Font sets allow you to define a list of alternate fonts for those used in the style sheets referenced by your topics. The browser or display device will attempt to use the primary font in the font set. If it can’t find the primary font on the users system, then it will try to use the other fonts in the font set in the order they are listed. All operating systems have a unique set of system fonts and font names. Many of the fonts on your authoring workstation may not be available on the users systems. Depending on your knowledge of your users and their system configurations, you will determine which font to define as the primary font, and how many alternatives you need to provide. In this example, we will create a font set that uses a Windows system font as the primary, but also calls a Macintosh system font and a generic font type for other operating systems.
These are lists of standard fonts that should be available on all Windows and Mac operating systems
While the Times New Roman content looks and feels larger, the two samples are both exactly 32pt. The perceived difference is due to the different x-height between the two fonts.
Times New Roman has a much larger x-height than Garamond but the overall ascender/descender lines are identical making them both exactly 32pt. The larger x-height of TNR is why it “feels” larger.
Tips: Various operating systems display fixed text sizes very differently. The 10 pt text that looks good on your desktop machine will require a magnifying glass to read on a Macintosh. This is due to differences in how operating systems render fixed size fonts. Fixed size fonts will always render differently on different platforms. This is due to different operating systems having different standards for the default points per inch (ppi).
Defining the size info for the normal style as 100% will force the browser or display device to render normal text in the browsers default text size. You can then define various heading sizes as a percentage of the normal text – e.g. 115%. Since individual browsers are written to a particular operating systems, they already take the differing ppi standards into consideration. Using the default browser text size (or a percentage of the default) should provide consistent looking, legible text on any platform.
Creating the lines
Adding margin and padding values to control space, however the text lines have a large gap between them…
Adjusting the line-height for better looking text
Other text adjustments, justification and first line indentation
Mike Hamilton V.P. Product Management MadCap Software [email_address] Cascading Style Sheets (Part 2): Fonts and Beyond
Mike Hamilton is the Vice President of Product Management at MadCap Software where he is working on the next generation authoring tool, Flare. Before joining MadCap Software, he was the Product Manager for the RoboHelp product line since the days of Blue Sky Software, eHelp, and Macromedia. Mr. Hamilton joined the RoboHelp team in the mid ’90s as a founding member of the Training Solutions Program team, where he co-authored the certified training materials supporting the RoboHelp family. Mike has over 20 years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development at several organizations including Macromedia, eHelp/Blue Sky Software, Cymer, a leading supplier of laser illumination sources in the semiconductor industry, National Steel and Shipbuilding, and the US Navy.