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June 19th, 2008


New light

Our intranet’s page header is in Helvetica Neue Light. Now that I’m using Firefox 3 again, I noticed it wasn’t rendering right; it was regular Helvetica. Firefox 3 has better font rendering, so I knew it’s supposed to be able to use it. Why didn’t it?

For it to show up in Safari, you have to put the typeface name and the variant in the font-family, and spell it a little weird, like so:

font-family: "HelveticaNeue-Light";

Some Googling says you can use Helvetica Neue Light in Firefox if you spell it out like a normal font name:

font-family: "Helvetica Neue Light";

I assume that works in Firefox 2, but it doesn’t seem to in Firefox 3. After enough banging on it, I found Firefox 3 (reasonably) wants you to specify the font in font-family and the weight variant the real CSS way, with font-weight:

font-family: "Helvetica Neue";
font-weight: 100;

So to cover all the bases, in practice you’d write:

font-family: "HelveticaNeue-Light", "Helvetica Neue Light",
             "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
font-weight: 100;