Archive for April, 2005

Generic font-family

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Style sheet designers are encouraged to offer a generic font family as a last alternative. Generic font family names are keywords and must NOT be quoted. [1]

This should be common knowlegde for anyone that is working with CSS,
but what happens when you use a generic font-family that is not strictly defined.

The examples

Mozilla Firefox win
Screen capture Mozilla
Opera 7.6b win
Screen capture Opera
MS IE 6.0 win
Screen capture IE

This is what the three different browsers offered when displaying a font of the the generic font-family fantasy.
Both Mozilla and IE seems to pick out a font on random, most likely they choose the first font on the system of undeterminied font-family. Since both these fonts names comes high in the alphabet. 4YEOSTAMP[2] and Amerika Alternates[3] the fonts chosen by Mozilla and IE respectively .

The problem is that the generic font-family fantasy isn’t defined. As other has put it:.. a catch-all category, it is defined more by what it is not (the other four font families) than what it is.[4]
or as any kind of whimsical font[5]


  1. Generic font-family css2.1
  4. css_fonts.html?page=last