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Microsoft Typography | Typography on the Web | Recommended fonts | Webdings next


Webdings is Microsoft's new TrueType symbol font for the Web. The font will be included with Internet Explorer 4 and like our other Web fonts it has been made available for free download.

Our team of iconographers traveled the world asking site designers and users which symbols, icons and pictograms they thought would be most appropriate for a font of this kind. From thousands of suggestions we had to pick just two hundred and thirty for inclusion in Webdings. The font also contains most of the entities listed in the W3C's working draft on HTML predefined icon-like symbols [ext link].

Viewing the font

A bitmap based sample page shows all the symbols, icons and pictures included within the font.

Use the Windows Character Map to view and select the individual icons, pictures and symbols included within the font. In Windows 95 the Character Map can be accessed via Start, Programs, Accessories. If it isn't installed, you can add it using the Add/Remove Programs option from the Control Panel. Choose Windows Setup, highlight Accessories and click Details. Once you have selected the Character Map and clicked Okay, the component will be installed.

Webdings character map

Figure 1. The Windows 95 Character Map accessory.

Using Webdings

Webdings can be specified within Web pages using either Cascading Style Sheets, or the FONT FACE tag. Because Webdings is a fully functional TrueType font it will look great on screen and in print, and can be used with other Windows applications, like Word and PowerPoint.

Unfortunately the use of symbol fonts on the Web is problematic. If a Web page designer specifies a text font such as Verdana, and the reader doesn't have the font installed the text will still be displayed using their default font. However, if a Web page specifies a symbol font which isn't installed, the reader will see gibberish. For this reason Webdings is best suited for use on corporate Intranet sites, and for Internet Explorer 4 specific content.

This sample page shows the symbols specified in an HTML page using '&#' values from 33 to 255.


Initially we will not be providing a MacOS version of Webdings as current Mac based Web browsers have problems recognizing symbol fonts.

this text [ext link] signifies an external link, please read our disclaimer.

this page was last updated 8 July 1997
© 1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of use.
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Microsoft Typography | Typography on the Web | Recommended fonts | Webdings next