CSS font-variant

In the realm of web design, typography plays a vital role in shaping the visual identity and user experience of a website. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) provides a myriad of properties for controlling the appearance of text, including font-variant. In this article, we’ll explore the font-variant property in CSS, its various values, and its impact on typography.

What is font-variant?

font-variant is a CSS property that allows designers to control certain aspects of the typography beyond the basic font properties like size and weight. It enables the modification of text rendering, such as enabling small caps or controlling ligatures.

Understanding font-variant Values


The default value for font-variant. It renders text in its default style without any additional modifications.

Small Caps

Setting font-variant to small-caps transforms lowercase letters into uppercase letters that appear smaller in size but retain the same weight as the uppercase letters.

All Small Caps

Similar to small-caps, but it converts all letters, including uppercase ones, into smaller versions, creating a uniform appearance.

Petite Caps

petite-caps renders lowercase letters slightly smaller than regular lowercase letters, maintaining the relative proportions of uppercase letters.

All Petite Caps

Similar to petite-caps, but it applies the smaller size to all letters, including uppercase ones.


unicase combines uppercase and lowercase letters in a consistent manner, usually using uppercase forms for both.

Titling Caps

titling-caps renders uppercase letters with increased height and weight, creating a dramatic and decorative effect.

Implementation of font-variant in CSS

To apply font-variant to text elements in CSS, you can use the following syntax:


Replace .selector with the appropriate CSS selector targeting the desired text elements, and value with one of the font-variant values mentioned above.

Best Practices for Using font-variant

  • Consistency: Maintain consistency in the use of font-variant across your website to ensure a cohesive visual identity.
  • Legibility: Consider the legibility and readability of text when applying font-variant values, especially in body content.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that modified text remains accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments.

Impact of font-variant on Typography

font-variant can significantly impact the appearance and style of typography on a website. By leveraging its various values, designers can enhance the visual appeal and convey specific stylistic preferences or brand identities through their typography choices.


In conclusion, CSS font-variant is a powerful tool for customizing text rendering and enhancing typography on websites. By understanding its values, implementing best practices, and considering its impact on readability and accessibility, designers can create visually compelling and engaging typography that elevates the overall user experience.


  1. What is the default value of font-variant in CSS?
  2. How does font-variant: small-caps differ from font-variant: petite-caps?
  3. When should I use font-variant: titling-caps in my design?
  4. Are there any accessibility considerations when using font-variant values?
  5. Can I combine multiple font-variant values in CSS?

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