Fonts – CSS

title: Fonts


The CSS font properties define the font family, weight, size, variant, line height, and style of an element’s text content.

Font family

The font family is set by using the font-family property.

It works with a fallback system i.e. if your browser does not support the first font specified, it tries with the next one, and so on. If the name of the font is longer than one word, it must be in quotes.

p { font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, serif; }

In the above example, “Times New Roman” and “Times” are s and “serif” is a . Generic names are used as a fallback mechanism for preserving style if the is unavailable. A generic name should always be the last item in the list of font family names. The generic family name options are:

  • serif
  • sans-serif
  • monospace
  • cursive
  • fantasy
  • system-ui

Importing a font

In addition to specifying common fonts that are found on most operating systems, custom web fonts can be used as well. To import such a font, copy the font URL from the library and reference it in the HTML. is a popular place to find fonts to import, but there are many other resources.

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">

Then you can use the font that you have imported (in this example, Lobster) in your code as normal.

Font style

The font-style property can be used to specify the text’s style.

This property has 3 values:

  • normal – Text shown normally
  • italic – Text shown in italic
  • oblique – Text shown slanted

italic and oblique both look like the normal font but slanted. The main difference is that italic is a whole other version of the font, slanted at a particular angle and sometimes styled slightly differently. oblique is the original font but with the ability to be slanted at and angle to different degrees.

If a font does not have an italic version, the oblique version may be substituted, and vice versa. If a font has neither version, the letters will be artificially slanted.

.normal { font-style: normal; } .italic { font-style: italic; } .oblique { font-style: oblique; }

Font size

The font-size property sets the size of the text. The default size is usually 16px.

There are several different values that may be used to determine size:

  • px (pixels) – The default size of text being 16px
  • em1em = the current font size, so 1em = 16px (recommended by the W3C)
  • rem (root em) – The value of the font size of the root element html. Whereas em units are relative to the font size of their parent element, rem units are always relative to the document’s root element.
  • small, medium, large – known as absolute size values
  • % – percentages
.with-pixels { font-size: 14px; } .with-ems { font-size: 0.875em; } .with-absolute { font-size: large; } .with-percentage { font-size: 80%; }

For more on these units, visit the MDN reference on CSS Values and Units

Font weight

The font-weightproperty specifies the weight (or boldness) of the font. Accepts keywords (bold, normal, bolder, lighter) or numeric keywords (100, 200, 300, 400 etc.) 400 is the same as normal.

p { font-weight: bold; }

Font responsiveness

The text size can be set with a vw (viewport width) unit.
This will allow the text to adjust to the size of the browser window.

<h1 style="font-size: 10vw">Hello World</h1>

Viewport is the browser window size. 1vw = 1% of viewport width. If the viewport is 50cm wide, 1vw is 0.5cm.

Font variant

The font-variant property specifies if text should be displayed using small capitals. When the value small-caps is used, all lowercase letters in the text are converted to uppercase letters while appearing in a smaller font-size than the original uppercase letters.

p.small { font-variant: small-caps; }

Font shorthand property

Font properties can be specified with the shorthand font.

It takes as values (in this order):

  • font-style (optional)
  • font-variant (optional)
  • font-weight (optional)
  • font-size (mandatory)
  • line-height (optional)
  • font-family (mandatory)
p { font: italic small-caps 800 20px/1.5 Arial; }

More Information:

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