the same sized Arial character. The reason is due to the design of the font and the font's leading.

    A page set at 100% (default) font size that looks good in Calibri will look oversized in Arial or Helvetica. Furthermore any sort of soft-alignments between texts or text and other page elements will break. For example the content you expect to appear "above the fold" or appear shorter than an image you've got aligned to the right will now be pushed below the fold or below the height of the image, creating an page layout for someone using a stock browser.

    Let's take a shot in the dark here. Now these fonts are installed as part of Office 2007. They're part of Vista. They're not part of XP unless you either have Office 2007 or the 2007 compatibility pack installed. Let's say 5% of all internet browsing computers are Vista and 75% are XP [w3schools.com]. How many of those 75% have Office 2007 or the compatibility pack (which isn't automatically downloaded via windows update, requiring the user go and download it). I think a more than fair value is that 25% of those 75% have Office 2007 or the compatibility pack installed. That equals out to about 25% of all computer users have Calibri support right now. If you design with Calibri you're ignoring 75% of your user base.

    In 3-5 years that number, I believe, will drastically increase to the point where the majority will support Calibri. But not now. So don't design with it.

    • by XanC (644172) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:59PM (#21045261)

      If your design depends on fonts being a particular size in order to lay out other elements or to have things "above the fold", you're doing it wrong.

      I normally browse in Firefox with the minimum font size set to 20. Well-designed pages handle this just fine, and poorly-designed pages (mostly the bigger-budget ones) handle it badly.

  • Feel free to pass these and other fonts around as you wish, entirely guilt-free.

    Federal Register, Vol. 53, No 189 [nyud.net] (coralized 4 Mbyte PDF)

    Cheers,

    b&

  • If you ask me, all fonts besides Courier New and Arial are superfluous. I guess you could also have a proportional serif font, but I wouldn't use it.

    Maybe that's why I'm not a web designer.
  • How many more MS supposed news 'snippets' are coming between now & the release of Leopard?

    Can we just get it over with, and pre-tag them all 'noise', since all these are intended to do is dilute Apple's newest OS release?
  • by SEMW (967629) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:21PM (#21044507)
    To state what a few people have skirted around but no-one's said explicitly: This Story Is Bollocks . All the same old web standard fonts are still included in Vista. Calls to them are in no way, shape, or form redirected to the new fonts. If you specify Times New Roman, or Arial, or Verdana, etc., Vista users will see it rendered exactly the same as anyone else; in the same fonts as everyone else. There's no need for web designers to download the new fonts to "let you see your page as your Vista users see it", because Vista users will see it the same as everyone else sees it.
  • My fonts (Score:4, Funny)

    by alfredo (18243) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:28PM (#21044663)
    I only work with Dingbats
  • Constantia damaged? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Trillan (597339) on Friday October 19, 2007 @01:34PM (#21044761) Homepage Journal
    On a lark. I downloaded the C family and installed it on my PowerBook. Font Book on Mac OS X complained that Cambria was damaged, but gave the unhelpful description "System Validation."

    So this makes me curious:
    Is there a font verification tool in Windows XP SP2?
    Does Cambria fail there?
  • by Bazman (4849) on Friday October 19, 2007 @02:24PM (#21045697) Journal
    "Constantia can replace ... Helvetica".

    Ah, I think not. Nobody will ever make a film about Constantia - http://www.helveticafilm.com/ [helveticafilm.com]

    Maybe one will be made about Comic Sans, but it will be a horror story.

  • by StormReaver (59959) on Friday October 19, 2007 @02:45PM (#21045985)
    I viewed the PDF showing the font differences, and I saw no reason at all to change. The new fonts are no better and no worse than the old fonts. They're just different, apparently for no other purpose than to be different.

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