What is the Difference Between Oblique and Italic in CSS?

Posted on 11/12/2009 at 09:34 am by Kevin Wentworth
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This answer was located at on 11/12/09.  Answers written by johnl.

I was reading up on the CSS font-style property, making sure the default value was normal.  In case you are wondering, the default font-style value is normal.  What struck me was a new value I've never used before: oblique.  Now I'm curious... what's the difference between oblique and italic as it pertains to CSS fonts?

As it turns out, not much!  Based on what I learned (from this excellently thorough forum answer), it turns out that CSS actually uses the oblique font if it exists instead of the italic font if you set font-style: italic.  The CSS standard actually stipulates that when you specify font-style: italic; the oblique font will be used first, then if not found, the italic font will be used.

My short answer- stick with font-style: italic and CSS will figure out which font style is better to use- oblique or italic.


-Kevin Wentworth

Answers written by johnl. See Answer #2 in context at

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