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Google font not appearing bold on Mac? Can that be?


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A website user was telling me that text wasn't appearing on bold when the CSS called for font-weight:bold. She's using a Mac desktop, with Safari (and possibly Chrome; I don't have all info yet). The font is Raleway:


<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Raleway" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">


From what I was able to find -- no one on Google seemed to have this exact issue -- sometimes Safari won't show bold unless you specifically reference a font for it? Is that right? So the solution seems to be changing the stylesheet reference to:


<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Raleway:400,700" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">


This just seems incredibly odd to me. I've never heard of a user having this issue before. Is this known? Is that the actual fix? Am I to assume all browsers on Chromebook (my preferred platform) and Linux and Windows just create an ad-hoc "faux bold" to display, if bold isn't specified?


A lot of questions, but this is just a weird issue, especially since I haven't heard of it until June 2016.

Edited by timneu22
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The boards here allow you to edit as many times as you like, but only within a certain time limit.  The issue isn't a Mac issue as far as I am aware - it's unlikely that the underlying OS would have much influence on the rendering of third party browser software.  The issue is documented however, primarily with regards to IE7 and 8, and the Google Fonts Getting Started Page explains the following: 


The Google Fonts API provides the regular version of the requested fonts by default. To request other styles or weights, append a colon (:) to the name of the font, followed by a list of styles or weights separated by commas (,).

So yeah, the actual fix is to link properly to the all the fonts, styles and weights that you intend to use.

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According to "Say no to faux bold" on A List Apart, browers may attempt to simulate bold if a font doesn't have a native bold variant.


As Muddy_Funster says though, if you want to use bold then you need to import your font with the bold variant. Doing anything else is improper usage on your part, not Mac being wrong.

Edited by kicken
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