WYSINWTG - What You See Isn't Necessarily What They Get!
When you are designing your website, keep in mind that the fonts your visitors will see on the web are those, and only those, which are installed on their computer.
So the fancy font that really makes your web pages look good in Fusion may be lost on the rest of the world and may, in fact, destroy the nice effect you see on your own computer.
Here's an example - below is the word Design for which I have selected a decorative font called Zothique. This font is one which most people are unlikely to have on their computer - in fact it's one I had to purchase specially for a website I did for a client who specified this font be used for the page titles - (for those interested, you can purchase Zothique from this site).
What does it look like to you? My guess is that you see it as Times New Roman 36pt, but it shows up fine for me as I'm designing this page, because the Zothique font is installed on my computer.
Here's what I intended you to see - read on to find out how it's done:
Even though the Text Properties palette in Fusion allows you to select any of the fonts installed on your computer, always bear in mind that there are only a few which you can be sure will always appear the same in all browsers – these include Courier, Times New Roman and Arial and, with the later IE browsers, Trebuchet, Verdana and Comic Sans. (This text is Trebuchet 14px).
Not much of a choice, is it? Fortunately, things are not quite as bad as they seem . . .
When you specify a font in Fusion, and that font is not installed on the visitor's computer, the browser makes use of a Font Substitution Table which defines which fonts to substitute when the one specified is not available.
For instance, if you specify the Georgia font and it is not available on the visitor's computer, the browser will look for Palatino, Times New Roman, Times and Serif, in that order.
You can find the Fusion Font Substitution Table in your /NetObjects System folder. It is called "fontmap.txt". The entry for the Georgia font looks like this:
Georgia,Palatino,Times New Roman,Times,Serif
If you look at this file, you will see the most commonly available, or "Web Safe" fonts - there's quite a good selection you can use with reasonable certainty that the majority of visitors will see the site as designed. (Note that fontmap.txt is slightly different for Fusion MX and Fusion 7).
Bear in mind, though, that many of these fonts are supplied with Microsoft products, especially the later browsers, so Macintosh users may not have them all.
It is always a good idea to view your site on other computers to see how it looks – you may be surprised at what you see!
What if you MUST use a specific font?
Well, there are only two ways you can do this – with graphics, which is how I displayed the Zothique font above, or with something called Font Embedding.
If you are a Fusion user, you are probably already using graphics to reproduce special fonts with your page Banners and Navigation Bars.
You may have wondered how the fonts always show up correctly on other computers in the Banners and Nav Bars, when they don't always do so in the normal text you type. The reason is Fusion's ability to automatically build the graphics required. What you are seeing is not text, but a picture, which will look the same for everyone, regardless of what font is used to display the text.
You can build your own fancy-font graphics!
If you have a program such as PaintShop Pro, Xara X or Fireworks you can make an image to display your fancy font, as I have done above (I used Xara X) but even if you don't, there's a good trick you can use directly in Fusion -
Here's how it works:
1. Choose the Picture tool and navigate to the NetObjects System folder and select the file called "dot_clear.gif"
2. From the Properties palette, select "Stretch" and drag the picture to the size you want.
3. Now click the "Effects" tab, click "Enable" under "Text in element" and click "Settings"
4. Enter the text and font you want and Fusion does the rest for you!
Of course you can do this with any graphic you have on your page. Remember, though, that graphics increase the loading time of your page, so use them sparingly.
One other tip – take the time to edit the ALT tag (in the Picture Properties palette) so that folks who have their graphics turned off can still see what you are saying. Mouse over the Design graphic above to see what I mean.
The relatively new Font Embedding technology allows you to actually send special fonts with your page. BitStream's True Doc allows you to do this – you can find more information about this technology at www.truedoc.com
Setting up a Default Font
A reader asks: "whenever I paste text into a text box from another application, it always shows up as one particular font. How can I set up Fusion so that it always uses my default font?"
The way to do this is to edit the Text Styles in Style view. If you click the Text button in Style view you will notice that there are several text styles you can edit – Body, Normal and Text Object.
If you edit each of these Text Styles, the fonts you select will be the defaults when you type or paste text into Fusion. For more information, check out the articles on how to use CSS in Fusion.