Google Docs gets web fonts, Google Font API

As part of an ongoing improvement of the Google Docs platform as a collaboration tool, Google is now implementing web fonts as part of its word processing repertoire.  Typically, text on a webpage is rendered from fonts located on your own computer. This practice has led to the standardization of a few key fonts that pretty much everyone has. These basic fonts (Georgia, Ariel, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Lucida, Verdana, etc.) make up the Internet’s text, and a robust word processor would want more than the few standards to create documents.

Enter web fonts. Web fonts are hosted on the web server instead of on the client PC, and the font is accessed whenever a client accesses the site. Using this method, Google is rolling out six new fonts today on Google Docs, and they are promising many more in the future. The fonts added today are:

  • Droid Serif
  • Droid Sans
  • Calibri
  • Cambria
  • Consolas
  • Corsiva

In addition to adding the fonts to Docs, Google also released the Google Font API, giving developers the tools to add these and other web fonts to their own websites.

The addition of web fonts to Google’s huge warehouse of web technologies should go a long way in making Google Docs an increasingly more popular place to collaborate on text documents. With the downfall of Google Wave, Google will likely be depending on Docs to be their flagship collaboration tool. The Google Font API will take this proliferation a step further, allowing web fonts to penetrate the web design world through a simple API. 

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21 Comments

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Google has still a long way to go with these doc apps - I've recently tried to upload 30-page Word doc, with footers, headers - and it couldn't convert it. But still it's far better than Microsoft's web app solution.

tom5 said,
Google has still a long way to go with these doc apps - I've recently tried to upload 30-page Word doc, with footers, headers - and it couldn't convert it. But still it's far better than Microsoft's web app solution.

Why? Based on the fact that it didn't work I'd say it clearly isn't.

martinDTanderson said,
Surprised Microsoft allowed Calibri as a Google Web Font, but the web will be better for it!

Agree... best news in a while

martinDTanderson said,
Surprised Microsoft allowed Calibri as a Google Web Font, but the web will be better for it!
Depends on if it'll be antialiased or not.

In my experience, web fonts and antialiasing don't go well together, making most look rubbish. Especially in non-header text sizes. I tried to check in those screenshots, but they're resized so they become antialiased because of that.

Edit: Aha, Google is showing screenshots from OS X, which is the only OS they *do* look good on, usually. Clever, Google.

Northgrove said,
Edit: Aha, Google is showing screenshots from OS X, which is the only OS they *do* look good on, usually. Clever, Google.

I would like to say "Moronic, Google". Why can't they play nice with Windows and Linux. It's not like Apple is Google's best friend at the moment

View --> Reading View

Unless you meaning during edit, and yes I could agree there. Except its not that annoying in the Web App.