Skip to main content

Typekit warns on IE Browser Modes

Web font service Typekit has warned against relying too much on emulated older versions of Internet Explorer for cross-browser testing using Browser Modes.

The Browser Modes feature, included in IE9/10's developer tools, aims to make testing simpler by emulating how a website would render in a previous version of the browser, such as IE7 or 8.

According to Adobe's cloud-based service’s tests, these emulated testing environments create "more trouble than benefit because they behave differently than real copies of IE7 and IE* would," said the company in a blog post.

By way of example, the Typekit post explained how IE9’s Browser Modes for IE7 and IE8 render web fonts. Instead of correctly dealing with multiple weights or styles when such things are present, the emulated versions of IE “pick the first @font-face rule in the style sheet and use that weight for all text on the page set in that font family”.

A common symptom, according to the post, is seeing all text for a face in italic, since it's before ‘normal’ in the alphabet, and Typekit orders @font-face rules alphabetically.

The post encouraged testing in full installs of IE or using an online service that does the same, such as BrowserStack. Ironically, considering Adobe’s ownership of TypeKit, Adobe recently and abruptly shut down a tool that would have assisted with such testing.

On March 13, BrowserLab was closed (opens in new tab), which senior product manager Bruce Bowman blamed on a dramatically changing landscape and Adobe's focus being on "new solutions", such as Edge Inspect for mobile. Bowman recommended BrowserStack and Sauce Labs as other options.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.