Web Open Font Format (WOFF) Supported by Mozilla, Opera and Microsoft, Google
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The WOFF font format “was designed to provide lightweight, easy-to-implement compression of the font data, suitable for use in conjunction with the @font-face CSS declaration. Any TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format file can be losslessly converted to WOFF for Web use (subject to licensing of the font data); once decoded by a user agent, the WOFF font will display identically to the original desktop font from which it was created,” an excerpt from the WOFF File Format 1.0 W3C Member Submission reads.

According to Mozilla, Opera and Microsoft, WOFF has not been put together as a replacement of TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format or SVG fonts. However, the trio emphasized that WOFF was meant as an alternative to the font formats enumerated above, in scenarios in which it would deliver superior performance or better licensing options.

The software company's involvement emerged Monday with sponsorship of a newer effort at the World Wide Web Consortium to standardize Web-based fonts with technology called the Web Open Font Format (WOFF). It's a fresh indicator of Microsoft's serious engagement with new Web standards--and it's a big boost for designers' attempts to stretch the Web beyond just the few typefaces that today can be expected to be already installed on people's computers.

It's not unusual to see Mozilla and Opera Software as WOFF backers--the two browser makers have been trying to advance the Web state of the art for years. But after years of going its own way, Microsoft has shown new interest in Web standards and now is a powerful ally that's sponsoring the submission of WOFF to be a W3C standard.

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