To completely customize the look of your website, you can’t forget about typography — how you arrange and style text. Depending on your design, business niche, and audience, you may want to change the typeface, size, or color of your font.

For example, if you favor a dark gray over black in your color scheme, then you’ll want to change the default font color of your text. If you’re in media, then you may opt for a sans serif font, which is considered the easiest typography to read. But if you’re in the creative field, then you may opt for a decorative typeface like Morris Troy. These are just a few reasons you might want to style the font on your website.

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Let's look at how you can change font on your site with just a bit of code.  We'll cover:

This is how you use inline CSS. Inline CSS means your HTML and CSS will be placed together in the body section of your HTML doc. So, technically, you’ll be changing font “in HTML.”

You used to be able to simply use the font tag to change the style of text in HTML. So say you wanted to change your font to Arial, size 20px, and a nice orange color. You would have written the following line of HTML:

 
<font face="Arial" size="20px" color="#FF7A59">Your text here.</font>

However, this font tag was deprecated back in 1998 so it doesn't work with the latest version of HTML, HTML5. It has been replaced by a much more effective way to change the appearance of text: namely, CSS. CSS text formatting is a more lightweight and flexible alternative to the HTML font tag — and it’s not difficult to learn.

Let’s rewrite the example above using CSS to change the font type of a paragraph. It’s important to note that I’m using CodePen, which uses Times New Roman as its default typeface. I’m going to add the style attribute to the first paragraph element, which means only this paragraph will be styled. The other paragraph and headings on the page will remain as Times New Roman.

Here’s the HTML with inline CSS:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Type in HTML [Inline CSS]</h2>

<p style="font-family: Arial">This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.

</p>

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>Since I’m using the CodePen Editor, the default typeface is Times New Roman. That means changing the typeface of a paragraph will require me to use a style attribute that contains the CSS font-family property set to "Arial." The other elements on the page are not targeted by inline CSS and therefore remain Times New Roman.

</p>

Here’s the result:

See the Pen oNBMjeB by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

While inline CSS works perfectly for changing a single element on the page, other styles of CSS are recommended over inline CSS. For example, internal CSS can be placed in the head section of the HTML doc to style multiple elements on the page.

For example, let’s say I want to change the font of every paragraph element to Arial. Then I could use a CSS selector to target all paragraphs and place it inside the head section of the page.

Here’s the CSS:

 

 

   p {

 font-family: Arial;

 }

 

Here’s the HTML:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Type in HTML [Internal CSS]</h2>

<p>This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.

</p>

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>Since I’m using the CodePen editor, the default typeface is Times New Roman. That means changing the typeface of all paragraphs on the page will require me to use a CSS type selector and set the CSS font-family property  to "Arial." The headings  on the page will remain Times New Roman.

</p>

Here’s the result:

See the Pen GRrBpyQ by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Now that we understand how to change font type using inline and internal CSS, let’s turn our attention to font size.

To continue to rewrite the first example that used the obsolete font tag, let’s change the font size of a paragraph to 20px with CSS. For this example, I’m still going to use CodePen, but I’m going to load Bootstrap CSS on the page. That means, in addition to the default font type being Helvetica, the default font size of paragraphs will be 16px, heading 2s will be 32px, and heading 3s will be 28px.

Same as above, I’m going to start by adding the style attribute to the first paragraph element, which means only this paragraph will be styled. The other paragraph and headings on the page will remain their default sizes.

Here’s the HTML with inline CSS:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Size in HTML [Inline CSS]</h2>

<p style="font-size: 20px">This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. 

</p>

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>I’m using the CodePen Editor but loading BootstrapCDN, so the default font-size of the body and paragraphs are 16px, H2s are 32px, and H3s are 28px. The default typeface is also Helvetica. That means changing the size of the first paragraph will require me to use a style attribute that contains the CSS font-size property set to "20px." The other elements on the page are not targeted by inline CSS and therefore remain their default sizes.

</p>

 

Here’s the result:

See the Pen How to Change Font Size in HTML [Inline CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Now let’s say I want to change the font of every paragraph element to 20px. Then I could use a CSS selector to target all paragraphs and place it inside the head section of the page.

Here’s the CSS:

 

 

   p {

 font-size: 20px;

 }

 

Here’s the HTML:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Size in HTML [Internal CSS]</h2>

<p>This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. 

</p>

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>I’m using the CodePen Editor but loading BootstrapCDN, so the default font-size of the body and paragraphs are 16px, H2s are 32px, and H3s are 28px.  The default typeface is also Arial. That means changing the size of all paragraphs on the page will require me to use a CSS type selector and set the CSS font-size property  to "20px." The headings  on the page will their default sizes.

</p>



Here’s the result:

See the Pen How to Change Font Size in HTML [Internal CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Change Font Size Within the Same Paragraph

Another advantage of CSS over the deprecated font tag is that it provides you more granular control over your code so you can do things like change the font size of text within the same paragraph.

