13. local overrides on Soylent.com

💡  Would you like more free lessons? Please subscribe on YouTube to show your support.

Lesson Details

  • Lesson: 13
  • Description: Using local overrides with CSS font-display to improve the performance of soylent.com

The goal of this lesson

To improve the page load performance on Soylent.com using the local override feature of DevTools.

What we'll cover

  • Introduction
  • Network
  • Font display
  • Local overrides
  • Conclusion


Soylent.com loads a custom webfont for some of their text. Before the webfont is ready, the browser hides the text to avoid the potentially jarring UX when switching from a fallback font -> to the webfont. Let's explore an approach of improving this experience.


Use the screenshots feature within the Network panel to observe the problem.

Network Screenshots

Notice some text has loaded, but the main headline has not.

Verify a webfont is being used in the styles pane by inspecting the headline text (once it has visually displayed).

Styles Pane

Font Display

One potential improvement is to use the font-display property, specifically: font-display: swap;

Font swap period: If the font face is not loaded, any element attempting to use it must render a fallback font face. If the font face successfully loads during this period, it is used normally.

font-display: swap gives the font face no block period and an infinite swap period.

To use font-display: swap, we must add it into the CSS file which Soylent uses. However the effect of this CSS property manifests itself during page load. If we make changes to the CSS file and reload the page, our changes made via DevTools are lost. Local overrides can fix this.

Local overrides

Cmd or Ctrl click onto the font-family CSS property within the styles pane. That takes you to the Sources Panel. From here, pretty print the CSS file. Open the overrides pane in the sidebar of the Sources Panel and enable local overrides. From here, you can right click on the CSS file and select 'Save for Overrides'.

Save for Overrides

Add font-display: swap; to all the font-face blocks which define the Apercu font.

Adding font display swap

Save your changes with Cmd / Ctrl + S and reload the page capturing screenshots.

The visual effects of font display swap on page load

Observe the first paint now includes the text.


In this lesson we used the Network Panel screenshot feature to observe webfont text which has a delay in displaying. We then used the Sources Panel local overrides feature to map a remote resource to our local filesystem resource. We then added the CSS font-display property to the CSS file font-face definitions which persisted after a page reload.