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Font Family

Syntax: font-family: [[<family-name> | <generic-family>],]* [<family-name> | <generic-family>]
Possible Values: <family-name>
  • Any font family name may be used
  • serif (e.g., Times)
  • sans-serif (e.g., Arial or Helvetica)
  • cursive (e.g., Zapf-Chancery)
  • fantasy (e.g., Western)
  • monospace (e.g., Courier)
Initial Value: Determined by browser
Applies to: All elements
Inherited: Yes

Font families may be assigned by a specific font name or a generic font family. Obviously, defining a specific font will not be as likely to match as a generic font family. Multiple family assignments can be made, and if a specific font assignment is made it should be followed by a generic family name in case the first choice is not present.


P { font-family: "Arial", Times, serif }

See example in action

Notice that the first two assignments are specific type faces: New Century Schoolbook and Times. However, since both of them are serif fonts, the generic font family is listed as a backup in case the system does not have either of these but has another serif font which meets the qualifications.

Any font name containing whitespace must be quoted, with either single or double quotes.

The font family may also be given with the font property.