The font CSS property is either a shorthand property for setting font-style, font-variant, font-weight, font-size, line-height, and font-family; or a way to set the element's font to a system font, using specific keywords.

As with any shorthand property, any individual value that is not specified is set to its corresponding initial value (possibly overriding values previously set using non-shorthand properties). Though not directly settable by font, the longhands font-stretch, font-size-adjust, and font-kerning are also reset to their initial values.


The font property may be specified as either a single keyword, which will select a system font, or as a shorthand for various font-related properties.

If font is specified as a system keyword, it must be one of: caption, icon, menu, message-box, small-caption, status-bar.

If font is specified as a shorthand for several font-related properties, then:

  • it must include values for:
  • it may optionally include values for:
  • font-style, font-variant and font-weight must precede font-size
  • font-variant may only specify the values defined in CSS 2.1, that is normal and small-caps
  • line-height must immediately follow font-size, preceded by "/", like this: "16px/3"
  • font-family must be the last value specified.


See the font-style CSS property.
See the font-variant CSS property.
See the font-weight CSS property.
See the font-stretch CSS property.
See the font-size CSS property.
See the line-height CSS property.
See the font-family CSS property.
The system font used for captioned controls (e.g., buttons, drop-downs, etc.).
The system font used to label icons.
The system font used in menus (e.g., dropdown menus and menu lists).
The system font used in dialog boxes.
The system font used for labeling small controls.
The system font used in window status bars.
Prefixed system font keywords
Browsers often implement several more, prefixed, keywords: Gecko implements -moz-window, -moz-document, -moz-desktop, -moz-info, -moz-dialog, -moz-button, -moz-pull-down-menu, -moz-list, and -moz-field.

Formal syntax

[ [ <'font-style'> || <font-variant-css21> || <'font-weight'> || <'font-stretch'> ]? <'font-size'> [ / <'line-height'> ]? <'font-family'> ] | caption | icon | menu | message-box | small-caption | status-bar

<font-variant-css21> = [ normal | small-caps ]


/* Set the font size to 12px and the line height to 14px.
   Set the font family to sans-serif */
p { font: 12px/14px sans-serif }

/* Set the font size to 80% of the parent element
   or default value (if no parent element present).
   Set the font family to sans-serif */
p { font: 80% sans-serif }

/* Set the font weight to bold,
   the font-style to italic,
   the font size to large,
   and the font family to serif. */
p { font: bold italic large serif }

/* Use the same font as the status bar of the window */
p { font: status-bar }

Live sample

    Change the radio buttons below to see the generated shorthand and it's effect.
<form action="createShortHand()">
    <div class="cf">
        <div class="setPropCont">
            <input type="radio" id="font-style-none" name="font_style" checked="" value="" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-style-none">none</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-style-normal" name="font_style" value="normal" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-style-normal">normal</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-style-italic" name="font_style" value="italic" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-style-italic">italic</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-style-oblique" name="font_style" value="oblique" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-style-oblique">oblique</label>
        <div class="setPropCont">
            <input type="radio" id="font-variant-none" name="font_variant" checked="" value=" " onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-variant-none">none</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-variant-normal" name="font_variant" value="normal" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-variant-normal">normal</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-variant-small-caps" name="font_variant" value="small-caps" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-variant-small-caps">small-caps</label>
        <div class="setPropCont">
            <input type="radio" id="font-weight-none" name="font_weight" value="" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-weight-none">none</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-weight-normal" checked="" name="font_weight" value="400" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-weight-normal">normal</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-weight-bold" name="font_weight" value="700" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-weight-bold">bold</label>
        <div class="setPropCont">
            <input type="radio" id="font-size-12px" name="font_size" value="12px" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-size-12px">12px</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-size-16px" name="font_size" value="16px" checked="" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-size-16px">16px</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="font-size-24px" name="font_size" value="24px" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-size-24px">24px</label>
        <div class="setPropCont">
            <input type="radio" id="line-height-none" name="line_height" checked="" value="" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="line-height-none">none</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="line-height-1.2" name="line_height" value="/1.2" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="line-height-1.2">1.2</label><br/>
            <input type="radio" id="line-height-3" name="line_height" value="/3" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="line-height-3">3</label>

