This feature is obsolete. Although it may still work in some browsers, its use is discouraged since it could be removed at any time. Try to avoid using it.

The obsolete HTML Base Font element (<basefont>) 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 compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
basefont No 12 — 79 No Yes No No
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
basefont No No No No No No


  • 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 />.

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