Chapter 29. Font Properties


  • Understanding fonts

  • Font types

  • Font sizing

  • Font styling

  • Line spacing

  • Embedding fonts in a document

As previously mentioned, the Web began as a vehicle for displaying very plain documents. The documents in question were of the research variety, needing only basic font handing, tables for data display, and the inclusion of graphics.

However, the Web is a long way from that simple beginning. As more entities embraced the medium, the technology became more robust and able to handle more desktop publishing–like capabilities. Today's Web technologies can produce documents almost as rich in content and presentation as those produced by modern, dedicated publishing programs. The most important characteristics are typography and layout. This chapter covers typography, namely fonts, and how CSS handles them.

Understanding Fonts

Fonts are stylized collections of letters and symbols, known as glyphs. Fonts can be used to convey information — for example, specialized fonts can provide special characters or symbols. Although fonts can be quite different from one another, they share the same basic characteristics, as shown in Figure 29-1.

These elements are defined as follows:

  • Baseline — The line that glyphs of the font sit upon.

  • Ascension — The highest point that most capital glyphs in the font reach. Note that technically the ascension is the point at which the highest glyph reaches as some fonts have special, ornate characters that reach higher than other, normal ...

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