Browser Safe Fonts

Common fonts to all versions of Windows & Mac

Here you can find the list with the standard set of fonts common to all versions of Windows and their Mac substitutes, referred sometimes as “browser safe fonts”. This is the reference I use when making web pages and I expect you will find it useful too.

If you are new to web design, maybe you are thinking: “Why I have to limit to that small set of fonts? I have a large collection of nice fonts in my computer”. Well, as seasoned web designers already know, browsers can use only the fonts installed in the same computer, so it means that every visitor of your web page needs to have all the fonts you want to use installed in his/her computer. Of course, different people will have different fonts installed, and thus come the need of a standard set of fonts. Fortunately, CSS allows set several values for the font-family property, which eases the task a bit.

If you want to know how the fonts are displayed in other OS’s or browsers than yours, after the table you can find several screen shots of this page in different
systems and browsers. Also, you can take a look to the list of the default fonts
included with each version of Windows.

The list

First, a few introductory notes:

  • The names in grey are the generic family of each font.
  • In some cases the Mac equivalent is the same font, since Mac OS X also includes some of the fonts shipped with Windows.
  • The notes at the bottom contains specific information about some of the fonts.

  • 1 Georgia and Trebuchet MS are bundled with Windows 2000/XP and they are also included in the IE font pack (and bundled with other MS applications), so they are quite common in Windows 98 systems.
  • 2 Symbolic fonts are only displayed in Internet Explorer, in other browsers a font substitute is used instead (although the Symbol font does work in Opera and the Webdings works in Safari).
  • 3 Book Antiqua is almost exactly the same font that Palatino Linotype, Palatino Linotype is included in Windows 2000/XP while Book Antiqua was bundled with Windows 98.
  • 4 These fonts are not TrueType fonts but bitmap fonts, so they won’t look well when using some font sizes (they are designed for 8, 10, 12, 14, 18 and 24 point sizes at 96 DPI).
  • 5 These fonts work in Safari but only when using the normal font style, and not with bold or italic styles. Comic Sans MS works in bold but not in italic. Other Mac browsers seems to emulate properly the styles not provided by the font.
  • 6 These fonts are present in Mac OS X only if Classic is installed.
How the fonts look in different browsers

Note that while the ClearType smoothing is applied always, the basic font smoothing of Windows 98/2000/XP is applied only to certain font sizes. That sizes can be specified by the font designer, but usually they are in the ranges of 0-6 and 14+ points (pt).