I’ve wanted to get around to this for years now. Here is a list of fonts that come with Windows7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard/Lion, grouped by script.
This kind of list could be used to set font-family styles for CSS, if you want to be reasonably sure what the user will see, or it could be used just to find a font you like for a particular script. I’m still working on the list, and there are some caveats.
Some of the fonts listed above may be disabled on the user’s system. I’m making an assumption that someone who reads tibetan will have the Tibetan font turned on, but for my articles that explain writing systems to people in English, such assumptions may not hold.
The list I used to identify Windows fonts is Windows7-specific and fairly stable, but the Mac font spans more than one version of Mac OS X, and I could only find an unofficial list of fonts for Snow Leopard, and there were some fonts on that list that I didn’t have on my system. Where a Mac font is new with Lion (and there are a significant number) it is indicated. See the official list of fonts on Mac OS X Lion.
There shouldn’t be any fonts listed here for a given script that aren’t supplied with Windows7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard/Lion, but there are probably supplied fonts that are not yet listed here (typically these will be large fonts that cover multiple scripts). In particular, note that I haven’t yet made a list of fonts that support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic (mainly because there are so many of them and partly because I’m wondering how useful it will be.)
The text used is as much as would fit on one line of article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, taken from this Unicode page, wherever I could find it. I created a few instances myself, where it was missing, and occasionally I resorted to arbitrary lists of characters.
You can obtain a character-based version of the text used by looking at the source text: look for the title attribute on the section heading.
Things still to do:
- create sections for Latin, Greek and Cyrillic fonts
- check for fonts covering multiple Unicode blocks
- figure out how to tell, and how to show which is the system default
- work out and show what’s not available in Windows XP
- work out what’s new in Lion, and whether it’s worth including them
- figure out whether people with different locale setups see different things
- recapture all font images that need it at 36px, rather than varying sizes
Update, 19 Feb 2012
I uploaded a new version of the font list with the following main changes:
- If you click on an image you see text with that font applied (if you have it on your system, of course). The text can be zoomed from 14px to 100px (using a nice HTML5 slider, if you have the right browser! [try Chrome, Safari or Opera]). This text includes a little Latin text so you can see the relationship between that and the script.
- All font graphics are now standardised so that text is imaged at a font size of 36px. This makes it more difficult to see some fonts (unless you can use the zoom text feature), but gives a better idea of how fonts vary in default size.
- I added a few extra fonts which contained multiple script support.
- I split Chinese into Simplified and Traditional sections.
- Various other improvements, such as adding real text for N’Ko, correcting the Traditional Chinese text, flipping headers to the left for RTL fonts, reordering fonts so that similar ones are near to each other, etc.