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# Fonts

NOTE: The <font>...</font> tag is deprecated (CSS inline styles should be used, either directly or via a template).[1]

## Generic font families

In order to give Web designers some control over the appearance of fonts on their Web pages even when the specified fonts are not available on the viewer's computer, the CSS specification allows the use of several generic font families. These families are designed to split fonts into several categories based on their general appearance. They are commonly specified as the last in a series of fallback fonts, as a last resort in the event that none of the fonts specified by the author are available. There five generic families are

Sans-serif <span style="font-family: sans-serif;">{{Wikipedia|Sans-serif|}}</span>

Fonts that do not have decorative markings, or serifs, on their letters. These fonts are often considered easier to read on screens.[2]

Serif <span style="font-family: serif;">{{Wikipedia|Serif|}}</span>

Fonts that have decorative markings, or serifs, present on their characters.

Monospace <span style="font-family: monospace;">{{Wikipedia|Monospaced font|Monospace}}</span>

Fonts in which all characters are equally wide.

Cursive <span style="font-family: cursive;">{{Wikipedia|Cursive|}}</span>

Fonts that resemble cursive writing. These fonts may have a decorative appearance, but they can be difficult to read at small sizes, so they are generally used sparingly.

Fantasy <span style="font-family: fantasy;">Fantasy</span>

Fonts that may contain symbols or other decorative properties, but still represent the specified character.[3]

## Fallback fonts

The CSS specification allows for multiple fonts to be listed as fallback fonts. In CSS, the font-family property accepts a list of comma-separated font faces to be used (when using CSS to apply a font whose name has whitespace in it, use single quotes to delimit the name), e.g.

<span style="font-family: Helvetica, 'Nimbus Sans L', 'Liberation Sans', Arial, sans-serif;">{{Wikipedia|Fallback fonts|}}</span>

which yields

Fallback fonts

The first font specified is the preferred font. If this font is not available, the Web browser will attempt to use the next font in the list. If none of the fonts specified are found, the browser will resort to displaying its default font face. This same process also happens on a per-character basis if the browser is trying to display a character which is not present in the specified font.

## Web fonts

Web fonts allow Web designers to use fonts that are not installed on the viewer's computer. (MathJax uses STIX fonts,[4] which are [scalable] Web fonts under royalty-free license.)

### @font-face rule

The @font-face rule is a technique to download remote fonts (which should be under free licence).[5] It is strongly recommended to use fonts which are under free licence.[6][7]