I'm currently working on a document which I expect to be read as a PDF eBook on iPad. The primary font family is Times New Roman which is just fine until it's presented in either italics or bold at which point it reverts to a sans-serif font which all looks a bit odd.

After doing a bit of research, it seems that iOS won't render bold or italics for a number of serif fonts. Is there a safe (and preferably free) font which will play nice on the iPad? Some eBooks I've checked use Sabon but this comes with a price. Any other ideas?

2 Answers 2


I'd start by looking at the fonts that ship with the iPad and using one of those, as you'll know the device has all it needs to render that typeface: http://iosfonts.com/ show the fonts that ship with the current version and is a good place to start.


After a bunch of trial and error - including looking at a few other eBooks - Garamond has turned out to be a safe bet. If it's of help to anyone, you can see it in action here: http://www.troyhunt.com/2011/12/free-ebook-owasp-top-10-for-net.html

No negative typeface feedback after 16,000 downloads so I assume it's working ok across devices.

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