Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use fonts from the Google Fonts catalog on any page?

Yes. The open source fonts in the Google Fonts catalog are published under licenses that allow you to use them on any website, whether it’s commercial or personal.
Search queries may surface results from external foundries, who may or may not use open source licenses.

Should I host fonts on my own website’s server?

We recommend copying the code snippets available under the "Embed" tab in the selection drawer directly into your website’s HTML and CSS. Read more about the performance benefits this will have in the “Will web fonts slow down my page?” section below.

Can I download the fonts on Google Fonts to my own computer?

Yes. To download fonts, simply create a selection of fonts, open the drawer at the bottom of the screen, then click the "Download" icon in the upper-right corner of the selection drawer. You can download the fonts to use in mock-ups, documents, or locally on your machine.

Note that when browsers render websites that use the Google Fonts API, they will check if a font is installed locally on your computer, and prefer to use the local version over web fonts. To make sure the fonts installed locally on your personal computer are always up-to-date, we recommend using a fonts manager (such as SkyFonts) that automatically syncs the latest versions of fonts from the Google Fonts API to your computer.

I am a type designer. How can I contribute to Google Fonts?

Google Fonts collaborates with type designers, foundries, and the design community worldwide.

If you’re a type designer interested in open source font development or if your fonts are not open source, but you would like to opt-in to include your fonts in our search results, please get in touch.

Which fonts can I use with the Google Fonts API?

The Google Fonts API can serve the fonts listed in the Google Fonts directory. Use the directory to preview the fonts and read about the designers who created them.

Should I request all of the fonts on Google Fonts on each of my pages, just in case?

No. Each font requested takes some time to download (if it's not already in the visitor's cache); only request the fonts that you're using on a given page.

Will web fonts slow down my page?

Web fonts are likely to enhance the performance, maintainability, and accessibility of your page.

Like any other asset, font files have to be downloaded to a site visitor's computer before they can be displayed. Fonts served by the Google Fonts API are automatically compressed for a faster download, and once downloaded are cached in the browser and reused by any other web page that uses the Google Fonts API.

As the Google Fonts API becomes more widely used, it is likely visitors to your site or page will already have any Google fonts used in your design in their browser cache.

In general, you should be aware of the size of the font files you are serving on your site or page. We recommend embedding only the families, styles, and scripts needed. The page load time indicator, located in the upper-right of the selection drawer, shows an estimation of how your selection will affect the overall load time (ex: slow, moderate, fast) of your page based on the number of families, styles, and scripts you’ve chosen in the “Customize” tab.

Learn more about how Google Fonts makes the web faster.

What does using the Google Fonts API mean for the privacy of my users?

The Google Fonts API is designed to limit the collection, storage, and use of end-user data to what is needed to serve fonts efficiently.

Use of Google Fonts is unauthenticated. No cookies are sent by website visitors to the Google Fonts API. Requests to the Google Fonts API are made to resource-specific domains, such as or, so that your requests for fonts are separate from and do not contain any credentials you send to while using other Google services that are authenticated, such as Gmail.

In order to serve fonts quickly and efficiently with the fewest requests, responses are cached by the browser to minimize round-trips to our servers.

Requests for CSS assets are cached for 1 day. This allows us to update a stylesheet to point to a new version of a font file when it’s updated, and ensures that all websites using fonts hosted by the Google Fonts API will be using the most updated version of each font within 24 hours of each release.

The font files themselves are cached for one year, which cumulatively has the effect of making the entire web faster: When millions of websites all link to the same fonts, they are cached after visiting the first website and appear instantly on all other subsequently visited sites. We do sometimes update font files to reduce their file size, increase coverage of languages, and improve the quality of their design. The result is that website visitors send very few requests to Google: We only see 1 CSS request per font family, per day, per browser.

Google Fonts logs records of the CSS and the font file requests, and access to this data is kept secure. Aggregate usage numbers track how popular font families are, and are published on our analytics page. We use data from Google’s web crawler to detect which websites use Google fonts. This data is published and accessible in the Google Fonts BigQuery database. To learn more about the information Google collects and how it is used and secured, see Google's Privacy Policy.

How is text displayed while the browser is still loading the font file?

Behavior varies depending on browser type. Some browsers will only display text after font files are loaded, while others will use the fallback font from the font stack and then refresh the page when the font is available. The latter behavior is generally referred to as the "flash of unstyled text," or FOUT. For browser details, see the Technical Considerations page.

Can I use CSS3 features like text shadows in combination with web fonts?

Absolutely. CSS3 offers a range of features that can be applied to text on the web. Because text displayed using web fonts is still just text, it works well with CSS features like text-shadow and rotation.

Which browsers are supported?

The Google Fonts API is compatible with the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome: version 4.249.4+
  • Mozilla Firefox: version: 3.5+
  • Apple Safari: version 3.1+
  • Opera: version 10.5+
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer: version 6+

Does the Google Fonts API work on mobile devices?

The Google Fonts API works reliably on the vast majority of modern mobile operating systems, including Android 2.2+ and iOS 4.2+ (iPhone, iPad, iPod).

Support for earlier iOS versions is limited.

What do unsupported browsers see?

If someone using an unsupported browser visits a page that uses the Google Fonts API, the text is displayed using the next available font in your CSS font stack.

In the following example, the text would be displayed in the unsupported browser's default cursive font:

p { font-family: 'Pacifico', cursive; }

What generic fallback fonts are available?

CSS defines a set of generic font families; you can list a generic family at the end of a font stack, for browsers to fall back to. Each browser has a default font that it uses for each of these generic fonts.

Serif A font with serifs.

Sans-serif A font without serifs.

Cursive A font that has joined strokes that make it look at least somewhat like handwriting.

Fantasy A decorative font (but focused on characters rather than on icons or pictures).

Monospace A font in which every character is the same width.