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20 May 2010, 13:01

Google announces Font API and Font Directory

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Google IO At this year's Google I/O developer conference, currently taking place in San Francisco, Google announced the availability of a collection of high quality open source fonts for the web. The company has been working with a number of font designers to create the a range of new fonts, which are available to everybody on the web via Google's new Font Directory and Font API services. Google says that "the web has lagged print and even other electronic media in typographic sophistication" and it hopes that, thanks to browser support for web fonts, the open source fonts will add more visual diversity and richness to the web.

Font API According to Google, using the Font API on a web page is "almost as easy as using the standard set of so-called “web-safe” fonts that come installed on most computers." In addition to looking better, the fonts have all of the advantages of normal text because they are still searchable, scaleable and accessible to users with screen readers. So far 18 fonts, including two that were originally custom designed for Android, are already available in the Google Font Directory and developers can start using them by adding a few lines of HTML. The HTML code allows all browsers, including Internet Explorer 6, to make use of the fonts. CSS3 and HTML5 styling, such as drop shadows or rotation, are also supported.

More details about the Google Font API and Google Font Directory are available in announcement on the Google Code Blog. A separate Google Code project has been created for downloading the original font files. Designers interested in contributing their font are encouraged to submit them using an online form.

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