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Archive for January, 2012

What Are DocTypes and Why Do They Matter to You?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Keep your pages on the straight and narrow

When you use an HTML editor such as Dreamweaver to create an HTML document, you’ll likely see a special line at the very top of your file’s source code, before the opening <html> tag.  For example:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

Perhaps, though, your pages don’t have a line like this. If you’re coding HTML by hand, maybe you usually start directly with the <html> tag.  Or, maybe your HTML editor isn’t configured properly to add a line like this.

So, what is this mysterious line, why is it there, and why is it so important?

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Quick Tip: Beautiful Web Typography Is Now Easy!

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Beautiful Online Typography Is Now Easy!

Are you still primarily using Arial, Verdana or – please not! – Comic Sans MS on your websites? Until recently, beautiful typography and the internet didn’t play nicely together. Using fancy fonts meant embedding all of your text in images, or risking incompatibility with many users. It was a royal pain!

Today, however, there’s hope. As browsers have matured, support for embedding custom typefaces in webpages has advanced. Many new online tools and services have popped up to make web fonts easily accessible to web designers. Unfortunately, though, most services are rather expensive, and most do-it-yourself tools aren’t easy to use.

In this quick tip, I want to share an option that’s both free and easy to use. Google Web Fonts is a free service offered by Google as part of their effort to help beautify and improve the web. They’re working together with the community and typography specialists to create special fonts that are 100% free for you to use on your commercial and non-commercial projects. Best of all, they handle all of the messy technical details to get them onto your webpages. Adding these special fonts to your pages is as simple as adding one line of code to your page and updating your CSS’s font-family declaration.

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