Adi 0

Shalom everyone,

I've recently taken on a project that would require me to use Hebrew, and therefore Hebrew fonts. I found some wonderful CC fonts by Meir Sadan and I will definitely embed those into my design.

However I still need a list of all the different fonts available to the user in different platforms. What fonts are available? What do the generic classes default to under each system?

Being a Mac user, I only have a list of fonts available on the Mac and seeing not everybody uses Firefox/Safari/etc. so embedded fonts don't work for everyone (sad, I know).

Help would be much appreciated.

1 answer


The web does not work by embedded fonts. It displays multiple writing systems via a system called unicode, which has been well supported by all browsers for about 10 years now.

Some excellent resources:

In order to see your pages, if the visitor is using Internet explorer, they need to have hebrew support enabled in windows. With any other browser, they merely have to have a unicode-registered font containing a set of hebrew glyphs (a range of suitable fonts are installed when enabling hebrew support). The odds are almost overwhelming that anyone who can actually read hebrew will have already met these requirements.

If you want to specify a preferred font, create a font stack in your stylesheet. Note that if you have found a font where the hebrew characters are mapped to latin ones (for example, to write aleph, you type 'a') then this is not a unicode font and cannot be used on the web. (Hopefully there are none of those anachronisms floating around any more).

The area which may give you some grief is that hebrew is a rtl (right-to-left) language, and there are some obscure browser bugs with rtl handling. Do be sure to check your work in browsers based on all the four main rendering engines (IE, gecko family, webkit family, Opera).

Answered over 9 years ago by Richard Grevers
  • Hi Richard, Thank you very much for your answer indeed, but I'm afraid you missed my question. The issue is not that of encoding - naturally, I will use unicode. The issue is that of fonts. That is, what fonts are commonly available to users. I could use Raanana, for instance, but I know that is a Mac-only font. With the advent of @font-face in CSS (supported by Firefox 3.5+ and Safari) I _can_ embed fonts and have done so. But I need to also plan for the browsers which do not support it, namely IE which is still very common on the desktop in Israel. My obstacle in compiling the list is that there are a whole bunch of factors involved. Currently there are several versions of Windows out there, each one with different degrees of localization and may contain different fonts. I don't have the resources to go one by one and try to figure it out for each OS out there. Adi over 9 years ago
  • Ah ok, sorry! Unfortunately, if I google for "css font stack hebrew" (without the quotes), it doesn't look as if anyone has done that research yet. Mind you, I am only searching pages in English. has a list (only for windows), although it doesn't include fonts which end up on my system with hebrew support enabled (e.g. David, Miriam) Richard Grevers over 9 years ago