HTML and CSS Reference
Figure 4-33. Some text rendered in the browser's default typeface, and then in Calibri
GENERIC FONT FAMILIES
There are five generic font family names built into the CSS language. Using any of these in a font-family
declaration will instruct the browser to render text in whatever default typeface it's configured to use for
that generic family.
serif : A typeface featuring serifs, which are ornamental crosslines at the ends of
a character's main strokes. Times New Roman and Georgia are serif typefaces.
sans-serif : Literally, “without serif”; a typeface that lacks those ornamental
flourishes. Helvetica and Arial are sans serif typefaces.
monospace : A typeface in which every character, including punctuation, occupies
the same width. Courier and Monaco are monospace typefaces.
cursive : A fancy typeface modeled after handwriting. Brush Script MT and Apple
Chancery are common cursive typefaces.
fantasy : A decorative or highly stylized typeface. Impact and Copperplate are
common fantasy typefaces.
Serif typefaces are best for print, as they remain readable at small sizes. On screen, however, the fine
points of the serifs tend to be lost or blocky when rendered in pixels, so sans serif typefaces are generally
easier to read on the Web (though serifs can be quite lovely at larger sizes). Monospace typefaces are best
for displaying computer code, where it's important to accurately make out each and every character.
Cursive and fantasy typefaces are more decorative and can be difficult to read so they should only be used
for large headings, or avoided entirely; never use a cursive or fantasy typeface for body text.
We've changed the font family, but what about the size? Most browsers today render body text at a default
size of 16 pixels, which is a good average size, but might not be exactly what you want. You can change