We need to use Poppins font in Web Direct applications.. Is there a way? Can we tweak CSS file generated by FM?
Font used in WebDirect are fonts installed on the users device. Recommendation is to stay with web safe Fonts that all computers have, Poppins is not one of them.
This is pretty much true, as there is no supported way to specify web hosted fonts, unless you display them in a web viewer. They can work there.
I consider this one of the biggest drawbacks to Web Direct. If it were possible to embed a font in it, the product would be infinitely better. The other huge problem is that you cannot have stylistic changes inside of fields. This means that merged fields are stylistically always the same. It is always impossible to boldface or italicize just one word.
I have been working around this problem literally for years, and as someone who has strong, perfectionistic feelings about graphic design, it has not been easy. To my mind, the key consideration, as pointed out in the Web Direct guide, is that you must always leave enough space so that no matter what font the end user has on their browser there will be enough room for them to read your text. Who knows who is going to be using some super fat monospace font, or at any rate a very wide sans serif? You can’t control it at all. This means that aside from having to be careful not to cover one object with another and the other limitations in style that WebDirect imposes, you also have severe constraints on how close together your text boxes and fields can be and how small the field can be (unless you add scroll bars to every field which might get visually cut off).
There are many tricks for trying to manage these problems most effectively. I have found that they take a while to learn and to use. You learn how small buttons can really be, how the edges of button images and other objects will be shrunk or cut off in unexpected ways by different browsers, and just how much room you have to give to avoid this.
Here is one piece of advice I have for anyone starting a Web Direct implementation: use a very large font size as your basic style. Why? Because if the page appears too large, the end user will minimize the size. People are very assustomed to adjusting zoom. Once you are operating in a world where 16, 18 point fonts are normal, your range of layout options becomes greater. You need smaller? You’ve got at least 12 and 10 pt to work with. In my experience Web Direct cannot support any font size smaller than 10 points without at least some users having problems. Some browsers will not render 13 pt distinct from 12 point, and some seem to even treat 10 pt and 9 pt identically. Think in terms of coarseness, and you can see why starting with large sizes may give you more freedom if you need wiggle room. I did not do this and I learned the hard way that really small layout objects and WebDirect cannot coexist well.
Another thing that you can do is embed .pngs of text in the pages where the text is not dynamic, like labels. Since you more or less know what the dimensions of that object will be, it can sometimes display text in spaces that would be impossible otherwis. Keep in mind that some users impose a minimum fonts size in the preferences panel of the browser, so in such cases it will not go any smaller than that, but that will not affect images. To get text in different point sizes to actually line up horizontally is a huge challenge. In my experience, across browsers, the best option is always to choose the alignment where the text is in the middle (vertically speaking). This gives the best chance that what you see on your monitor will match most closely what the end user will see.
I mostly agree with you that the lack of custom webfonts in Webdirect is really limiting the range of graphical freedom.
There's one element however that I'm not sure I agree: "This means that merged fields are stylistically always the same. It is always impossible to boldface or italicize just one word."
I do have layouts with large text fields to produce complete PDF docs, where I can style every word in it - be it in the layout itself, or via calculated variables using the functions TextStyleAdd(...).
Or do you mean something else?
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