Google software engineer Jeremie Lenfant-Engelmann observed in a blog post that Web users have long been limited to viewing online content using the default font sets that come with Web browsers.
Previously, Web designers had to restrict the fonts they used to fonts likely to reside on Web site viewers' computers. Thanks to the Google Font API, Web designers can now easily include new Web fonts in their site designs and know that site users will be able to view Web pages with those fonts.
"All modern browsers now support the ability to download Web fonts," said Lenfant-Engelmannin in a blog post. "A Web font doesn't need to be installed on your local computer -- it can be read directly from a Web server and used immediately on the Web page that you're loading."
Google is taking advantage of that new capability by adding six fonts to its Web-based word processing application, Google Docs, with more to come.
The new fonts include Droid Serif and Droid Sans, two fonts used on Android devices, Calibri and Cabria, two popular Microsoft fonts, and Consolas and Corsiva, a monospaced font and an italic font respectively.
Lenfant-Engelmann says that Google's fonts have been mainly Latin and Western European character sets, but notes that the company will be adding fonts in other languages like Greek and Hebrew soon.
In related news, Google demonstrated Google Docs on the Android platform and the iPad at an enterprise conference in France on Monday. The company is promising to deliver iPad and Android versions of its online apps in the coming weeks.