Deprecated: This feature is no longer recommended. Though some browsers might still support it, it may have already been removed from the relevant web standards, may be in the process of being dropped, or may only be kept for compatibility purposes. Avoid using it, and update existing code if possible; see the compatibility table at the bottom of this page to guide your decision. Be aware that this feature may cease to work at any time.

The <basefont> HTML element is deprecated. It sets a default font face, size, and color for the other elements which are descended from its parent element. With this set, the font's size can then be varied relative to the base size using the <font> element.

You should not use this element; instead, you should use CSS properties such as font, font-family, font-size, and color to change the font configuration for an element and its contents.


Like all other HTML elements, this element supports the global attributes.


This attribute sets the text color using either a named color or a color specified in the hexadecimal #RRGGBB format.


This attribute contains a list of one or more font names. The document text in the default style is rendered in the first font face that the client's browser supports. If no font listed is installed on the local system, the browser typically defaults to the proportional or fixed-width font for that system.


This attribute specifies the font size as either a numeric or relative value. Numeric values range from 1 to 7 with 1 being the smallest and 3 the default.

Usage notes

Do not use this element! Though once (imprecisely) normalized in HTML 3.2, it wasn't supported in all major browsers. Further, browsers, and even successive versions of browsers, never implemented it in the same way: practically, using it has always brought indeterminate results.

The <basefont> element was deprecated in the standard at the same time as all elements related to styling only. Starting with HTML 4, HTML does not convey styling information anymore (outside the <style> element or the style attribute of each element). In HTML5, this element has been removed completely. For any new web development, styling should be written using CSS only.

The former behavior of the <font> element can be achieved, and even better controlled using the CSS Fonts properties.

DOM interface

This element implements the HTMLBaseFontElement interface.


<basefont color="#FF0000" face="Helvetica" size="+2" />


Browser compatibility

Desktop Mobile
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari WebView Android Chrome Android Firefox for Android Opera Android Safari on IOS Samsung Internet


  • HTML 3.2 supports the basefont element but only with the size attribute.
  • The strict HTML and XHTML specifications do not support this element.
  • Despite being part of transitional standards, some standards-focused browsers like Mozilla and Opera do not support this element.
  • This element can be imitated with a CSS rule on the <body> element.
  • XHTML 1.0 requires a trailing slash for this element: <basefont />.

© 2005–2021 MDN contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.