Firefox 3.6 Released, First Web FontFont Is Free

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News | Stephen Coles | January 22, 2010

Yesterday, Mozilla launched Firefox 3.6, which — among more frivolous features — supports WOFF (Web Open Font Format), the downloadable webfont format supported by most major font vendors. This is a big step for online typography. With a growing market share, Firefox will bring webfonts to a significant chunk of users, and it seems likely that WebKit (Safari) and Chrome will follow suit.

In step with the Firefox release, FSI FontShop International followed through on their promise to provide FontFonts for the web by offering their first publicly available WOFF font for free. FF Nuvo Medium WOFF Demo is a fully functional webfont, usable via the @font-face CSS property without DRM or domain restrictions. It should give web designers a sense of how easy it is to use WOFF fonts, and a picture of what’s to come when Web FontFonts are officially released.

Here’s what FF Nuvo Medium WOFF Demo looks like:

FF Nuvo as a static image

And here’s FF Nuvo Medium WOFF Demo as HTML text using @font-face. If you’re viewing this page with Firefox 3.6 you’ll see FF Nuvo — selectable, resizable, indexable text that is easy for the page authors to modify. Other browsers will deliver the fallback font, Georgia, instead.

FF Nuvo using @font-face

More evidence of Web FontFonts at work can be seen immediately after you download Firefox 3.6. The browser’s welcome page is set almost entirely in a web version of Mozilla’s identity typeface, FF Meta. It’s the perfect demonstration of how downloadable, HTML-friendly fonts will bring comprehensive branding to the web. Setting type in the non-system font once required a static image or Flash-based hacks, but it can now be accomplished by rendering the actual OpenType font. FF Meta Web will be available soon in WOFF format. It’s available now via Typekit.

FF Meta Web for Mozilla

Firefox 3.6’s welcome page uses FF Meta Web in WOFF format for nearly all its text.


  1. Let me tell you that as a web designer this is incredible and makes so happy, honestly. But still the quality of @font-face is just not good enough, and I’m seeing it rigth now. I don’t know if I am the one too delicated for this thing… but i would not use it even for a single letter “a” that is not looking perfect.
    On the other hand, when this start to be available for every brownser i will start to use it as the great tool it is despite the little details.

    Posted by JBantha on Jan. 22, 2010
  2. That looks great! Slightly different rendering weight to the typeface, but looking really swell in both the image and the WOFF.

    Posted by Aria Stewart on Jan. 22, 2010
  3. Awesome! Will surely have a gander and have a play :)

    Posted by Scarlett on Jan. 23, 2010
  4. This is awesome. But all browsers should follow the same thing.

    Posted by AFI on Jan. 23, 2010
  5. Yes!! Great news for web typography! Way to go :-)

    Posted by Ramprakash on Jan. 23, 2010
  6. Gorgeous font! I’m already loving it and I haven’t even used it yet. Thanks for this!

    Posted by Faith on Jan. 23, 2010
  7. Custom fontfaces were already supported by the newer browsers (Firefox 3.5 had it working as well). This is simply a new way of doing it, by using WOFF. You could get crossbrowser compatible fontkits for example at fontsquirrel.

    WOFF is currently only supported by FF 3.6 as far as I know.

    Posted by nvreez on Jan. 23, 2010
  8. This is really really good news. Thanks!

    Posted by Torbjoern Karlevid on Jan. 23, 2010
  9. First, I want to stress that Chrome is a WebKit browser, too (among others, so not only Safari is, as the first paragraph implies).

    Second, this looks great, but not in WebKit browsers: when a site uses @font-face, WebKit doesn’t render text until the font is downloaded. This severely slows down the time something relevant is shown on the page. And a visitor can be away. When downloading stucks, no text is shown at all. :(

    What’s worse is that, according to this bug report, this is intended behaviour. This really prevents me from using @font-face at all.

    Posted by Marcel Korpel on Jan. 23, 2010
  10. Wow, this is great. It’ll be even better when Webkit and others follow suit.

    Posted by Carson Shold on Jan. 23, 2010
  11. Great to see a standard that both font foundries, webdesigners and browser developers seem to agree on! Finally we can enjoy diverse typography on the web. Hopefully we’ll see this implemented in IE9 as well.

    Posted by Torbjørn Vik Lunde on Jan. 23, 2010
  12. Custom fontfaces were already supported by the newer browsers

    The breakthrough here is that Firefox 3.6 is the first to support WOFF, which is the only format acceptable to a majority of type foundries. This development is a critical step for professional type on the web.

    Posted by Stephen Coles on Jan. 23, 2010
  13. This is mighty sexy. Thanks for posting this!

    Posted by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML on Jan. 23, 2010
  14. Nice work! This is a good step in web typography development. Lets see how IE responds.

    Posted by Mikko Vierumäki on Jan. 24, 2010
  15. It doesn’t support Turkish characters though :(

    Posted by Bilgehan on Jan. 24, 2010
  16. It’s good news and step in the right direction. If only the rendering here on FF3.6/Win was acceptable – but for now it’s far from good.

    Posted by AL on Jan. 25, 2010
  17. @A few people here…

    Rendering often has more to do with the OS than anything. Windows renders fonts to be not as smooth as OSX (for readability’s sake), but when the text is rendered as an image, then that doesn’t apply. That’s why the image and the text look different.

    Posted by Brendan on Jan. 25, 2010
  18. So now Firefox can do something all other browsers can in a completely non-compatible way! Hurrah!
    So finally developers can now @font-face an EOT for IE4+ (way to catch up, FF), a TTF for Webkit Opera and Firefox, and not need to include a WOFF because TTF means it works rather than it works in FF and FF alone.

    Posted by Chris on Jan. 26, 2010
  19. great … please more from this :) – want to view more good fonts in the “wild” …

    Posted by Oliver on Jan. 30, 2010
  20. What about Internet Explorer users?

    Posted by Richard Fink on Feb. 18, 2010
  21. @stephen coles

    “The breakthrough here is that Firefox 3.6 is the first to support WOFF, which is the only format acceptable to a majority of type foundries.”

    Prove it, please. I do not believe this is accurate.



    Posted by Richard Fink on Feb. 18, 2010

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