Today we are releasing our FOUT-B-Gone script to help control the Flash of unstyled type (FOUT) that happens in certain browsers when using web fonts.
What the heck is FOUT and why should you care.
The term was coined by Paul Irish in late 2009 and is an instance where fonts on a web page appear briefly unstyled prior to the loading of the @font-face font files. After the web page appears, the viewer sees unstyled fonts morph into styled web fonts.
Our script specifically targets Firefox 3.5-3.6 and Internet Explorer 7-9 only because other browser like Safari, Chrome and Firefox 4.0 handle FOUT on their own. This script is only compatible with web font @font-face implementations in a locally served CSS file. This means our script currently will not work on services like Google Web Fonts or others which require you to link to your CSS file on a remote server. Our script will work on web font services like ours where you have access to the @font-face calls and can place those on your own CSS file.
We have created this script to hopefully help the web font community feel more comfortable that user experiences from one browser to the next will be as similar as possible. This is our first version of this script and we would love to hear from you if you find issues or have recommendations for improvements. Please post comments here or send them to email@example.com.
Examples and downloads can be found at FOUT-B-Gone.