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Fonts & Encodings by Yannis Haralambous

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10.1. (X)HTML, CSS, and Fonts

10.1.1. The Standard HTML Tags

Since the beginning, HTML has offered a number of tags for enhancing text: <address> (the "address" mode, which both Netscape and Explorer have chosen to represent with italics), <b> (bold), <cite> (the "citation" mode, represented with italics), <em> (the emphasized mode à la LATEX, represented with italics), <i> (italics), <code>, <kbd>, <pre>, <samp>, <tt>, (typewriter type), <strong> (the "strong" mode, represented with italics or bold type), <var> (the "variable" mode, in the sense of variables in a programming language).

Versions 1 to 3.2 of HTML include an element called <font> for specifying the active font. This element was dropped from version 4 of HTML in favor of CSS and, of course, is also absent from XHTML. Here are the different attributes that this element could take, during its short life:

NameNetscapeExplorerExample of usage
color≥ 2≥ 3color="#660099"
face≥ 3≥ 3face="Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif"
point-size4-point-size="12"
sizeallallsize="−2"
weight4-weight="300"

In the case of the face attribute, one can use any number of "font family names", separated by commas. These names are the names by which fonts are identified by the system; in other words, Quickdraw names on the Macintosh, Windows names under that operating system, and part of the XLFD name under Unix.[10-3] Since these names are quite variable, it follows that the approach used here is far from infallible. To compensate for these problems, the ...

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