Web Open Font Format (WOFF) - How to create your own? | Explained

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WOFF (Web Open Font Format) is a font format used in websites. WOFF files include OpenType or TrueType fonts that have been compressed and have additional XML metadata added. The two primary goals are to differentiate font files for use as web fonts from font files intended for use in desktop applications via local installation and to reduce web font latency when fonts are sent from a server to a client over a network connection. Web Open Font Format (WOFF) is a file format for web fonts developed by Mozilla.

Web Open Font Format details overview extensions
Source : Wikipedia

WOFF files, like ZIP files, serve as containers for other files, namely TrueType Font (TTF) and OpenType Font (OTF) files. These files enable web designers to use typefaces other than the usual characters seen on most PCs.

The WOFF2 format has replaced the WOFF format. WOFF2 has improved compression techniques that reduce the original file size by an additional 30%. As a result, WOFF2 files consume less bandwidth and load faster. WOFF files have the .woff extension, but WOFF2 files have the.woff2 extension.

WOFF Files: How Do They Work?

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used by almost all online pages to specify the layout of HTML and other elements on your screen. Developers, for example, can utilise CCS to modify online fonts by referencing fonts already installed on the user's PC. If your PC or browser does not support a font, it will show as a different font or will not load at all, depending on how the font stack is configured on the website.

To avoid this issue, custom fonts can be saved in a WOFF file, which is saved on a server alongside the rest of the web page elements. The designer can then reference the WOFF file with the @font-face CSS attribute and render the font in the browser.

Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari support the WOFF format, but you may need to update your web browser to the latest version.

WOFF Advantages

Using WOFF files provides various advantages in addition to extending the types of fonts available to web developers.

As an example: WOFF files are compressed, thus they load faster than other font file types.

HTML and CSS Support: WOFF files, unlike picture files, may be styled with HTML and CSS.

WOFF fonts are better for search engine optimization (SEO) than text pictures.

WOFF files contain typographical information such as contextual forms and old-style figures, allowing for optimal presentation on all devices.

WOFF files improve website accessibility since text can be read aloud whereas images of text cannot.

WOFF fonts aid in internationalisation by allowing you to incorporate fonts containing characters from various languages.

Design Your Own WOFF Fonts

Font editors, such as FontForge, let you create your own font sets and export them as WOFF files. FontForge can also convert WOFF files to TTF or OTF formats. If you prefer a different font editor that only accepts TTF or OTF, you can convert the fonts to WOFF files with the sfnt2woff programme.

Hundreds more fonts in WOFF format are available for free commercial and non-commercial use from Open Font Library and Font Squirrel.


III, Robert Earl Wells. “What Is WOFF? All About the Compressed Web Font Format.”

Lifewire, 21 Apr. 2020, https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-woff-web-open-font-format-4800761.