What a professional typesetter knows is the importance of a good font. For centuries typesetters have evolved fonts to provide ease of reading that we know today. Having the text look good in the web browser is a nice bonus, choosing the right type and size can make a big difference to how well we read, especially if used quite a bit.
To make a web page feel right (as was designer had in mind) the fonts should be on your system that a page requires. On some Linux systems only the basic fonts are installed. Installing the missing fonts adds nice touches to pages that one may not know one was missing before. This addon displays the font type and size of the selected text. Many sites define their fonts as Arial, or sometimes, Verdana, or Georgia; these fonts can be added by installing Microsoft’s core fonts; a few define theirs with Apple fonts, and a few less with others. These font packages contain the most popular fonts (for Arch Linux):
arpa -i ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-dejavu ttf-google-fonts-git ttf-mac-fonts ttf-liberation ttf-win7-fonts
With MS Core Fonts installed (and a few others) most people will notice a more-expectant experience becoming available. Note: for the
ttf-google-fonts-git package I choose to only use some of the more popular ones.
To get a good idea on good font size to use, look at a book. The size there that feels comfortable will likely feel comfortable on the monitor too. When choosing font size also think about making the various typefaces the same size (i.e. serif, sans-serif, and monospace).
Being able to define one’s own font can help readibility quite a bit as tastes differ. In Firefox, the settings that can be defined are typefaces: serif, sans-serif, monospace, and the minimum size. It should be known though, that many sites still force their own font type and size; however, the good news is that a greater number of sites are using typeface definitions. With typeface definitions this means that in the future, personalizing fonts will be of greater availability. When choosing a font type, keep in mind to pick one depending on what is easy on the eyes rather than one that grabs ones attention.
Here is a basic test of what Firefox’s base-defined font types and sizes look like (click to view):
Here are what a few of the common font groups look like (click to view):
What did I choose?
After adding all the new fonts and testing them, I found out I like a varied group; they read beautifully and scale good. Ultimately I came up with these:
|Monospace||DejaVu Sans Mono||12|
DejaVu Sans Mono not Open Sans are good fonts and, for me, hard to beat. Rather than just define them in Firefox, I prefer to define my serif, sans-serif, and monospace fonts system-wide. This allows me to have a consistent overall look to me desktop. Here is my Fontconfig configuration (note: fonts are listed preferential/available first): fonts.conf.
For GNOME the fonts sizes are:
|Window Titles||Cantarell Bold 12|
What they look like: