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Sans-serif typeface is usually in web, so what are the free/open/cross-platform choices that can replace Helvetica?

By replacing Helvetica I mean are there any font which is better than Helvetica for web? The reason I ask is I have read an article demoing Helvetica is often not the best choice for web.

So probably two options are needed:

  • For heading
  • For paragraph
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marked as duplicate by PearsonArtPhoto May 23 '13 at 11:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

This may answer your question: free 'Helvetica Neue' alternative –  JohnB May 22 '13 at 14:59
@JohnB, I have updated my question, I am not finding a replacement due to the price, but I am looking for any free alternative which is better than Helvetica. You can find some screenshot in my above link for comparsion. Thanks. –  Yoga May 22 '13 at 15:12
"Better" + "Free" is sometimes doable, but rarely are you going to get both features in one. –  DA01 May 22 '13 at 17:06

3 Answers 3

The good one is Neue Haas Grotesk, but if you need a typeface only for headings I can propose my own typeface :) Take a look on this image.

enter image description here

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Beautiful font, but it's not free in any way at all –  jay Apr 19 at 11:18

The most common/closest 'alternative' to Helvetica is likely Arial, which is already installed on most computers, so you don't even need to use it as a web font.

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Take the quiz! ironicsans.com/helvarialquiz –  horatio May 22 '13 at 17:38
@horatio so far I'm 100% but paused to say "National Car & Truck" is not either one. I guessed correctly on that one but its not right. Its all about knowing that Helvetica uses horizontal lines where arial is sloped. –  Ryan May 23 '13 at 20:09

Re-posting as answer here just in case someone misses the comment.

I've always used Liberation Sans for web, because it's one of the fonts that render the best with @font-face:

enter image description here

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