Warning! Unfortunately, the copy buttons on these cheat sheets only work with Flash installed.
Hopefully in the future I can find a way to make it work with HTML5 instead.

Font Awesome

How to Use Font Awesome

Font Awesome is... well, awesome! It's a great icon-based font that's very commonly paired-up with Bootstrap-based web projects. It has a library of 369 icons—larger than the 200 native Bootstrap 3 glyphicons—and can also unlock unique features like flipped, stacked or rotated icons (and much more).

If you're finding the Glyphicons in Bootstrap 3 a little bit limited, Font Awesome is for you.

Cheat sheet?

Yeah! To use this cheat sheet, simply find the icon you want to use and click the copy button. This will give you the complete HTML Tag, Unicode HTML Entity or CSS rule for that icon to your clipboard, ready to paste into your web development tool of choice.

What is Font Awesome exactly?

Font Awesome is a font that's made up of symbols, icons, or pictograms (whatever you prefer to call them) that you can use in a webpage, just like a font.

Don't know how to set up Font Awesome? Go check out the offical getting started guide, or simply just include this line in your <head> tag:

(Font Awesome hosting very kindly provided by bootstrapcdn.com)

Counterpoint

Icon fonts aren't the only way to implement icons on the web. If you're looking for a explanation of using icon fonts vs. SVG files (another possible method), I'd suggest reading this excellent post by Ian Feather: Ten reasons we switched from an icon font to SVG.

How does it work?

So, how do I add an icon to my webpage? Well, Font Awesome's icons can be used on the web in one of three ways.

You can use a simple <i> tag to place an icon in your page, like this:

<i class="fa fa-home"></i> =

  • The first class—fa—is a base class. It tells the <i> tag, "hey, heads up: this is going to be an icon."
  • The second class (in this example, fa-home) points the specific icon you want to use. This one is an icon of a house!

To use a HTML Tag for an icon, simply copy and paste <i class="fa fa-home"></i> anywhere within the <body> of your page.

Warning: Don't mix with other components

Icon classes shouldn't be combined with other elements. They're designed to be standalone.

This works slightly differently, by:

  1. Specifying the Font Awesome web-font in a CSS rule with font-family
  2. Using the Unicode HTML Entity to display the icon

Firstly, the CSS rule. This should be placed inside a <style> tag, or better yet, in a seperate stylesheet:

          span.icon { 
  font-family: FontAwesome;
}

Next, the HTML Entity part:

          <span class="icon">&#xe021;</span>
        

The CSS rule specifies that any Unicode HTML Entity inside a <span class="icon"> tag will be rendered on the page as an icon.

The HTML entity inside the tag (in this case, &#xe021;) is a string of characters that tells the web-font to display a certain icon.

Note: This method may offer you more flexibility (for example, you could use a <div> or <span> tag instead).

This method works by including the rendering of the icon before the content using the :before CSS psuedo-element.

Firstly, the web-font is specified with font-family, and then the icon is specified by using the content property alongside a unicode hex entity (in this case, e021).

Because the hex entity is inside a style tag, it must be prepended with an escaped backslash, making it \e021.

This should be placed inside a <style> tag, or better yet, in a seperate stylesheet:

          span.icon:before { 
  font-family: FontAwesome;
  content: "\f015";
}

To add this icon to a page, add this HTML tag anywhere in the body of your page.

          <span class="icon"></span>
        

Note: This method is useful because it seperates the visual elements of your design—like icons—from the structural HTML, so you can add glyphicons to existing elements. Particularly useful for tasks like Wordpress or Moodle theme development, for example.

Examples

Note: For simplicity & clarity, in these examples Font Awesome has been paired up with the web components from Bootstrap 3. However, Font Awesome can be used in any website or web framework.

You can use glyphicons in a variety of ways; in buttons, button groups for a toolbar, navigation or prepended form inputs. Here are a few examples of glyphicons in action.

<button type="button" class="btn btn-default btn-lg">
  <i class="fa fa-star"></i> Star
</button>
      
      <div class="btn-toolbar" role="toolbar"> 
  <div class="btn-group">
    <button type="button" class="btn btn-default">
      <i class="fa fa-align-left"></i>
    </button>
    <button type="button" class="btn btn-default">
      <i class="fa fa-align-center"></i>
    </button>
    <button type="button" class="btn btn-default">
      <i class="fa fa-align-right"></i>
    </button>
    <button type="button" class="btn btn-default">
      <i class="fa fa-align-justify"></i>
    </button>
  </div>
</div>

Form Inputs

        	<div class="input-group input-group-lg">
  <span class="input-group-addon">
    <i class="fa fa-envelope"></i>
  </span>
  <input class="form-control" type="text" placeholder="Email address">
</div>
<div class="input-group input-group-lg">
  <span class="input-group-addon">
    <i class="fa fa-lock"></i>
  </span>
  <input class="form-control" type="password" placeholder="Password">
</div>

Additional Reading

Want more info on Font Awesome? Check out the official examples in the Font Awesome documentation.

About me

James Croft

My name is James Croft. I'm a web developer from Brisbane, Australia.

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