Core fonts for the Web

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Core fonts for the Web was a project started by Microsoft in 1996 to create a standard pack of fonts for the Internet. It included the proprietary fonts Andale Mono, Arial, Arial Black, Comic Sans MS, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, Verdana and Webdings, all of them in TrueType font format packaged in executable files (".exe") for Microsoft Windows and in BinHexed Stuff-It archives (".sit.hqx") for Macintosh. These packages were published as freeware under a proprietary license imposing some restrictions on usage and distribution.[1]

Microsoft terminated the project in 2002,[2][3] but thanks to the license terms, the distributed files are still legally available from some third-party websites. Updated versions of the fonts produced since 2002 have not been published as freeware and are usually available only after purchasing a license or as a part of some commercial products.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Overview[edit]

The fonts were licensed to Microsoft by Monotype Corporation or designed for Microsoft by Microsoft's own font designers or external designers. The fonts were designed to:

  • Be highly legible on screen;
  • Offer a wide range of typographic “timbres” within a small number of typefaces; and
  • Support extensive internationalisation.

These design goals and the fonts' broad availability have made some of them extremely popular with web designers. However, these proprietary fonts (or some of them) are not distributed with some modern operating systems by default (e.g. in Android, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris or some Symbian versions)[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] and they are substituted by other fonts (e.g. by free software fonts, such as Liberation fonts, Ghostscript fonts,[21] Droid fonts, DejaVu fonts and others). All of these fonts in their latest versions are installed by default in the latest versions of Mac OS X (i.e. Mac OS X 10.4 and newer), but older versions of Mac OS X did not install some of them by default (e.g. Andale Mono, Impact) and old versions of Mac OS also did not include many of them (e.g. Arial).[4][22][23] Some of these fonts are also not installed by default in iOS (e.g. Andale Mono, Comic Sans MS, Impact, Webdings).[24]

While the project has formally ended, the benefits of using broadly available fonts remain: to increase the likelihood that content will be displayed in the chosen font, or in a metric-compatible alternative. In addition to the Core fonts for the Web, some newer fonts, such as those packaged with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org or other software could form a new canon of core fonts. Broader web browser adoption of the web fonts specification may ultimately render the notion of core fonts obsolete by allowing the real-time downloading and display of specific fonts.

Program termination and software licence agreement issues[edit]

The project was terminated in August 2002, allegedly because of frequent EULA violations. A Microsoft spokesman declared in 2002 that "Microsoft has also found that the downloads were being abused — repackaged, modified and shipped with commercial products in violation of the EULA." "Most users who wanted the fonts have downloaded them already."[2][25][26] However, that same EULA allows redistribution if the packages are kept in their original format (.exe or .sit.hqx) and original filenames (e.g. times32.exe) and not used to add value to commercial products.[1][27] As a result, these packages are still available for download on third-party websites under the terms of the original web fonts end user license agreement.

The EULA referenced below also requires[28] that a copy be applied to transferees. The EULA is therefore directly linked to: for example, on the documentation page for the Sourceforge "corefonts" download package.[29] If a third party offering the fonts for download does not offer a copy of the EULA, the legal status of such a download is questionable. However, a copy of the EULA is obtainable via the FAQ maintained on Microsoft's typography website and from some other third-party websites.[3][1][27]

For Windows, the fonts are provided as self-extracting executables (.exe); each includes an embedded cabinet file that contains a font file in TrueType format (.ttf). For the Macintosh, the files are provided as BinHexed Stuff-It archives (.sit.hqx). It is forbidden to rename, edit or create any derivative works from the executables (e.g. arial32.exe) or archives (Arial.sit.hqx), other than subsetting when embedding them in documents.[1][27] The fonts can be installed and used on non-Windows or non-Macintosh operating systems, as long as they are distributed in original form (original .exe files or .sit.hqx files) and with original name (e.g. arial32.exe). A cabinet file can be extracted in an end-user's system with appropriate software, if such software is available.

