6

In epub and kindle css, you can specify a fallback font by specifying

 p {font-family: "Georgia", serif}
 h1 {font-family: "Helvetica", sans-serif}

If various reading systems have defaults for serif and sans-serif, can you tell me what they are?

I.E. Kindle e-ink, Kindle android app, Google Play Books, ibooks, Kobo, Adobe DE.

On a related question, can I assume that all titles are in the default sans-serif font? When a customer overrides publisher defaults and chooses a certain font (like Bookerly on kindle), does that leave the title fonts still in the default sans-serif?

UPDATE: Someone on KDP forum has confirmed that user-selected fonts for kindle systems are the same for body fonts and heading font. Therefore, you would need to specify a heading font if you want it to be different.

UPDATE 2 I encourage people to post fonts existing on the mobile devices or reading systems that they have. Please indicate whether there is an option to specify Publisher Defaults on the reading system. Also, if you have any insight as to which font would be considered the default Serif or Sans Serif choice by the reading system, please mention it. Thanks!

UPDATE 3 (5/2017) A commenter has pointed out that some Amazon Kindle devices are using fonts for Indic languages written in Bengali/Devanagari/Gujarati/Kannada/Malayalam/Tamil/Telugu. On the device this font is referred to as "Noto Sans." Noto is a multilingual font developed and supported by Google, but Amazon has only used portions of this Noto font for Indian languages. I have seen no official announcement yet.

  • Is there a reason why you tagged the question specifically for epub3? Could this subject be of broader interest and include also previous specifications? – Sekhemty Apr 13 '17 at 12:36
  • Google's Noto font supports indeed hundreds of languages, but Amazon has only included fonts for Indic languages written in Bengali/Devanagari/Gujarati/Kannada/Malayalam/Tamil/Telugu. No other Noto fonts are bundled. FYI: Starting with the Kindle 3, Amazon included the Code2000 font, which supports Unicode 5.2. (Code2000 is used as universal fallback font for character sets not covered by other fonts, e.g. Arabic and Hebrew.) Code2000 is also bundled with Kindle Previewer. – Nemo XXX May 5 '17 at 13:44
  • I have updated my comment to reflect your new information. It is clear that it is hard for a Westerner to keep this up to date because these fonts do not appear as options or else they are downloaded only if the reader loads an ebook in one of those Indian languages. – idiotprogrammer May 8 '17 at 12:53
4

Kobo ereader devices

My 1st gen Kobo Glo has the following fonts pre-installed (I suppose other Kobo devices use the same set; it is possible for the user to add more but I think this is beyond the scope of your question):

Serif: (1)

Sans Serif:

Other:

  • KBJ-TsukuMin Pr6N RB (Serif) (2)
  • KBJ-UDKakugo Pr6N M (Sans Serif) (2)
  • OpenDyslexic

Of course, these customizations are optional, and it is possible to default fonts as defined inside the ebook.

About titles, if there are not specific settings inside the ebook stylesheets, they are treated like other text: besides having a larger size, if not explicitly set to something else, the default Georgia is used.

Kobo app for Android

Compared to the ereaders, the app is more limited in the customization options:


1. Including slab serif
2. I'm not really sure but I think that these are used for Chinese/Japanese languages compatibility.

  • Although this is not a complete answer, you answered in the right way -- and provided a template for others to list fonts on other reading systems. This page might actually turn out to be useful as a reference! – idiotprogrammer Apr 15 '17 at 15:37
  • Glad to be useful. I think that this kind of question calls for a collective answer, everyone posting the details of their devices :) – Sekhemty Apr 16 '17 at 4:54
3

Here -- as best as I can tell -- are the system fonts for selected Android reading systems:

Kindle for Android:

Note: Kindle/Android does NOT have an option for the user to select Publisher Defaults.

Google Play Books:

Note: GPB does NOT have an option for the user to select Publisher Defaults (unless it is "Original")

Adobe DE for Android

  • No fonts available to select

Overdrive for Android 3.6.2 (Overdrive is a library reading app which uses a branded version of Adobe DE reader and its DRM). No information is given about which fonts are the reading system's default for the general terms ("Serif, "Sans-Serif", etc).

  • Book Default

  • Sans Serif

  • Serif

  • Monospace

  • Sans serif Bold

  • Serif Bold

  • Monospace Bold

  • OpenDyslexic

  • OpenDyslexic Bold

  • It is a bit uncommon to see multiple answers to a question by the same author, may I ask you why you chose to do so? I ask this only for information, just in case :) – Sekhemty May 4 '17 at 15:55
  • Oh, I wanted to separate by platform.... Probably this would be better as a wiki page, but SE is what it is.. – idiotprogrammer May 4 '17 at 23:57
  • My opinion about this is that it will be better to put different "sections" inside a single answer, maybe with horizontal lines and/or clever use of html headers, instead of having this split on different answers. – Sekhemty May 8 '17 at 12:46
2

Important Note: Kindle devices (and possibly apps on ios/android/windows) targeted for non-English speaking countries might have a different set of default fonts. I've seen reports starting in 2016 (here and here) that (unspecified) versions of Kindles devices for India include Noto Sans (the portion which support the Indian languages). According to reader reports, this started happening with reading devices which were able to receive the 5.8.7 firmware (or higher). That meant Kindle Paperwhites (generation 6 and later). If you know of other non-European fonts which are included by default on your device or app, feel free to mention in the comments)

Kindle 4 (aka Kindle Touch)

Kindle Fire (version unspecified)

(This info comes from a great Roger Packer article, How to Choose typography for ebooks). PS, would be nice to know which of these would be the system defaults for serif and sans).

