Style Sheets & Body Text

Thomas Dowling tdowling at
Sun Dec 7 15:21:21 EST 1997

-----Original Message-----
From: Elizabeth Hamilton <hamilte at>
To: Multiple recipients of list <web4lib at>
Date: Saturday, December 06, 1997 7:09 PM
Subject: Style Sheets & Body Text

>Dear Listees,
>I'm just beginning to use Cascading Style Sheets and
>cannot make my BODY text specification work in Communicator
>4.01 but it works in MSIE 3.0.
>I want to specify that all headings be a sans serif
>font and that all body text be the same. I have placed
>the following markup inside the <HEAD> tags.
>    H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6 {font-family: "Arial", sans serif }
>    BODY { font-family: "Arial", sans serif }
>Am I doing anything wrong or is there a bug in Comm. 4.01?

Welcome to the CSS club--the more the merrier!

"Is there a bug in Communicator 4.01?"  Heh, heh, heh.  Yes, especially as
regards CSS support, but I don't think that's the problem here.

Try this:

<style type="text/css"><!--
BODY {font-family: sans-serif}

That should work, because headers are supposed to inherit font properties
from BODY.  Note that the default font name you want here is "sans-serif"
with the hyphen.  I'm also leaving out Arial, because AFAIK any system with
Arial installed uses it as the default sans-serif font.  Regardless, you
don't need to quote font names unless they contain white space.

In practice, this will fail anyway for a lot of documents in NN 4 because
Netscape incorrectly fails to make table cells inherit from BODY.  So if
you're using tables, you might be better off with:

BODY, TD, TH {font-family: sans-serif}

Thomas Dowling
Ohio Library and Information Network
tdowling at

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