        <div class="setPropCont fontfamily">
            <input type="radio" id="font-family-courier" name="font_family" checked="" value="courier" onchange="setCss(5,'courier')"> <label for="font-family-courier">courier</label><br/>            <input type="radio" id="font-family-serif" name="font_family" value="serif" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-serif">serif</label><br />
            <input type="radio" id="font-family-sans-serif" name="font_family" value="sans-serif" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-sans-serif">sans-serif</label><br />            <input type="radio" id="font-family-arial" name="font_family" value="arial" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-arial">Arial</label><br />
            <input type="radio" id="font-family-monospace" name="font_family" value="monospace" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-monospace">monospace</label><br />            <input type="radio" id="font-family-cursive" name="font_family" value="cursive" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-cursive">cursive</label><br />
            <input type="radio" id="font-family-fantasy" name="font_family" value="fantasy" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-fantasy">fantasy</label><br />            <input type="radio" id="font-family-system-ui" name="font_family" value="system-ui" onchange="setCss()"> <label for="font-family-system-ui">system-ui</label><br />

    <div class="cf propInputs">
        <div class="propInputCont tar">
            font :
        <div class="propInputCont">
            <input type="text" class="curCss" id="input_font_style"><br/>
            font-style <br/>
        <div class="propInputCont">
            <input type="text" class="curCss" id="input_font_variant"> <br/>
            font-variant <br/>
        <div class="propInputCont">
            <input type="text" class="curCss" id="input_font_weight"> <br/>
            font-weight <br/>
        <div class="propInputCont">
            <input type="text" class="curCss mandatory" id="input_font_size"> <br/>
            font-size <br/>
        <div class="propInputCont">
            <input type="text" class="curCss" id="input_line_height"> <br/>
            line-height <br/>
        <div class="propInputCont">
            <input type="text" class="curCss mandatory" id="input_font_family"> <br/>
            font-family <br/>

<div class="fontShortHand">
    This is some sample text.
body, input {
  font: 14px arial;
  overflow: hidden;

.propInputCont {
  float: left;
  text-align: center;
  margin-right: 5px;
  width: 80px;

.setPropCont {
  float: left;
  margin-right: 5px;
  width: 120px;

.propInputs, .setPropCont {
  margin-bottom: 1em;

.curCss {
  border: none;
  border-bottom: 1px solid black;
  text-align: center;
  width: 80px;

.mandatory {
  border-bottom-color: red;

.cf:after {
  content: " ";
  display: table;

.cf:after {
  clear: both;

.tar {
  width: 40px;
  text-align: right;
.fontfamily {
  display: inline-block;
var textAreas = document.getElementsByClassName("curCss"),
    shortText = "",

getProperties = function () {
  shortText =
      getCheckedValue("font_style") + " " +
      getCheckedValue("font_variant") + " " +
      getCheckedValue("font_weight") + " " +
      getCheckedValue("font_size") +
      getCheckedValue("line_height") + " " +

  return shortText;

getCheckedValue = function(radio_name) {
  oRadio = document.forms[0].elements[radio_name];
  for (var i = 0; i < oRadio.length; i++) {
    if(oRadio[i].checked) {
      var propInput = "input_" + radio_name,
          curElemName = "input_" + radio_name,
          curElem = document.getElementById(curElemName);
      curElem.value = oRadio[i].value;

      return oRadio[i].value;

setCss = function () {

injectCss = function(cssFragment) {
  old = document.body.getElementsByTagName("style");
  if (old.length > 1) {
  css = document.createElement("style");
  css.innerHTML = ".fontShortHand{font: " + cssFragment + "}";



Specification Status Comment
CSS Fonts Module Level 3
The definition of 'font' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Added support for font-stretch values.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'font-weight' in that specification.
Recommendation Added support for keywords.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'font' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.
Initial value as each of the properties of the shorthand:
Applies to all elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inherited yes
Percentages as each of the properties of the shorthand:
  • font-size: refer to the parent element's font size
  • line-height: refer to the font size of the element itself
Media visual
Computed value as each of the properties of the shorthand:
  • font-style: as specified
  • font-variant: as specified
  • font-weight: the keyword or the numerical value as specified, with bolder and lighter transformed to the real value
  • font-stretch: as specified
  • font-size: as specified, but with relative lengths converted into absolute lengths
  • line-height: for percentage and length values, the absolute length, otherwise as specified
  • font-family: as specified
Animation type as each of the properties of the shorthand:
Canonical order order of appearance in the formal grammar of the values

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1 Yes 1 3 3.5 1
System fonts 1 Yes 1 4 6 1
Support for font-stretch values Yes ? 43 ? ? ?
Feature Android webview Chrome for Android Edge mobile Firefox for Android Opera Android iOS Safari Samsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes 4 Yes Yes ?
System fonts ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Support for font-stretch values ? ? ? 43 ? ? ?

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