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Jack Douglas
completed
dezso [asked](/meta?q=26):

>could we please use a typeface that is a better fit for screens? Something sans serif would be very welcome.

I'm thinking it's unlikely that everyone will be happy with any particular typeface we might choose, though of course some will be more generally popular than others.

So I had the idea that we could allow you to select your typeface from a predefined list. At first I instinctively thought it as a *very bad* idea, but I haven't actually managed to come up with any strong reason why we should not do it, can you think of any?

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update: we've added a limited choice of normal and monospace fonts which can be selected on [your profile](/profile). It may not be immediately clear from there, but each community (ie 'databases' and 'meta' and errrr, 'private') already has it's own 'default' which new users get. ~~They just happen to currently be all the same: Quattrocento & DejaVu Sans Mono.~~ That ~~will change~~ has changed based on feedback on community-meta posts like [this one](/databases?q=69) for 'databases'.


We won't change your font once you have joined, even if the default changes — you'll have to change it yourself if you choose to do so — like the default license for contributions, changes apply to new users only.

Of course if there is a particular reason why a font works best on a community, members of that community can (and we might be able to help) promote it there.
Top Answer
Monica
Please consider the possibility of per-*site* fonts and not just per-*person*.  On Stack Exchange, Mi Yodeya ran into a problem because the default font (post-redesign) had really terrible support for Hebrew, which we cared about.  I think the Mathjax-using sites also had some problems with the default font, though I don't recall the details.

This concern has two implications:

- We might need to customize a font at the site level.

- A per-user font setting *does not solve the problem*, because different sites might have different needs.  (I chose a different font here because I found the original one hard to read; if that original were to be the one that supported Hebrew, for instance, I'd have to choose between the Hebrew on one site and legibility on all sites.  That would be unfortunate.)
Answer #2
Paul White
It's a reasonable idea, but the choices should be very limited.

Having multiple typefaces might make support more time-consuming, since issues might arise with one choice but not another.

For example, messages with mixed text and `code` inline formatting, sometimes appear with very small scrollbars in chat. Things like this might depend in the future on which typeface was chosen, along with the already myriad possibilities of OS, device, browser...and so on.

I quite like the current typeface, but agree with @dezso that a sans-serif option would be welcome.
Answer #3
Caleb
Yes, absolutely. A few carefully selected options by default and a "write in" option for those who know what they want and have it on their computer would be great, possibly with the write in being a CSS field so Google Fonts or other providers could be sourced in an `@import`.

Contrary to a previous answer, having a limited selection is not benefit to support. Only having a fixed single selection would be a real benefit (same for everybody). As _soon as_ you get into allowing different fonts you pretty much open up Pandora's box — but then again allowing flexible width layouts does that too.

The sooner this becomes an option the less "debt" will be built up by posts that assume they know exactly how they will be presented. If a Markdown is enough to represent content, then a choice of fonts on the UI site should be included just to prove that the content isn't dependent on the font.

*Note SE has avoided font options and even flexible width layouts over the years because they are very hard to add into the mix later (you break all the posts that assumed a fixed width and hacked their content to match).*
Answer #4
Colin 't Hart
Would it work to allow the user to add their own custom CSS? This would solve the problem for those that care enough to know or work out how to change look and feel, while letting devs focus on other features.
Should we allow everyone to select their own font?
Caleb
@Jack Cool beans! The monospace choice should probably apply to `inline code` too.
Paul White
Great work Jack
Jack Douglas
yes it is both: per site, but anyone can override if they want to
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Thanks!  If it's per-site that addresses my need.
Jack Douglas
@Monica thanks, I've added a clarifying update to the question because it relates to your answer.
Paul White
Ok, well I don't have a really *strong* opinion. The answer is my first reaction to the proposal. People can vote.
Caleb
@Paul Going to have to *strongly* disagree with you here, if your UI is dependent of the font used you're doing it wrong. If you do it right then not only will it work for a few fonts, it will work for almost any font.
Jack Douglas replying to Colin 't Hart
Thanks Colin, we've fixed that regression!
Colin 't Hart replying to Jack Douglas
Getting "invalid id" when I click on the chain icon.
Colin 't Hart
Aah -- I see @Dezso was interested in using a Sans Serif font, which is something that not all users might agree on.
Colin 't Hart
Another option then is to just specify Serif as the font, which should then default to the browser's default Serif font.
Jack Douglas
@Colin at that level of customisation, wouldn't a user just go the whole hog and use a browser plugin [like Stylus](https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stylus/clngdbkpkpeebahjckkjfobafhncgmne/) (or [Styling](https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/styling-public) — the latter being pre-Alpha but James will want me to mention it anyway as he is writing it :))?