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17 posts

Alternative to FF Meta

Apr 03, 2012 at 21:42

Are there any alternatives that are close to FF Meta? I'm not particularly interested in free fonts, am more than happy to pay what it's worth, just a font with a licensing model that allows me to embed the font in a Word document which allows an unlimited number of third parties see the font properly and (crucially) to edit that same document (for collaboration). Otherwise, for me there is no point in choosing a non-standard font; might as well just stick to Arial Is that actually possible?

Edited on Apr 03, 2012 at 21:44 by drmrbrewer


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:33

embedding fonts in a word file is not possible. Check the Meta, but many licenses authorize installation to 5 workstations. if you need more than five then just buy another license


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:40

search for Lato in http://www.google.com/webfonts


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:41

Actually I've been in touch with them, and a licence can be obtained which allows embedding of fonts in a Word file. However, it is limited to allow editing by only a single outside party. So collaboration with more than one other person is not possible (i.e. where more than one person will edit the document over its lifetime). And here I'm talking about collaboration with an ill-defined group of outside people, so it's not as if purchasing additional licences is a realistic option.

For embedding fonts see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290952

Basically what I need is a font that is embeddable, and which allows editing of the document content by an unlimited number of people over its lifetime.

Perhaps I should just stick to Arial and be done with it. At least eveyone has that, even if it is dull.

Edited on Apr 04, 2012 at 13:46 by drmrbrewer


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:44

So check free fonts.
Have you tried the "Sans Serif Theme"? http://www.dafont.com/fr/theme.php?cat=501
How many weight do you need ? (Light, normal, bold, ...)

Edited on Apr 04, 2012 at 13:45 by vinz


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:46

Vinz, I though too that embedding fonts in Word documents wasn't possible, but I just checked and it actually seems to be possible. I've learned something today


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:51

Glad to have brought something new to your attention

Re checking free fonts, I did have a quick look, but my heart is set on something close to FF Meta, hence the original question. Shame that there isn't a licence for Meta that allows embedding + unlimited editing of content, because I would happily pay for such a licence. I like that there is Meta and Meta Serif, for use in combination.


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:54



Apr 04, 2012 at 13:56

Sticking to Arial (or verdana, or trebuchet) might be a wise idea. Other people won't have to install a font to edit the file...
ecit: just read the link you gave. I didn't know it was possible to embed a font in Word too ! You have to find a font that auhtorize that or use a system font... My guess is finding the one that will fit with Meta style will be hard.

Edited on Apr 04, 2012 at 14:00 by vinz


Apr 04, 2012 at 13:59

I should add that, being picky, I don't like fonts where you cannot distinguish between certain characters. Some of what I produce has mathematical expressions within it, and if you cannot distinguish between a capital I (between h and j) and a lower-case l (between k and m) then it's a negative for me. I also find it very difficult to read words like "Ill" (as in "Illness") and "Illiterate" with such fonts. It just bugs me.

Edited 2 times. Last edit on Apr 04, 2012 at 14:00 by drmrbrewer


Apr 04, 2012 at 14:01

pfiuu... even harder!

Trebuchet, Verdana or Tahoma have a diffrent style between these charaters

Edited 2 times. Last edit on Apr 04, 2012 at 14:04 by vinz


Apr 04, 2012 at 14:05

Yeah, shame. For me the look of a document is important; perhaps less so than its content but still important. Shame to have to stick to Arial when something else will look better. I didn't realise it would be so difficult to use a font which allowed third parties to see the font properly and also edit the document content. I can understand why (people / companies don't want everyone using their creations for nothing), but it kinda limits the options for the end user -- just going with the norm, like Arial.

What about Calibri and Cambria -- I guess they are now widespread, at least on the Win platform. What if a Word document with these fonts is edited on a Mac platform though -- disaster strikes again?


Apr 04, 2012 at 14:10

Check out the Calibri license, but it should be embeddable. Calibri is not installed on XP and before, i think...
You'll have to test it out for mac usage. Keep also in mind that previous versions of Word might not handle font embedding!
If I were you, i'd stay with the basics. If the I of the Arial bugs you, try Trebuchet or Verdana...

Edited 3 times. Last edit on Apr 04, 2012 at 14:12 by vinz


Apr 04, 2012 at 17:50

It has always been possible to embed fonts with MS Office, providing the font had embedding rights. Embed the (complete) font you finally choose and no-one needs to install anything. Nor on PC, nor on Mac.


Apr 05, 2012 at 09:38

@ drmrbrewer
It took some digging, but read the Lexus Roman discussion, all the way to the end.
Before you go hunting for this close to extinct species, the Lexus Roman only allows print and preview embedding. No editing.


Apr 05, 2012 at 10:20

koeiekat said  (view post)
It has always been possible to embed fonts with MS Office, providing the font had embedding rights. Embed the (complete) font you finally choose and no-one needs to install anything. Nor on PC, nor on Mac.

I really didn't know that (or i knew it and totally forgot as i never really use Word )


Apr 05, 2012 at 10:34

Thanks for the interesting link. Of course, to make it clear, what I'm after is a font that bears a resemblance to but is not a rip-off of Meta! I think that every font out there probably bears a close resemblance to another font out there. Being similar to something is not evidence of copying. In fact, in theory (however unlikely) you can have two identical fonts without there being any copyright infringement, if one was devised completely independently of the other... copyright does not prevent independent creation of an identical work. So if you give enough monkeys typewriters, one day they might re-write Romeo and Juliet, but they couldn't be sued for copyright infringement because there was no copying going on (there are enough monkeys in court as it is anyway).

If only Meta had an embedding licence which allowed editing by more than one other person, I'd just go with that.



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