Cross-platform fonts...what is everyone else doing?

Frank Leahy frank at
Tue Jul 27 04:46:35 CDT 2004

I know this has topic has come up repeatedly, but as I reviewed the old  
emails I can't quite figure out what other people are doing, so here  
goes again...(and why oh why isn't there a good FAQ page on the RunRev  

I'm building cross-platform now, but I'm not happy with the fonts I'm  
using.  In order to simplify things, I chose Arial, and while it works  
ok cross-platform (except for the baseline problem -- feel free to vote  
id=1856), Arial isn't the best looking font for either Mac OSX or  
Windows XP.

The big problem I'm having is that font changes are stored as absolute  
properties rather than inherited properties.  For example, when I  
choose to "Bold" a label or field, it doesn't store "Bold", it stores  
"Arial, 12, Bold".  This means that if I want to use the system fonts  
on both platforms I would have to run a script in the "preOpenStack"  
handler that resets all labels and fields where I've bolded or changed  
the font size, so that for example "Lucida Grande,12,Bold" on Mac is  
changed to its equivalent on Windows "MS Sans Serif,12,Bold".  Which  
has other issues because of the font baseline problem.  Ohhh, what a  

Of course there's another problem, which is that I can't see a way to  
determine the system font on a platform.

So, here are a couple of questions...

1) Is there a hack to determine the system font at runtime on Windows?   
Or should I just assume "MS Sans Serif"?

2) Is using a "preOpenStack" handler that runs through every control  
and sets the textFont attribute -- at *runtime* -- the only way to do  
what I want to do?

3) Can anyone suggest a better alternative (and no, having the user  
install a good looking cross-platform font isn't an option :-)

-- Frank

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