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What are the most safe fonts to use, that any browser can recognize?
Arial, Verdana and Times New Roman are considered common place and most likely the most acceptable fonts to use. Try not to use an obscure font as it might not appear correctly in other people's browser.
Check out http://www.google.com/fonts
I use it all my designs, it's easier than uploading your own fonts and there's very little speed issues with it.
I normally effect all text on the page with the same default font using below