Webfonts easy to use: no need for sIFR

April 2nd, 2009

Webfonts is a technique for defining a variety of fonts to be displayed in a web browser.

In CSS authors typically specify font characteristics via a font property (font-family). In CSS1, all fonts were assumed to be present on the client system and were identified solely by name. Designers of webpages had no way to propose other fonts to the user other than generic default fonts installed on the client computer.

Now with CSS3 the situation, when there is no matching font on the client, has been expanded. Fonts can be downloaded over the web by the browser and used on the client. This gives the author much more control over the typography and design of the page, because it’s not longer dependend of locally stored fonts.

This means this is no need anymore for flash based work-arounds like sIFR. The other good thing is that browsers can fall back to more generic fonts, when they don’t support the webfonts.

So there is no reason at all to wait using them.

Like for most web-innovations based on open standards, Microsoft is NOT supporting it. They have there own implementation based on a proprietary standard EOT. This is not a W3C recommendation nor is it supported by any other company. I think we have to wait till Internet Explorers` marketshare is dropping under 30% before Microsoft is starting to support open standards Web Fonts.

To see this paragraph in a different font, try the appropriate buttons.

You need a webfont supporting browser: Safari 3.1+, Opera 10 +, Firefox 3.1 + or Chrome 2 +.

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “Webfonts easy to use: no need for sIFR”

  1. Tutorial or Demo about HTML 5 and internal datepicker - dev.webonomic.nl Says:

    […] pointed out in an earlier post, HTML5 and the webfont CSS @fontface property will phase out the need for font replacement techniques like sIFR or […]

  2. Roland Hentschel Says:


    Have a look at http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fontface/generator;
    there you can create eot-files and things are fine with IE !

    ( -: roland :- )

  3. admin Says:

    We now also have WOFF (Web_Open_Font_Format), which is supported by Opera, Chrome, Firefox, and IE 9. Safari will follow soon.

Leave a Reply