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Generic Font Family Is A Popular Post

“The W3C Font Specification explains much better”

One of the search terms consistently bringing traffic to Pig Work from search engines is still, after eight months, specifically looking for an answer to the validator statement:

Line : x font-family: You are encouraged to offer a generic family as a last alternative.

I actually blogged the simple explanation for this one back in May with Generic Font Family As A Last Alternative.

The fact it returns such consistent results in search engine referrals shows that its one of those issues quite a lot of people scratch their head about. Basically the problem will be that in your CSS when you put your list of font fall-backs you haven’t finished off your font list with a generic font family.

The generic font families are serif, sans-serif, cursive, fantasy and monospace.

For example:

font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

The basic idea is that if none of the selected fonts are available on a client’s machine they will have the final fallback of a generic font selection. A word of caution on choosing to use ONLY a generic font selection though as I remember it being mentioned on the Web Standards Group mailing list at about the same time that on some machines only using a generic font will result in those horrible unfound font boxes or question marks. Go to a Chinese site without the right font to see what I mean.

The W3C Font Specification explains much better.

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