If I'd like to keep the paragraph at its default font size, then I'd just wrap the text that I wanted to change the size of in <span> tags. Then I'd add a style attribute with the font-size property set to the value I want. 

Here's the HTML with inline CSS:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Size Within the Same Paragraph [Inline CSS]</h2>

<p>This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. <span  style="font-size: 22px">This is larger text.</span> This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.

</p>

 

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>I’m using the CodePen Editor but loading BootstrapCDN, so the default font-size of paragraphs are 16px. To change the font size of text within a paragraph, I will wrap the text in span tags. Then, I will add a style attribute that contains the CSS font-size property set to a value other than 16px. In this example, it's set to 22px.

</p>

 

Here's the result:

See the Pen How to Change Font Size Within the Same Paragraph [Inline CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

If I'd like to change the font size of the paragraph and text within that paragraph to two different sizes, then I'd be better off using internal CSS. I'd still wrap the text that I wanted to change the size of in <span> tags. Then I'd add an ID attribute to both the paragraph and span element. Using the respective ID selectors, I'd set the paragraph and span element to two different sizes.

Here's the CSS:

 

 

   #larger {

  font-size: 18px;

}

#smaller {

  font-size: 14px;

}

 

Here's the HTML:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Size Within the Same Paragraph [Internal CSS]</h2>

<p id="larger">This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. <span id="smaller">This is smaller text.</span>  This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.

</p>

 

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>I’m using the CodePen Editor but loading BootstrapCDN, so the default font-size of paragraphs are 16px. To change the font size of a paragraph and text within a paragraph, I will wrap the text in span tags and add ID attributes to both the paragraph and span element. Then, I will use ID selectors and set them to differnet font sizes in the head section of the page. 

</p>

 

Here's the result:

See the Pen ow to Change Font Size Within the Same Paragraph [Internal CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

For a more in-depth look at the properties and values you can use to change the size of your text, read How to Change Font Size in CSS.

Using the same example as above, let’s now change the font color of a paragraph to Lorax orange (hex color code #FF7A59) with CSS. For this example, I’m going to use the CodePen Editor and not load Bootstrap CSS. But if you do want to use that framework, the default font color is the same (ie. black) and so is the process.

Same as above, I’m going to start by adding the style attribute to the first paragraph element, which means only this paragraph will be styled. The other paragraph and headings on the page will remain the default color (black).

Here’s the HTML with inline CSS:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Color in HTML [Inline CSS]</h2>

<p style="color: #FF7A59">This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.

</p>

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>Since I’m using the CodePen Editor, the default font color is black. (This is usually the case no matter what tool or framework you're using to build your web projects.) That means changing the color of a paragraph will require me to use a style attribute that contains the CSS color property set to the hex color code #FF7A59. The other elements on the page are not targeted by inline CSS and therefore remain black.

</p>

 

Here’s the result:

See the Pen How to Change Font Color in HTML [Inline CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Now let’s say I want to change the color of every paragraph element to maroon. Then I could use a CSS selector to target all paragraphs and place it inside the head section of the page.

Here’s the CSS:

 

 

   p {

 color: #FF7A59;

 }

Here’s the HTML:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font Color in HTML [Internal CSS]</h2>

<p>This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.

</p>

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>Since I’m using the CodePen Editor, the default font color is black. That means changing the color of all paragraphs on the page will require me to use a CSS type selector and set the CSS color property to the hex color code for orange (#FF7A59). The headings  on the page will remain black.

</p>

 

Here’s the result:

See the Pen How to Change Font Color in HTML [Internal CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

To learn how to change the background color of your text, read How to Change Text and Background Color in CSS.

How to Change Font in a Div in HTML

Changing font in a div is no different than changing font in a paragraph or span element. 

A “div" in HTML is simply an element that can divide your web page into sections so you can target them with unique CSS properties.

If you'd like to change the font type, size, and color of text on a page, then you could wrap it in div tags and use a CSS selector to style that element. Let's look at an example:

Here's the CSS:

 

 

   #example {

  font-family: Arial;

  font-size: 20px;

  color: #FF7A59;

}

 

Here's the HTML:

 

 

   <h2>How to Change Font in a Div in HTML [Internal CSS]</h2>

 

<div id="example">This is dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is smaller text.This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text. This is more dummy text.</div>

 

<h3>The Explanation</h3>

<p>I’m using the CodePen Editor so the default font-type, size, and color is Times New Roman, 16px, and black. To change all these properties of a section of text, I could wrap the text in a div and add an ID attribute to the element. Then, I can use an ID selector and set the font-family, font-size, and font-color properties in the head section of the page.

</p>

 

Here's the result:

See the Pen How to Change Font in a Div in HTML [Internal CSS] by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Changing Your Font with HTML & CSS

With some basic web design knowledge, you can change the type, size, and color of your font. This can enable you to customize every detail on your site and make your content more readable. If you’re building with the Bootstrap framework, check out more ways you can override the default settings in Bootstrap CSS to create a truly unique website.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Apr 16, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated April 16 2021

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