The latest font-versions that were available from Microsoft's Core fonts for the Web project were 2.x (e.g. 2.82 for Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New for MS Windows[30]), published in 2000. Later versions (such as version 3 or version 5 with many new characters) were not available from this project. A Microsoft spokesman declared in 2002 that members of the open source community "will have to find different sources for updated fonts… Although the EULA did not restrict the fonts to just Windows and Mac OS they were only ever available as Windows .exe's and Mac archive files."[2]

Even though the fonts are available from some third-party web sites (such as an anonymous SourceForge project) and are included with Mac OS, Håkon Wium Lie (Chief technical officer of Opera Software) cited the cancellation of the project as an example of Microsoft resisting interoperability.[31]

In July 2007, Apple announced that it had renewed its licensing agreement with Microsoft for the use of the latest versions of Microsoft Windows core fonts.[4][5][6][32][33]

Files[edit]

The TrueType core fonts for the Web project included the following files under a proprietary license:[30][34]

Filename Name Variants Last version Copyright[9]
arial32.exe Arial for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.82 Monotype
Arial.sit.hqx Arial for Apple Mac OS regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.90 Monotype
courie32.exe Courier New for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.82 Monotype
CourierNew.sit.hqx Courier New for Apple Mac OS regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.61 Monotype
times32.exe Times New Roman for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.82 Monotype
TimesNew.sit.hqx Times New Roman for Apple Mac OS regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.91 Monotype
arialb32.exe Arial Black for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 black version 2.35 Monotype
ariblk.exe Arial Black for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 black version 2.20 Monotype
ArialBlack.sit.hqx Arial Black for Apple Mac OS black version 2.35 Monotype
andale32.exe Andale Mono for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular version 2.00 Monotype
mtcom.exe Monotype.com for Windows 3.1 and 3.11
(later versions released as Andale Mono)
regular version 1.10 Monotype
andalemono.sit.hqx Andale Mono for Apple Mac OS regular version 2.00 Monotype
comic32.exe Comic Sans MS for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold version 2.10 Microsoft
comic.exe Comic Sans MS for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 regular, bold version 1.20 Microsoft
ComicSans.sit.hqx Comic Sans MS for Apple Mac OS regular, bold version 2.10 Microsoft
impact32.exe Impact for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular version 2.35 Monotype
impact.exe Impact for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 regular version 2.20 Monotype
Impact.sit.hqx Impact for Apple Mac OS regular version 2.35 Monotype
georgi32.exe Georgia for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.05 Microsoft
georgia.exe Georgia for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 1.00 Microsoft
Georgia.sit.hqx Georgia for Apple Mac OS regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.05 Microsoft
trebuc32.exe Trebuchet MS for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 1.22 Microsoft
trebuc.exe Trebuchet MS for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 1.00 Microsoft
Trebuchet.sit.hqx Trebuchet MS for Apple Mac OS regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 1.15 Microsoft
verdan32.exe Verdana for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.35 Microsoft
verdana.exe Verdana for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 1.01 Microsoft
Verdana.sit.hqx Verdana for Apple Mac OS regular, bold, italic, bold italic version 2.35 Microsoft
webdin32.exe Webdings for Windows 9x, NT and Windows 2000 symbol version 1.03 Microsoft
webdings.exe Webdings for Windows 3.1 and 3.11 symbol version 1.01 Microsoft

