Standardize Font Appearance

Neville Smythe neville.smythe at
Mon Sep 5 21:27:48 EDT 2022

I agree Quentin, trying to make text appear exactly the same on all platforms is a fools errand.

That however is not the main point of the exercise, at least for me. When designing an apps interface, it would be good to know that (at least static) text items will (probably) appear in the same font style and height and the text is all visible: no pixels obscured at top or bottom or left or right, no unintended word-wrapping, and not too close to other objects such as a field border. 

Including one’s own fonts such as Google fonts, which are probably not in the user’s default system setup — on a desktop at least, and setting the baseline as in a previous post, would seem to be a useful addition to the production process  (and may even achieve precise equality between Monterey and Windows 10 if my early experiments hold true! ). 

But  the most important parameter is of course the text length. The usual mantra is to add about 10% extra padding to the field length. I intend to set up a database for a range of fonts and platforms to check just what extra length is really needed (is that figure of 15% for Linux I quoted actually correct, it sounds unbelievable). I have access to Mac Monterey, Mac High Sierra, and Windows 10 and Ubuntu via Parallels.  Once done I will publish the database. Hopefully someone could then add data for Window 11 for example ( and iOS and Android)

Finally a couple of other comments about fonts on Monterey. I mentioned Times on the Mac being weirdly small. Turns out Times is no longer included in Monterey although it will recognise a scripted setting to Times ; if you set text to 13pt Times it seems the system substitutes Times New Roman 11pt (which looks like 9pt in any other font). 

And if you set the text to the (Default) font then changes to the textSize of the field have no visible affect, what you get is the default system font at its default size (SF Pro 12pt) 


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