Fire HD 8

  • Bookerly
  • Caecilia
  • Georgia
  • Palatino
  • Baskerville
  • Helvetica (Sans Serif)
  • Helvetica Light (Sans Serif)
  • Lucida

(Info Source: This video review of Fire HD 2016).

Kindle Paperwhite

  • Caecilia
  • Caecilia Condensed
  • Baskerville
  • Futura
  • Helvetica (Sans Serif)
  • Palatino
  • Bookerly (only for 3rd generation and after)
  • Publisher Font

(This info comes from this article about 1st gen Paperwhite and this article about Bookerly).

Several sources report that Kindle Paperwhite (6th generation and later) include Korean: HY Gothic & HY Myeong, Chinese: M Ying Hei & ST Heiti & ST Song, Indic: Noto Sans Bengali/Devanagari/Gujarati/Kannada/Malayalam/Tamil/Telugu. (It is unclear to me whether these fonts are installed on all these reading systems or whether they are installed only AFTER the Kindle owner loads an ebook in one of these languages).

Kindle Basic 7 (7th generation, 2014)

  • Baskerville
  • Bookerly
  • Caecilia
  • Caecilia Condensed
  • Baskerville
  • Futura
  • Helvetica (Sans Serif)
  • Palatino
  • Open Dyslexic

Kindle Basic 8 (8th generation, 2016)

  • Amazon Ember (Sans Serif, see this comparison video)
  • Baskerville
  • Bookerly
  • Caecilia
  • Caecilia Condensed
  • Baskerville
  • Futura
  • Helvetica (Sans Serif)
  • Palatino
  • Open Dyslexic

Kindle Oasis

  • Amazon Ember (Sans Serif, see this comparison video)
  • Amazon Ember Bold
  • Baskerville
  • Bookerly
  • Open Dyslexic
  • Palatino
  • Publisher Font
  • All current eInk Kindles with the latest firmware (Kindle Paperwhite 6th generation and all 7th/8th generation Kindle models) also come with the following non-Latin fonts: Korean: HY Gothic & HY Myeong, Chinese: M Ying Hei & ST Heiti & ST Song, Indic: Noto Sans Bengali/Devanagari/Gujarati/Kannada/Malayalam/Tamil/Telugu. – Nemo XXX May 4 '17 at 17:03
  • I updated the page to show your information. For the devices you mentioned, are these fonts already inside, or are they downloaded from Amazon.com after a person reads a book in one of these languages? – idiotprogrammer May 8 '17 at 13:05
  • For the devices you mentioned, are these fonts already inside, or are they downloaded from Amazon.com after a person reads a book in one of these languages? AFAIK, the Chinese and Korean fonts come pre-installead and the Indic fonts were added during one of the 5.8.x firmware updates. – Nemo XXX May 8 '17 at 17:59
  • Nemo, this is all great information. I should just say that American editions don't have any of these fonts. Perhaps there is different firmware for different regions. – idiotprogrammer May 22 '17 at 3:15
  • I should just say that American editions don't have any of these fonts. Even if you can't see these fonts in the font menu, the American editions also have these fonts. Otherwise you couldn't display Chinese or Japanese Kindle books. Try this free Chinese PG book. Without the CJK fonts, you'd only see boxes. The same goes for the Indic fonts. – Nemo XXX May 22 '17 at 15:00
2

iBooks (v. 4.10)

Related: here's a deep dive into the system iBooks fonts (written in 2011, but still relevant). Here's another "review" of iBooks fonts (also from 2011).

Please note that as of 6/2017, you cannot embed fonts or have extra fonts show up as options in iBooks unless the publisher makes small modifications to the package.opf file. If that is done, the embedded font(s) show up as "Original" on the Font settings.

Kindle for IOS (ipad 1 through iphone 6s)

iBooks 3.1.3 ipad 1/ios 5.1.1/

RELATED: Iosfonts.com shows system fonts for all Apple system devices (although not necessarily iBooks).

0

Overdrive Libby on Android

Instead of offering fonts to choose from, Libby offer these book design variants:

  • Publisher's Default
  • Legible
  • Scholar
  • Paperback
  • OpenDyslexic
  • Custom

If the user chooses "Custom," the following options will appear:

  • -- (default)
  • Serif
  • Sans Serif

(Presumably, the first option includes body font in the SW's default serif and heading fonts in the SW's default sans serif).

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