Adds OpenType features—ligatures, kerning, and more—to Normalize.css.
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.

Note You might also like my more recent take on this project, Utility OpenType: CSS utility classes for advanced typographic features.

Normalize-OpenType.css wordmark


Adds OpenType features—ligatures, kerning, and more—to Normalize.css.

Read the blog post: Introducing Normalize-OpenType.css

Get the latest version of the CSS file

Or use

npm install normalize-opentype.css


First, normalize basic ligatures across browsers, and then get fancier, discretionary ligatures on <h1>, <h2>, and <h3>s.

An example of basic and discretionary ligatures.


Different situations require different numerals, depending on the context. Normalize-OpenType.css takes care of this for you, so you don’t need to know what combination of Proportional, Lining, Tabular, and Old-Style numerals you need to use.

An example of old-style, proportional numerals.

An example of tabular, lining numerals.

Small Capitals

Regular capitals draw a lot of attention in body copy. With Normalize-OpenType.css, anything wrapped in <abbr> will use small capitals instead. This works especially well with Typogr.js and equivalents.

An example of small capitals.


Kerning is turned on by default everywhere, and carefully turned off where it isn’t appropriate. A monospaced typeface’s application is ruined when automatic kerning is turned on. This is not the case with Normalize-OpenType.css; your code blocks have been preserved.

A kerning example.

…and more

There’s more optimisations included, so you don’t have to think about them: Lining, tabular numerals in code blocks, uppercase fallbacks for small capitals, and proper subscript and superscripts.

Getting started

Normalize-OpenType.css aims to be as easy to use as its namesake, Normalize.css. If it’s not that easy, please open an issue. Get the latest version of the CSS file here:

Get the latest version of the CSS file

Alternatively, use the package manager and build tool of your choice:

With npm

npm install normalize-opentype.css

With Component

component install kennethormandy/normalize-opentype.css

With bower

bower install normalize-opentype.css


Though technically Normalize-OpenType.css is not dependent on Normalize.css, the intent expectation is that the former would not be used without the latter. If you’re dropping in stylesheets:

<link src="css/normalize.css" rel="stylesheet" />
<link src="css/normalize-opentype.css" rel="stylesheet" />

If you’re using a preprocessor through something like Harp, you can import the files instead.

@import "normalize";
@import "normalize-opentype";


This library does the best it can with what it has. In order to use any of these optimisations, they must also be available in the font you are using.

I’m working on some blog posts and documentation about this, and will be sending them out via email if you’re interested.

There’s also a bug in Open Sans on Windows 7, with IE10 and 11, that’s caused by font-feature-settings, which this stylesheet uses heavily. We’re keeping an eye on it.

Running locally

If you’d like to see the test suite, or just want to view things locally, use the following:

git clone
cd normalize-opentype.css
npm install

To view the tests:

npm test

To compile any changes:

npm build


Thanks for considering contributing! There’s information about how to get started with normalize-opentype here.

If you’re new to all this GitHub, Open Source, JavaScript, Node.js, testing, wow all this stuff seems really difficult I just want to make my sites better stuff, I get it. I’m still there, too. Feel free to send me an email or open an issue here and I’ll do my best to share some resources that have helped me out.


Normalize-OpenType.css’ wordmark, examples, and some tests set in the Klinic Slab, designed by Joe Prince. The manicules were designed by Cade Cran for Dan Gneiding’s Dude Hank Pro. Both are available through the wonderful Lost Type Co-op.

Additional tests use Fira from Mozilla, and Source Code Pro from Adobe.


The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright © 2014–2015 Kenneth Ormandy