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Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide by Eric A. Meyer

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Styles and Variants

In comparison with everything that’s gone before, this section is practically a no-brainer. The properties discussed herein are so straightforward, and the complexities so minimal, that this will probably all come as a great relief. First we’ll talk about font-style, and then move on to font-variant before wrapping up the font properties.

Fonts with Style

font-style is very simple: it’s used to select between normal text, italic text, and oblique text. That’s it! The only complications are in recognizing the difference between italic and oblique text and knowing why browsers don’t always give you a choice anyway.

The default value of font-style is, as we can see, normal. This refers to “upright” text, which is probably best described as “text that is not italic or otherwise slanted.” The vast majority of text in this book is upright, for instance.

That leaves only an explanation of the difference between italic and oblique text. For that, it’s easiest to turn to Figure 5-24, which illustrates the differences very clearly.

Italic and oblique text in detail

Figure 5-24. Italic and oblique text in detail

Basically, italic text is in some way its own font, with small changes made to the structure of each letter to account for the altered appearance. This is especially true of serif fonts, where in addition ...

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