The font-style CSS property specifies whether a font should be styled with a normal, italic, or oblique face from its font-family.

Italic font faces are generally cursive in nature, usually using less horizontal space than their unstyled counterparts, while oblique faces are usually just sloped versions of the regular face. When the specified style is not available, both italic and oblique faces are simulated by artificially sloping the glyphs of the regular face (use font-synthesis to control this behavior).

Syntax

font-style: normal;
font-style: italic;
font-style: oblique;
font-style: oblique 10deg;

/* Global values */
font-style: inherit;
font-style: initial;
font-style: unset;

The font-style property is specified as a single keyword chosen from the list of values below, which can optionally include an angle if the keyword is oblique.

Values

normal
Selects a font that is classified as normal within a font-family.
italic
Selects a font that is classified as italic. If no italic version of the face is available, one classified as oblique is used instead. If neither is available, the style is artificially simulated.
oblique
Selects a font that is classified as oblique. If no oblique version of the face is available, one classified as italic is used instead. If neither is available, the style is artificially simulated.
oblique <angle>
Selects a font classified as oblique, and additionally specifies an angle for the slant of the text. If one or more oblique faces are available in the chosen font family, the one that most closely matches the specified angle is chosen. If no oblique faces are available, the browser will synthesize an oblique version of the font by slanting a normal face by the specified amount. Valid values are degree values of -90–90 inclusive. If an angle is not specified, an angle of 20 degrees is used. Positive values are slanted to the end of the line, while negative values are slanted towards the beginning.

In general, for a requested angle of 20 degrees or greater, larger angles are prefered; otherwise, smaller angles are preferred (see the spec's font matching section for the precise algorithm).

Variable fonts

Variable fonts can offer a fine control over the degree to which an oblique face is slanted. You can select this using the <angle> modifier for the oblique keyword.

For TrueType or OpenType variable fonts, the "slnt" variation is used to implement varying slant angles for oblique, and the "ital" variation with a value of 1 is used to implement italic values. See font-variation-settings.

For the example below to work, you'll need a browser that supports the CSS Fonts Level 4 syntax in which font-style: oblique can accept an <angle>.

HTML

<header>
    <input type="range" id="slant" name="slant" min="-90" max="90" />
    <label for="slant">Slant</label>
</header>
<div class="container">
    <p class="sample">...it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.</p>
</div>

CSS

/*
AmstelvarAlpha-VF is created by David Berlow (https://github.com/TypeNetwork/Amstelvar)
and is used here under the terms of its license:
https://github.com/TypeNetwork/Amstelvar/blob/master/OFL.txt
*/

@font-face {
  src: url('https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/16044/AmstelvarAlpha-VF.ttf');
  font-family:'AmstelvarAlpha';
  font-style: normal;
}

label {
  font: 1rem monospace;
}

.container {
  max-height: 150px;
  overflow: scroll;
}

.sample {
  font: 2rem 'AmstelvarAlpha', sans-serif;
}

JavaScript

let slantLabel = document.querySelector('label[for="slant"]');
let slantInput = document.querySelector('#slant');
let sampleText = document.querySelector('.sample');

function update() {
  let slant = `oblique ${slantInput.value}deg`;
  slantLabel.textContent = `font-style: ${slant};`;
  sampleText.style.fontStyle = slant;
}

slantInput.addEventListener('input', update);

update();

Formal syntax

normal | italic | oblique <angle>?

Examples

Font styles

.normal {
  font-style: normal;
}

.italic {
  font-style: italic;
}

.oblique {
  font-style: oblique;
}

Accessibility concerns

Large sections of text set with a font-style value of italic may be difficult for people with cognitive concerns such as Dyslexia to read.

Specific​ations

Specification Status Comment
CSS Fonts Module Level 4
The definition of 'font-style' in that specification.
Working Draft Adds the ability to specify an angle after oblique
CSS Fonts Module Level 3
The definition of 'font-style' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation No change
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'font-style' in that specification.
Recommendation No change
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'font-style' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

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

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support11211471
oblique can accept an <angle> No ?61 No ? ?
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support11124161 Yes
oblique can accept an <angle> ? No ?61 ? ? ?

1. Before Firefox 44, oblique was not distinguished from italic.