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The font-variant-position CSS property controls the usage of alternate, smaller glyphs that are positioned as superscript or subscript relative to the baseline of the font (which remains unchanged). These glyphs are likely to be used in <sub> and <sup> elements.

/* Keyword values */
font-variant-position: normal;
font-variant-position: sub;
font-variant-position: super;

/* Global values */
font-variant-position: inherit;
font-variant-position: initial;
font-variant-position: unset;

When the usage of these alternate glyphs is activated, if one character in the run doesn't have such a typographically-enhanced glyph, the whole set of characters of the run is rendered using a fallback method, synthesizing these glyphs.

These alternate glyphs share the same em-box and the same baseline as the rest of the font. They are merely graphically enhanced, and have no effect on the line-height and other box characteristics.

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


The font-variant-position property is specified as one of the keyword values listed below.


Deactivates alternate superscript and subscript glyphs.
Activates subscript alternate glyphs. If, in a given run, one such glyph is not available for a character, all the characters in the run are rendered using synthesized glyphs.
Activates superscript alternate glyphs. If, in a given run, one such glyph is not available for a character, all the characters in the run are rendered using synthesized glyphs.

Formal syntax

normal | sub | super



<p class="normal">Normal!</p>
<p class="super">Super!</p>
<p class="sub">Sub!</p>


p {
  display: inline;     

.normal {
  font-variant-position: normal;

.super {
  font-variant-position: super;

.sub {
  font-variant-position: sub;



Specification Status Comment
CSS Fonts Module Level 3
The definition of 'font-variant-position' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser Compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support No No


24 — 341

No No No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support No No No


24 — 341

No No No

1. From version 24 until version 34 (exclusive): this feature is behind the layout.css.font-features.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.

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