How to Change Font in HTML: A Straightforward Guide for Web Developers

By Cristian G. Guasch •  Updated: 09/18/23 •  7 min read

As a seasoned blogger, I’m often asked about the basics of HTML, especially how to change fonts. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the standard language for creating web pages. Understanding how to manipulate it allows you to tailor your site’s look and feel – including changing its font.

One of the magical aspects of HTML is its simplicity and accessibility. Even if you’re not an experienced coder, you can quickly learn how to change a font in HTML with just a few straightforward steps.

The first thing you need to know is that in HTML, we use tags – specifically the <style> tag, alongside CSS properties like font-familyfont-size and others – to alter fonts on our web pages. But don’t worry if these terms seem foreign right now; I’ll walk you through everything step by step!

Understanding HTML and Fonts

Diving headfirst into the world of web development, it’s impossible not to come across the term HTML. It stands for HyperText Markup Language, and believe me, it’s not as scary as it sounds! Simply put, HTML is the backbone of any webpage you visit. From the structure of a page to its content – everything gets determined by HTML.

Now you’re probably wondering where fonts fit into all this? Well, they play an integral role in shaping how your content appears on screen. The color, size, style—everything that defines the look and feel of your text is controlled by what we call font properties in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Let’s dive a bit deeper with some examples. Suppose you want to change the font type of a paragraph in your webpage. You’d use something like this:

<p style="font-family: Arial;">This is my paragraph</p>

In this snippet, font-family is the property that determines which font to use for our text.

But there’s more! With HTML and CSS at our disposal, we’re not just limited to changing font types; we can also adjust other attributes such as size or color:

<p style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 20px; color: red;">This is my styled paragraph</p>

Here font-size changes our text size while color adjusts…you guessed it right- color!

However, remember consistency matters when deciding on fonts for your website. If you’re using ‘Arial’ for headings then sticking with ‘Arial’ throughout makes sense unless there’s a specific reason for variation.

There are hundreds of different properties you can tweak when it comes to fonts in HTML & CSS. But don’t be overwhelmed! Getting familiar with fundamental ones like I’ve mentioned will give you a solid start. Happy coding!

Steps to Change Font in HTML

Changing the font in HTML can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with CSS. But don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through it step-by-step. Let’s dive right into it.

First things first, there are two main methods for changing fonts in HTML: inline styling and external stylesheets. Inline styling is done directly within the HTML tags while external stylesheets involve creating a separate .css file that your HTML document will link to.

For Inline Styling: Here’s an example of how you might use inline styles:

<p style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 20px;">This is some text.</p>

Here, I’ve set the text inside the paragraph tag (<p>) to use Arial as its font family and increased its size to 20 pixels.

For External Stylesheet: Meanwhile, if we’re using an external stylesheet, we’ll need a separate .css file.

p {
    font-family: Arial;
    font-size: 20px;

And then link this stylesheet back in our HTML file like so:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="styles.css">

<p>This is some text.</p>

In both cases, font-family changes the typeface while font-size adjusts how large or small the text appears on screen.

Remember though that CSS values can be overridden depending on their order and specificity. So if you’ve got conflicting instructions – say one command telling your paragraph tag to render in Times New Roman but another telling it to show up as Helvetica – be sure to check where these commands are coming from!

Just keep practicing and before long, manipulating fonts with HTML will become second nature!

Common Mistakes When Changing Fonts in HTML

I’ve seen it all too often. Aspiring web developers and seasoned pros alike, tripping up on the same common mistakes when trying to change fonts in HTML. Let’s dive into a few of these pitfalls, so you can sidestep them on your path to creating stunning websites.

First off, one common error is forgetting to specify fallback fonts. Here’s an example:

<p style="font-family: 'My Custom Font';">This is a test paragraph.</p>

In this case, if ‘My Custom Font’ isn’t available for any reason, the browser won’t know what other font to display and will default back to its standard font. It would be better to include a list of backup generic families like this:

<p style="font-family: 'My Custom Font', serif;">This is a test paragraph.</p>

Secondly, not properly linking external fonts can leave you scratching your head as well. Let’s say you’re using Google Fonts for your website and you forget or incorrectly link the CSS file provided by Google. Your custom font simply won’t appear! So always double-check that your URLs are correct and that they are placed within the <head> section of your HTML document.

Next up is misuse of units while defining font sizes. For instance,

<h1 style="font-size: 24;">Welcome!</h1>

Here, I’ve forgot to mention whether those “24” are pixels (px), points (pt), or ems (em). The correct version should look like:

<h1 style="font-size: 24px;">Welcome!</h1>

Lastly but certainly not least important – ignoring compatibility issues with older browsers can lead to major headaches down the road. Make sure you’re testing across multiple platforms and browsers before finalizing your design.

Remember, mistakes are stepping stones to learning. But with these pointers in mind, you’re well on your way to smoother sailing when changing fonts in HTML.

Tips for Choosing the Right Font for Your Website

Choosing the right font can be a game-changer when it comes to creating an impactful website. Let’s dive into few tips that can guide you in making this crucial decision.

First off, consider your brand identity. The font you choose should reflect what your business stands for. If you’re all about elegance and sophistication, go with script fonts like Lobster or Pacifico. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for a more professional look, opt for Serif fonts such as Georgia or Times New Roman.

<!-- Using Lobster font -->
<p style="font-family:'Lobster', cursive;">Hello World</p>

<!-- Using Georgia font -->
<p style="font-family: 'Georgia', serif;">Hello World</p>

Next up is readability. No matter how trendy a font may be, if it’s hard to decipher, it’ll do more harm than good to your site’s user experience. Sans-serif fonts like Arial and Verdana are known for their readability on screens.

<!-- Using Arial font -->
<p style="font-family: Arial;">Hello World</p>

<!-- Using Verdana font -->
<p style="font-family: 'Verdana';">Hello World</p>

Font size also plays a huge part in enhancing reader experience. A general rule of thumb is using 16px as base size but make sure to adjust accordingly based on the actual display size of different devices.

<!-- Setting font-size at 16px -->
<p style="font-size: 16px;">Hello World</p>

Lastly, remember less is more when it comes to number of fonts used in one page. Stick to two or three complementary typefaces that work well together – too many will just create visual chaos and confuse visitors.

In conclusion? Choose wisely! The right typography not only elevates aesthetics, but also significantly boosts engagement and time spent on your website.

Cristian G. Guasch

Hey! I'm Cristian Gonzalez, I created HTML Easy to help you learn HTML easily and fast.

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