My online help project will be translated into 35 languages, including Hebrew and Russian (Cyrillic) and other languages that don't use latin script or western style numbers. So now I'm wondering if there is any info out there about what fonts might work universally. I wonder if anyone has run into this issue. I've been using verdana, arial, and times new roman in my help systems..
I'm not sure if this is correct, but I assume that if a user in another country doesn't have one of these fonts, their system will just subsitute it for something similar, so maybe it's not a problem. Although it might affect the overall appearance of the Help topics .
I don't pretend to be an expert on this, but I believe you're looking for a unicode font, i.e. a font that supports the entire unicode range. Wikipedia has a list: Unicode font - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Normally, when a font is not available, the browser of other application will substitute the font, so it should be all right. But it may break you style guide.
The MS manual of style says:
Use fonts that are available in browsers and operating systems worldwide. Common fonts are Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New, Verdana, and Symbol. Alternatively, you can design your content so that fonts on the user’s system will be substituted if the
specified font is not available. (3rd edition, page 69)
-- Be sure to ask your translation agency, they know these kinds of things.
This is really helpful. Thanks so much, William