moyogo's little blog

Blogging about Open Source, fonts, language technology, maps and random stuff happening wherever I am.


Font dialog

If you use Gnome or GTK+ applications and fonts you’ll probably be interested to see what’s been on Planet Gnome recently. Alberto Ruiz made a mockup proposal for a font selection dialog. After some feedback from the lazy web he made a second proposal.

The first one was seriously flawed as people pointed out: it’s limited to Bold/Italics, non-Latin fonts almost all look the same when the preview is in Latin (at least on Linux) and if they are multi-script only Latin is showed, etc.
Pierre-Luc Beaudoin plugged his proposal with different look but same flaws.

The second font dialog proposal is much better and is inspired by Gnome-Specimen. Having a search feature sounds great, the preview looks nice. But it would be nice to have things people suggested like the ability to change the sample text, see font listed by language or organized categories, search fonts containing wanted characters, etc.

It would be nice to have a cross desktop way of organizing fonts in categories, flagging favorites, grouping some and what not. Fontmatrix could be used for that, we’d just need a library for desktops/toolkits to use.

Font dialogs are generally flawed, designing one that pleases everybody isn’t easy. Personally I think Apple's done the best job. Ed Trager wrote an article on the topic a while back: Designing a Better Font Selection Widget.


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