Included fonts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Microsoft (2001-12-28). "TrueType core fonts for the Web EULA". Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  2. ^ a b c Mark Hachman (2002-08-14). "Microsoft Withdraws Free Web Fonts". ExtremeTech. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  3. ^ a b Microsoft (2002-07-25). "TrueType core fonts for the Web FAQ". Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  4. ^ a b c Paul McDougall (2007-08-03). "Microsoft, Apple Strike Font Agreement". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b Jose Vilches (2007-08-03). "Microsoft and Apple extend font licensing agreement". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  6. ^ a b Microsoft (2007-08-02). "Microsoft and Apple Extend Font Licensing Agreement". Retrieved 2011-06-25. Microsoft Corp. and Apple announced they have renewed their font licensing agreement, giving Apple users ongoing use of the latest versions of Microsoft® Windows® core fonts 
  7. ^ "MONOTYPE IMAGING, INC - END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  8. ^ "Monotype Imaging - Licensing Options". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  9. ^ a b "Microsoft Typography - Fonts - Core fonts for the Web". Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Microsoft Typography - Arial". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  11. ^ "Software Packages in "lucid", Subsection fonts". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  12. ^ "Software Packages in "lucid", Subsection x11". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  13. ^ "Package: ttf-mscorefonts-installer (3.2) -multiverse-". Retrieved 2010-07-02. NOTE: the package ttf-liberation contains free variants of the Times, Arial and Courier fonts. It's better to use those instead unless you specifically need one of the other fonts from this package. 
  14. ^ "Fonts supplied with UNIX / XFree and GhostScript". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  15. ^ Brian Leonard (2009-06-17). "The Observatory - A closer look at using Oracle Solaris - TrueType Fonts". Retrieved 2011-06-29. As a user of OpenSolaris you may be wondering why it's missing all the popular fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman and the ever popular Wingdings. The license for these fonts prohibit their distribution with the operating system, however, they are freely available to you in the extra repository. 
  16. ^ "Web Safe Fonts Cheat Sheet v.3 – With @font-face Fonts and OS Breakdown". 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-28. If you are wondering why no other mobile platform is included, even though Symbian, Blackberry and Android have similar or better worldwide market share compared to iOS, this is because there are no standard font installs on any of these platforms. Each handset manufacturer puts whatever fonts they see fit on a device, making it impossible to generate any meaningful statistics. 
  17. ^ "Nokia Sans font for download?". Retrieved 2011-06-28. If you are wondering why no other mobile platform is included, even though Symbian, Blackberry and Android have similar or better worldwide market share compared to iOS, this is because there are no standard font installs on any of these platforms. Each handset manufacturer puts whatever fonts they see fit on a device, making it impossible to generate any meaningful statistics. 
  18. ^ "Licenses for Fonts Used in Qt for Embedded Linux". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  19. ^ "FreeBSD - webfonts". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  20. ^ "fonts/msttcorefonts – Microsoft TrueType core fonts". OpenBSD ports. 
  21. ^ "Linux and Unix family font survey results". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  22. ^ Bob Baumel (1999-10-27). "Improving Appearance of Arial Font on the Macintosh". Retrieved 2010-12-05. One of the most widely specified fonts is Arial, a basic sans-serif font which is always present on Windows systems, but only sometimes on Macintosh computers, and hardly ever on UNIX systems. 
  23. ^ "Mac OS X 10.3: Fonts list". 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  24. ^ "iOS Fonts". Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  25. ^ Jesse Burgheimer (2002-08-13). "Microsoft Cuts the Line to Web Core Fonts". archive.org. Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  26. ^ "Microsoft Cuts the Line to Web Core Fonts". 2002-08-13. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  27. ^ a b c Microsoft. "Core fonts for the Web – End-user license agreement". Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  28. ^ "Reproduction and Distribution. You may reproduce and distribute an unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided that each copy shall be a true and complete copy, including all copyright and trademark notices, and shall be accompanied by a copy of this EULA. Copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT may not be distributed for profit either on a standalone basis or included as part of your own product." -- The font EULA
  29. ^ Noa Resare. "An easy way to install Microsoft's TrueType core fonts on linux". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  30. ^ a b Microsoft (2001-12-26). "TrueType core fonts for the Web". Archived from the original on 2002-08-02. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  31. ^ "Opera to MS: Get real about interoperability, Mr Gates — Opera CTO Hakon Lie responds to Bill's clarion call". 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  32. ^ Mac users’ Internet experience to remain "seamless" thanks to Microsoft, MAC.BLORGE 
  33. ^ "Fonts supplied with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard". Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  34. ^ Microsoft (1999-01-15). "TrueType core fonts for the Web". Archived from the original on 1999-01-17. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 

External links[edit]