I was hoping someone could help me with some research I'm doing. I'm looking into what fonts are available cross-platform. Not only Mac/Windows, but iOS and Android as well. I'm interested in the most current versions of these platforms (so OS X Mavericks, Windows 8, iOS 7,etc…)

And specifically, of these cross platform fonts, what weights are actually available on all modern platforms?

Can anyone answer my question or provide some resources? The best I've been able to find online with regards to the weight question is this article from 2009: http://www.macworld.com/article/1144660/xplatype.html. Unfortunately there is no mention of mobile platforms.

I really appreciate any help that can be provided. Thank you in advance!

  • 1
    What? OTF and TTF work on Mac, Windows, and Linux at this point so I'm not sure what you're trying to figure out...
    – Ryan
    Jun 20, 2014 at 13:00
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    I'm doing research for my web development team. They want to know what degree of versatility they have with cross platform default fonts. Specifically, which weights are cross platform defaults? Can I count on Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic being the only weights available on all platforms? Or are there going to be weights that appear on Mac but not PC, iOS but not Android etc… My team doesn't want to design something with a certain weight of say, Gill Sans, and then find out that a different platform has Gill Sans but not that particular weight native to it. Does that make sense?
    – Keith M
    Jun 20, 2014 at 13:24
  • Okay, so you want to check if numbered weights like 100, 300, 500 etc work cross platform? Is this using web fonts or relying on users having the fonts installed? (Gill Sans is uncommon except on Macs) Jun 20, 2014 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


In these days of multiple different OSes, I think it's a safe bet to say that no single typeface is fully available across all platforms. Especially Android has very little default fonts, using its standard Roboto whenever it can.

You might want to create a font stack that includes just serif or sans-serif, letting the viewer's OS decide what standard typeface to use. A decent OS should have at least italic and bold for its standard typefaces.

  • Thanks for the help. I believe the team knows all of this information but wanted to me to check in on any new best practices that might exist. I'll pass on what I've learned here. Cheers!
    – Keith M
    Jun 23, 2014 at 16:42

As Bakabaka says, you can't rely on any given set of weights of a particular typeface being available on all platforms.

On the other hand, I'd ask why would you need or want that, when it's so easy to pull suitable web fonts from so many sources? If there are suitable typefaces for your purpose on FontSquirrel or Google fonts, you can use them for web applications on any platform with a fallback for antique browsers that can't handle @font-face, giving you the freedom to design as you wish.

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