Free Fonts Forever

Free Fonts Forever

Summary: Besides giving the world a great Linux, Ubuntu is now offering the world a new, free Web font family.

TOPICS: Open Source, Google

When you think open source, chances are you think software. You may not know that there are open-source fonts as well. Today, Google and Ubuntu have released a new free, open font to the Web: the Ubuntu Font Family.

Web developers will be able to use Google Font API to select the Ubuntu fonts from the Google Font Directory. With these fonts embedded on the page, Web visitors will always see the text and fonts as intended. It doesn't matter what Web browser or operating system visitors are using, or even if the font is not installed on their PC, smartphone, or tablet, they'll see the fonts you've selected for them. The new Ubuntu Font Family debuted in Ubuntu 10.10 release and is also available for download from the Ubuntu Font Family site.

These fonts really are open. They were developed by Dalton Maag font foundry and are free to be shared, sold, bundled and built upon. This release includes Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek support, and future versions will include support for Hebrew and Arabic.

In a statement, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, said: "Our focus on design and usability in Ubuntu led us to create a font which is at once beautiful and readable. We're delighted to share the Ubuntu Font Family with web designers around the world who want their websites to be stylish and readable in as many languages and browsers as possible. The publication of the Ubuntu font on the global Google Font Directory is an appropriate treat for the festive season, and we wish all those who contribute to, and enjoy the benefits of, free software and open content a very happy and healthy solstice and New Year."

To add the Ubuntu Font Family to your pages go to the Google Font Directory Select "Ubuntu" and insert the two lines of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) code provided as instructed into your page The full font source code can be downloaded from the Ubuntu font page.

As neat as this is for Ubuntu and font fans, I should note that Red Hat also has a set of open-source fonts: Liberation Fonts. These Red Hat fonts are meant more for desktop use and are usually used in place of common Windows fonts. There are three sets of Liberation Fonts: Sans (a substitute for Arial, Albany, Helvetica, Nimbus Sans L, and Bitstream Vera Sans), Serif (a substitute for Times New Roman, Thorndale, Nimbus Roman, and Bitstream Vera Serif) and Mono (a substitute for Courier New, Cumberland, Courier, Nimbus Mono L, and Bitstream Vera Sans Mono). I use Liberation Serif myself all the time on OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

In addition, the Google Font Directory also includes numerous other open-source fonts. If you're the kind of person who likes to play with fonts, support open-source, and have absolute control over how your Web pages look, the Google Font Directory is a great resource. Just, please, please, don't use Comic Sans.

Topics: Open Source, Google

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  • RE: Free Fonts Forever

    Wow. Now it will really be the year of Linux! I'm ditching Windows just because of that!
    • RE: Free Fonts Forever

      @Azathothh And cancel your botnet membership? You sure you want to do that?
      • RE: Free Fonts Forever

        @storm14k Beautiful!
    • You can use the fonts with windows (Truetype/OpenType)

      These are a gift to everyone. The MCSE still complains.
      Richard Flude
    • RE: Free Fonts Forever

      @Azathothh This is the LEAST of reasons.
  • Thank you Ubuntu & Google for a great font!

    I thank Ubuntu for its concern & responsiveness in thinking about 1/6th of humanity. Its font has the Rupee symbol. Appreciate Google too.

    "The Indian Rupee Sign (?) has been supported in the Ubuntu Font Family since version 0.69. This was included in the Ubuntu 10.10 operating system release. Ubuntu 10.10 is the first operating system to ship with out-of-the-box support for displaying the Indian Rupee Sign, and this happened on 10 October 2010 (2010-10-10)" To read more interesting stuff:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!!!
    • RE: Free Fonts Forever

      @IndianArt That's pretty cool. I didn't know that symbol was so unsupported. I might use the Rupee sign in something just because I can now, heh.
      Garrett Williams
    • RE: Free Fonts Forever

      @IndianArt Isn't the Rupee symbol in the standard Unicode definition?
  • RE: Free Fonts Forever

    Ah, can I display Rakeway font in my comment? Please, please, please please...? ;)

    I'm liking this font, including Orbitron. :D

    Now, if only there's a digital font like the ones in alarm clocks or set-top-boxes (cable box, home theater receivers, I like fonts that are not only based on digital type, but are based on dots. :)
    Grayson Peddie
  • RE: Free Fonts Forever

    This is what I call perfect timing!
    I just received a Cr-48 aka Google Chrome OS notebook yesterday and I didn't like the default font it came with. Let me go home and see if the Ubuntu fonts are available in the fonts drop down under Settings. I use them on my 10.04 and love them.
  • But

    It only natively works on Chrome. For all other web browsers you have to wait for the API to load.<br><br>Its the year of Linux on the Fonts?

    P.S. Check out CNN and FoxNews and MSNBC's coverage of this earth shattering announcement!

    Wait, there isn't any.
  • RE: Free Fonts Forever

    Not a huge fan of the font, I tried it for a few days and its not for me (the u, f, h, r are among the worst offenders) but free/libre is always good, whether it pleases your own tastes or not. More choice is NEVER a problem.

    I have a lot of seniors that I do 'free support' for (its a Linux only offer so they all use PCLinuxOS) and they will be thrilled at having another cyrillic and greek font.
    Like many of them keep asking me: "This is still free (gratis), right?... Amazing!!"
    • RE: Free Fonts Forever

      @zeke123 Personally I like the Liberation fonts myself best of all the open-source fonts, but there's no easy way to embed on a Web page.
  • Example?

    Why wouldn't you, um, USE this font and the API to load it, within this article itself?
    • RE: Free Fonts Forever

      <p>@lefty.crupps, you simply can't. You need to have access to the head section of the HTML document in order to put a link tag in there.</p><p style="font-family: 'Segoe UI', 'Tahoma', Arial, Helvetica, serif;">But you could use inline CSS, which I'm doing a test right now.</p>
      Grayson Peddie
  • Slow news day

    Then again, just about every day is slow for Steven. All in all, the fonts idea is nice, but to dedicate a column to it seems a bit silly.
  • Nice!

    Progress that benefits us all. Excellent. :-)
  • RE: Free Fonts Forever

    im really glad that in 2010 nearly 2011 you can still get excited about what ??.

    Fonts !!!!... WoW,,, that will make me want to use Linux just for that !!.. come on!