Operating systems default serif fonts

Operating systems default serif fonts
For the default sans-serif fonts, see Operating systems default sans-serif fonts

At least when it comes to web and digital mediums, serifs get less attention than sans-serif fonts, and the vast majority of modern designs use sans-serifs. But there are many situations when sans is not the best way to go, for example online newspaper editions, websites with a classical theme, or long-form content.

You’ve probably seen a css font-family declaration that didn’t include a specific webfont, but just the serif fallback, and wondered what font will be used on different platforms.

Whether you use a custom font or not, the recommended css font-family declaration calling for serif fonts is:

font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, serif;

In css serif will return the operating system’s default serif font. Most operating systems have had the same default since early versions, due to the fact that for many years the web was completely serif playground. Custom font declaration (in html, before css and font-family were a thing) did not exist from the begining.

Default serif font in MacOS

Though Times is the default serif that will be used, it seems that at least on Mojave and Catalina, Times New Roman is also pre-installed.

Actually Times and Times New Roman are branches from the same typeface, with minor differences in character design, but Times is hinted and characters will have a much better letter spacing.

MacOS (all versions)
Times

Default serif font in Windows

Windows (all versions)
Times New Roman

Default serif font in Linux

Many Linux users re-configure defaults to other fonts, so it’s almost impossible to accurately mention defaults. One of the most popular defaults is Noto Serif, due to its amazing language support.

Ubuntu
Times New Roman comes pre-installed, but defaults differ depending on setting
Other distros (Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora etc.)
It varies, can be Free Serif, Noto Serif etc. But Times New Roman generally comes pre-installed

Default serif font in iOS and iPadOS

iOS and iPadOS
Times New Roman (as TimesNewRomanPSMT)

Default serif font in watchOS

watchOS
Times New Roman (as TimesNewRomanPSMT)

Default serif font in Android

Android (4.0+)
Noto Serif
Android (older versions)
Droid Serif
An original article about Operating systems default serif fonts by Alina · Published in OS Fonts

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