The world of web design and development is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging to keep up with all of the latest updates and changes. One of the most recent additions to the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) language is the font-display property, which provides developers with greater control over how web fonts are displayed on a page.
In this article, we will explore what the font-display property is, how it works, and why it is important to consider when designing websites.
What is the Font-Display Property?
The font-display property is a CSS property that determines how a web font is displayed on a page before it is fully loaded. It allows developers to specify the behavior of a font when it is loading, so that users don’t see a flash of unstyled text (also known as FOIT, or flash of invisible text).
How Does Font-Display Work?
The font-display property accepts five different values, each of which determines the behavior of a font when it is loading:
- auto: This is the default value and allows the browser to choose the best behavior for the font.
- block: This value ensures that the font will be displayed as soon as it is available, even if it takes longer to load. The text will be hidden until the font is fully loaded, at which point it will be displayed in its intended style.
- swap: This value allows the browser to display a fallback font while the intended font is loading. Once the intended font has finished loading, the browser will swap it in for the fallback font.
- fallback: This value is similar to the swap value, but with a slight difference. The fallback font will be displayed until the intended font has finished loading, at which point it will be swapped in. However, if the intended font takes too long to load, the fallback font will continue to be displayed.
- optional: This value tells the browser that it can use the intended font if it is available, but if it is not, the fallback font will be used instead.
Why is Font-Display Important?
The font-display property is important for several reasons. Firstly, it provides developers with greater control over how fonts are displayed on a page, which can help to ensure that users have a consistent experience when visiting a website.
Secondly, the font-display property can help to improve the performance of a website. By specifying the behavior of a font when it is loading, developers can reduce the amount of time that users spend waiting for fonts to load, which can improve the overall speed and responsiveness of a website.
Finally, the font-display property can also help to improve the accessibility of a website. By ensuring that text is always visible, even when fonts are loading, developers can make it easier for users with visual impairments to access and understand the content on a page.
The font-display property is a powerful tool that can help developers to create more user-friendly, accessible, and performant websites. By specifying the behavior of a font when it is loading, developers can ensure that users have a consistent experience, improve the performance of a website, and make it easier for users with visual impairments to access and understand the content on a page.
If you want to learn more about the font-display property or other CSS properties, be sure to check out the resources available online, including articles, tutorials, and forums dedicated to web design and development.