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I'm considering using a system font stack for a project so that I can display beautiful typography without the performance hit of webfonts. I'm having difficulties finding a conclusive list of fonts for current and recent operating systems.

Does anyone know of any resources they could point me to?

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Most unfortunately you'll have serious trouble finding anything conclusive!

http://www.cssfontstack.com/ is a great resource that shows fonts at a glance along with the support on OS and Mac (not every platform of course, but that truly would be a labour of love).

Unfortunately, truly "web-safe" fonts are probably a myth, but Mailchimp probably have the resources to draw up a decent list and they suggest:

  • Arial
  • Arial Black
  • Tahoma
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana

(Contain your excitement)

With:

  • Century Gothic
  • Geneva
  • Lucida
  • Lucida Sans
  • Lucida Grande

...as backups. For serifs:

  • Courier
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Times
  • Times New Roman

...plus...

  • MS Serif
  • New York
  • Palatino
  • Palatino Linotype

...faced with that list of inspirational typefaces I'd frankly start thinking hard about the performance hit (on modern connections) of a less tedious typeface!

The plus side is that you've reminded me to code some truly outrageous font stacks purely for fun with other designers! I might try:

body {font-family: 'http://www.dafont.com/action-jackson.font', arial) haha

  • Thanks. I saw this site, but what it doesn't include is recent OS-specific system font additions like San Francisco, Segoe, and Roboto. – Kurtis Beavers May 18 '17 at 20:39

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