Moving to a system font stack

Hello all,

I’d like to start a discussion regarding the use of the system font stack.

A system font stack is a prioritized list of fonts that instructs the browser to use the default system font of the user’s browser.


  • No external font dependency (no network traffic, no parsing)
  • User use familiar font matching the ones from their operating system and browser. The site feels more native


  • Might need some maintenance (e.g., some better stack becomes available, on some font becomes deprecated because of OS/Browser change)
  • Not all users see the exact same font

System font stacks are not a new concept and are well known and documented. Therefore I think it is safe to use them.

I suggest using the stacks proposed by :


font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, avenir next, avenir,
  segoe ui, helvetica neue, helvetica, Cantarell, Ubuntu, roboto, noto, 
  arial, sans-serif;


font-family: Iowan Old Style, Apple Garamond, Baskerville, Times New Roman, 
  Droid Serif, Times, Source Serif Pro, serif, Apple Color Emoji, 
  Segoe UI Emoji, Segoe UI Symbol;


font-family: Menlo, Consolas, Monaco, Liberation Mono, Lucida Console,

I propose to make it the default and to use it for all default themes.

Here is my +1.


PS: Once we agree on the idea I (or anybody else working on this), will update this proposal with more implementation details and screenshots.




+1 thanks



While I understand the argument of familiarity and the feel of native software, we lose brand cohesiveness. My wish would be to have Nunito or Open Sans as the default font (I’m going more towards Nunito, tbh, even though Open Sans had a long run in the product), but I understand the problem we had in the past with imposing the font dependency. If, in the end, the pro of not using network traffic or parsing will be better for the user, I’m okay with that (+0)

Agreed. But one thing to keep in mind is that users who never updated the font on their theme of XWiki may fell at odds with the sudden font change. We might have a spike on forums posts and chats asking about it.