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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Font Directory and API

Google released a font directory and accompanying API for web developers to easily add special fonts to their pages. The idea is that Google handles the browser specific inclusion and font hosting, and you just use a single line for inclusion, plus a CSS definition, like this:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"
body { font-family: 'Tangerine', serif; font-size: 48px; }

One benefit of a single hosting domain is that chances increase that your visitors already cached this file from visiting another site before, meaning there won't be a delay displaying that font on your own page. If the font is not cached yet, different browsers show different loading behavior (and keep in mind Google's font server may go down).

What's in it for Google? As a guess, generally, whenever they help make the web better, they strengthen their main platform. Besides, they may also want to use this technology for their own apps, and if other sites use it too then their own apps could load faster (because the font may already be cached). I think it's a nice new choice for webmasters.

[Thanks Adam and WebSonic!]


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