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Embedding Fonts



The Script
How to use it
Using the Embedded Font
Where to get EOT files
Known Issues


Compatibility:  The script detailed on this page works only in Outlook Express 5, please see the OE4 Font Embedding page to learn how to do this in Outlook Express 4.



Thanks to the tenacity and sheer genius of Steve Cochran, we have the ability to embed fonts into Outlook Express messages.  Before you get too excited, bear in mind that not every font can be embedded, and embedding a font at all is a somewhat difficult process.

For starters, you cannot embed a truetype font file (*.ttf).  This must first be converted to another file type called an EOT.  We'll cover where to get EOT files a little later.  For now, just bear in mind that the EOT files needed are only for use in Outlook Express messages - you can not use them as fonts in any other windows application and they will not even work on the World Wide Web.

Once you have your EOT file, you need to use a script to embed/use it of course.  


The Script:

There are a couple of versions of the Font embed script out there - the one I prefer is:

<object classid=clsid:05589FA1-C356-11CE-BF01-00AA0055595A height=10 id=efont1 style="DISPLAY: none" width=10>
        <param name="Filename" value="YOUR EOT FILE HERE">

<script language="VBScript">
document.writeln("<STYLE> @font-face { font-family: embedded; src: url("&efont1.filename&"); }</STYLE>")


How to use it:

The script shown above is colourized to make it easier to read, as such it it "for display purposes only". To get a fully functional copy of the script for your use, click here to download a script "template". 

The zip file you just downloaded contains a single file - fontscript5.txt.  Unzip this file somewhere and open it with Notepad or your favourite text editor.  Select the entire script and paste it into the HTML document that you wish to embed a font into.

If you use a graphical HTML editor  - to use that script and have it work, it must be pasted into the HTML view of your editor.  If you paste it into the regular view of such a program it will not work. 

Congratulations, you now have a font embedding script added to your stationery.  However, if you've been paying attention, you'll know that if we tried to use this script as-is it doesn't yet reference any font file, it needs to be told the name and path of a font file that is actually on your system.

Find the line with the <param> tag:

<param name="Filename" value="YOUR EOT FILE HERE">

and replace the "Your EOT File Here" in the value attribute with the path and filename of an EOT  file actually on your system.  So if the file example.eot is in your c:\fonts folder, the tag would look like this:

<param name="Filename" value="c:\fonts\example.eot">

Unlike OE4, the Outlook Express 5 font embed script requires that a full path be used to embed the EOT file.

That's pretty straight forward so far, and you don't even have to worry about what the rest of the script means or how it works, the only important area is the value= element of the <param> tag.  This is where you incidate the path and filename of the EOT file you wish to use. 


Using the Embedded Font:

Now that you have the EOT file for the font actualy embedded in the message, you're going to want to know how to make use of it.

Find the line of the script which begins with "document.writeln":

document.writeln("<STYLE> @font-face { font-family: embedded; src: url("&efont1.src&"); }</STYLE>")

Look along that line until you come to "font-family: embedded", this is where you indicate to Outlook Express the name of the font you wish to use.  You don't need to enter the actual name of the font, you could actual put in anything you like, such as:  "arglebarglewhoosh".

For ease of use, I'd recommend leaving this value set to "embedded" as shown above, this makes it easiest for other people to follow along.

Now that the script knows what font is embedded, we just have to tell OE how to display your message in the embedded font.  This isn't difficult at all. To accomplish it we need to add something to the Style section of the document. 

If you read the Setting the Default Font page you probably already know what needs to be done now. You guessed it, we need to set a default font for the stationery.  If you haven't read that page then do so now.   To use the embedded font,  the font you specify in the style must use the same name as you used in the font embed script - that's another reason why I had you use word "embedded", it makes it much easier to get this part right:

body {
font-family: embedded;

That's all there is to it.  When you use this stationery, the font will be set to the embedded one.  Please note, since scripts do not function in the OE compose window you will not see your embedded font while you type your message.  Rest assured, the embedded font will show when the message is sent.

When typing your message, be careful not to change fonts.  You may change the size, colour, or Bold or Italicize or Underline fonts and the embedded one will still show, but if you actually change to another font, then the embedded font will no longer display properly.


Where to get EOT files:

So where can you get these all important EOT files?  I have provided a few on the Download Page of my site.  Just download those then put them in a folder somewhere and they're ready for use.  I recommend creating a subfolder under your stationery folder to keep them in, but the choice is yours.

Another place you might find EOT files is your Windows\Temp folder.   Whenever you receive and view a message which contains an embedded font, the EOT file is automatically extracted to your Windows Temporary folder.  Just go there and move them to a new location. Please note: the EOT must have been embedded with OE5 for this to work.  EOTs embedded with OE4 are not recoverale in this manner.

If you wish to make EOT files of some of your fonts, however, that is another story.   This process requires you to use a program from Microsoft called WEFT.  The exact process is beyond the scope of this document.  Please see Steve Cochran's instructions on Eric Miller's site at http://www.okinfoweb.com/moe/format/format_007.htm.


Known Issues:

The first part of this script is actually the ActiveMovie ActiveX control. When you use this to embed a font, Outlook Express will add another 20 or so <param> tags to the code.  These have no effect what so ever, other than making the code more difficult to read.  There is no way that I know of to stop this behaviour, that's just the way it is.  You can safely ignore the rest of those <param> tags if you should happen to see them.

One other thing you should be aware of is that you may not be able to see your embedded font when you preview your document in Internet Explorer or the preview mode of a program like FrontPage 98 or Arach.  Some EOT files preview properly, some don't.   I don't know why. 

This is not a problem however, as the embedded fonts still display properly when used in Outlook Express (even in the OE Preview Mode), it is just when previewed in an HTML editor or Internet Explorer that they do not show up properly.

The EOT files I have made available on my download page are all the ones I had which previewed properly.  Hopefully they will work for you as well.  Just keep this limitation in mind in case you acquire any other EOT files.


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