Korean Websites Showcase Fonts For Embedded OpenType

Naver.com: Showcasing Embedded OpenType in Korea

I’ve always said the greatest beneficiaries of Font Embedding on the Web were likely to be East Asian websites – especially if they used Embedded Opentype font objects with subsets of the full character sets, since the complete character sets of Korean, Chinese and Japanese fonts are so huge.

A good Japanese font, like Meiryo, will contain some 24,000 characters. There are two font files which make up the Meiryo family, and they total 14Mb, which means that downloading the fonts would mean a long wait, even on many broadband connections.

Yet more than 99% of everything written in Japanese websites, newspapers and magazines can be covered using a subset of about 2000 characters. Identical character set and font size issues apply to Korean, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

The Windows Embedding Font Tool (WEFT ) allows you to create subsets based on selectable criteria, including per-page, per-site, and language. So I created subsets of all the fonts I use on my own website based on the Latin 1 language coverage, which cuts the fonts to about half their full size.

If you do language-based subsetting like this, it means you need only create your font objects once. Unless you start writing in a language not covered by them, they need never be changed. And you can copy and paste the same CSS font declarations if you create different style sheets. For instance, on my website I’ve created a stylesheet for books, another for a multicolumn blog, etc.

Provided your pages are all on the same site as the one to which the original EOT objects were tied (e.g. http://www.billhillsite.com/) then everything just works. I’ll never have to think about font embedding again, unless I decide to redesign.

Today I received mail from Reagan Hwang, who works for Microsoft in Korea, pointing me to some interesting showcases for EOT in Korea. For instance, both Naver.com – the worldwide #5 search engine and Cyworld.com – the #1 Korean SNS website – offer EOT-embeddable fonts in their font marketplaces.

Cyworld.com’s font marketplace

According to Reagan: “Using EOT is very common in Korea, especially on social networking sites”.

Microsoft Korea has just translated my original blog post about EOT, WEFT etc, into Korean. I’ll put a link to the Korean version in this post as soon as I get one.


5 thoughts on “Korean Websites Showcase Fonts For Embedded OpenType

  1. Richard Fink

    You mean the Asians got web sites now?Dang.Do the folks at FF and Opera know about this?(Seemingly not, based on the attitude they’ve displayed regarding font-embedding so far.)IMHO, without sub-setting (which means dealing with licensing issues) and compression, font-embedding is dead in the water as a cross-browser technique.Viva IE, I guess.

  2. Bill Hill

    I don’t want Internet Explorer to “win” on this issue. I want to raise all boats equally.I want a font embedding standard that works equally well on all browsers, which gives web designers the ability to use the commercial fonts they know and love and have them work everywhere.That’s been my only motive since I personally began this whole effort to take Embedded OpenType Open Source.EOT would work equally well with “free fonts” of course. All the creator of these fonts would need to do is turn on the embedding bits in one OpenType table in the font.

  3. Richard Fink

    There’s a line somewhere between being pointedly satirical and being weirdly flip. My post flipped.What I should have said – straight out – was that browser developers are, largely, from Western countries and that, therefore, there’s a world-view at work that can’t help but be somewhat insensitive to languages that require huge glyph sets. (IMHO)I think there’s also some incomprehension as to the number of dialects that may need to be accomodated with no reasonable expectation of a font set for that dialect being installed on the user’s machine.If the latest browsers were issuing forth from China or India, we would probably see a different attitude toward font-embedding from ALL implementers.

  4. Ted

    Hi Bill:This is my first visit your blog. I have some question need to ask you for advice.Do you mean the EOT technique could be used in Chinese Web site?Chinese character sets are very huge, the fonts display/transfer in internet is a big problem in Chinese(Taiwan). Sometimes we need to transfer rare character, but we don’t have a perfect solution to solve this problem. ( p.s. I am a Taiwaness.)I found WEFT from Microsoft Web site lately. I try to translate a rare Chinese character made up by myself and given it a Big5 code( like FA41). The problem is the tool seems only support English fonts? When I want to use in Chinese fonts like PMingLiU or KaiU, the tools will show me that it’s don’t work. Another question is could Embedded OpenType Fonts use in rare characters transfer Or just in diffence style fonts?As you said, the complete character sets of Chinese is very huge, Chinese windows system are only support Big5/Unicode 3.0(vista). We have a National Standard Code(CNS 11643) could use in documents exchange, but display in Internet Browser.Sorry for my poor English. All the best.

  5. Bill Hill

    Dear Ted:Chinese fonts should work just fine. I was certain this was true, but I checked with my colleague Simon Daniels in the Windows International Fonts Team just to confirm.I’m having trouble understanding your difficulty. You seem to be having two problems:1. The tool isn’t working for you even with a Windows font like PMingLiu. It definitely should work. 2. It doesn’t seem to work with a new character you’ve created. I need to know how you’ve created it and whether you’ve made it into an OpenType font, or imported it into one.Please include your email in your reply, and then we’ll have direct communication; I’ll try to find the right person to help you.


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