Outlook 2013 Ignores font-family

An effective way to force Outlook 2013 to use specified font stack is to wrap the text in question in a <span> and to use !important when defining the font-family. Outlook will still remove any Google fonts that are defined in the head, but other email clients will use them. Here is an example:

<head>
<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Indie+Flower' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
</head>

<body>
<table>
  <tr>
    <td style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">
      This will always be Helvetica.
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

<table>
  <tr>
    <td style="font-family: 'Indie Flower', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">
       Outlook will display Times New Roman. Others will display Helvetica or Indie Flower.
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

<table>
  <tr>
    <td style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">
      <span style="font-family: 'Indie Flower', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif !important;">
        Outlook will display Helvetica, others will display Indie Flower.
      </span>
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>
</body>

This came from this awesome article: https://www.emailonacid.com/blog/article/email-development/custom-font-stacks-in-outlook


I had this problem and found the following post that fixed the issue: https://litmus.com/community/discussions/982-outlook-overrides-font-to-times-new-roman

Basically, you need to add the following conditional css style snippet right after the body tag in the email template you want Outlook to take the desired font-family (in this case Arial, Helvetica or San-Serif) instead of the sticky MSO Times-New-Roman font:

<!--[if mso]>
<style type="text/css">
body, table, td {font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif !important;}
</style>
<![endif]-->

I just wanted to point out something about this font issue, that it isn't necessary to put your font-family declaration inside the body tag as CoderRoller mentioned in the previous answers.

Also I found something else about this issue, I was using a google Api's font inside the of the email like this:

And then inside the body tag:

<!--[if mso]>
    <style type="text/css">
        body, table, td {font-family: 'Playfair Display', Helvetica, sans-serif !important;}
    </style>
<![endif]-->

But Outlook doesn't agree with having a custom font like that, so then it ignores all the other fallbacks of fonts that are after your custom font, so if this is your case then just remove the custom google font, and use something like:

<!--[if mso]>
    <style type="text/css">
        body, table, td {font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif !important;}
    </style>
<![endif]-->

I have currently this css style in the head of the HTML, I tested this with litmus, and it doesn't matter if you have the declaration inside the body tag, or in the head tag.