Font Awesome v5 alongside Font APEX

Font APEX is preferred most of the time but sometimes there are icons I really want to use which are not (yet) included. For these cases I want to load the latest Font Awesome library.

It is possible to load Font Awesome instead of Font APEX by opening Shared Components -> Themes -> Universal Theme, and setting Custom Library File URLs to the location of the library (wherever you have loaded it). However, this replaces the Font APEX font completely so you can’t use both at the same time using this method.

These regions are shown in the same page; the first region uses a Font APEX icon, the second uses a Font Awesome 5 Free icon.

In order to use both at the same time, I’ve downloaded the latest free version of Font Awesome 5 from here (, taken a copy of the file css/all.css and edited it to replace all occurrences of “.fa” with “.fa5” (if you use CSS precompiler you can do this by editing the appropriate variables file, e.g. _variables.less). This is necessary because the “fa” class prefix would conflict with Font APEX. I named my custom file “fa5.css” and created a minified version as well.

On my web server I created the folder /fa5 under my public html folder, and copied the following files / folders into it:

  • /fa5/css/fa5.css
  • /fa5/css/fa5.min.css
  • /fa5/webfonts/* (all contents)

In my APEX application, in the Universal Theme properties I set:

  • Custom Library File URLs = /fa5/css/fa5#MIN#.css
  • Custom Prefix Class = fa5
  • (optional) Custom Classes = (comma-delimited list of your favourite icons)
Theme attributes to load a custom library.

Alternatively, you could upload the library into your Static Application Files and load them from there.

Files loaded into Static Application Files.
Theme settings to load the custom library from Static Application Files.
If you set the Custom Classes attribute on the theme, you get them listed for convenience in the Pick Icon / Custom list. It doesn’t show previews of the icons, however, since I don’t know how to load a custom library into the APEX builder environment itself.

There’s not enough room in the Custom Classes attribute to list every single icon, unfortunately. You might choose to include just the ones you use frequently. I’ve selected a number of them and listed them here if you want my list:

If I want my page to use an icon from Font APEX, I use the fa- icons as usual, e.g. fa-apex. Where I need an icon from Font Awesome, I have to include both the fa5 class as well as the icon class, e.g. fa5-restroom. For brand icons, of which Font Awesome has a large selection, the class is fa5b, e.g. fa5b fa5-amazon-pay. Font Awesome also includes a range of modifiers including sizes, spin, pulse, rotating, mirroring, and stacking.

The spin and pulse effects are not visible in the screenshot above. A live demo can be viewed and examined here:

You are, of course, asking, can I stack two icons AND spin just one of them? The answer, of course, is yes:

Issue #1: Featured Hero Region Icon

When I tried to use a Font Awesome icon in a Hero region with the “Featured” style, the font failed to load. This is because the “Featured” style overrides the font-family causing it to fail to use the Font Awesome font. To fix this, on the page I added the following CSS:

.apex-icons-fontapex .t-HeroRegion--featured .t-HeroRegion-icon.fa5:after,
.apex-icons-fontapex .t-HeroRegion--featured .t-HeroRegion-icon.fa5:before
  { font-family:'Font Awesome 5 Free'!important; } 

Issue #2: Navigation Menu Icon

In a navigation menu, APEX includes the “fa” class which controls the positioning of the icons in the menu, but it also overrides the font library and fails to load the icon from Font Awesome. To fix this, I further edited my fa5.css file (as well as the minified version) to add the following:

.fa.fa5:before, .fa.fa5:after {<br>
    font-family: 'Font Awesome 5 Free' !important;<br>

Bonus: Using an Icon Stack for a Region Icon

The Icon attribute on a region can only be used to provide a class (or list of classes) to serve as the icon for the region. To use a Stacked icon in this case is impossible as the stack must be specified using a span with nested nodes for each icon in the stack. A workaround for this is to use some jQuery to modify the html at runtime, as follows:

  1. Set the region’s Static ID, e.g. stacked
  2. Set the region’s Icon attribute to one of the icons in the stack (just so that there is something shown if the javascript is delayed), eg. fa5-camera
  3. Add this to the page’s Execute When Page Loads (this example is for a Hero region:
var stackCameraBan = '
<span class="t-HeroRegion-icon t-Icon fa5 fa5-stack">
  <i class="fa5 fa5-camera fa5-stack-1x"></i>
  <i class="fa5 fa5-ban fa5-stack-2x" style="color:Tomato"></i>

$("#stacked span.t-HeroRegion-icon.fa5").replaceWith(stackCameraBan);

It’s a messy kludge, and you’ll have to adapt it if you want to use it in other region templates (check what the span class is), but if this provides significant business benefit then it might be worthwhile.

Comparing Font Awesome 5 Free with Font APEX

I’ve loaded lists of all the icons in the Font Awesome 5 Free and the Font APEX libraries into a table and created a little application that allows me to compare them.

You can browse the list here:

  • 348 icons appear in both libraries
  • 722 are unique to Font APEX
  • 1,089 are unique to Font Awesome 5 Free
  • 2,159 total

Note: these stats are not perfect because some of the icon names are slightly different between the libraries – for example, all of the “hand” icons have slightly different names between the two libraries.

You can download all the source files (including the APEX icon comparison list application) from here:


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  1. Oh this is really helpful. Thank you. I replaced in one app Font APEX with FontAwesome Pro. But this is nice. I also tried the Fontawesome SVG version with mixed results. When I get a bit more time I will try to get that working properly too.

  2. Thank you Jeffrey, it worked! but still had to load Font Awesome script on HTML header of a page.
    Now trying to use those icons on a tree but not worked, any idea?
    Thanx in advance

    • If you have set your theme’s Custom Library File URLs correctly, you shouldn’t need to load any additional resources on your page.

      I don’t know what would cause it to fail for a tree control; you will need to examine the HTML generated for your tree using the Console to diagnose further.


  3. Felipe Colacioppo
    10 March 2021 - 2:25 am

    Dude, no “brands” icon I can use. They are not recognized. Only that type.
    What can it be?

  4. Felipe Colacioppo
    11 March 2021 - 1:42 am

    Thanks for reply Jeffrey

    I did this way “fa5b fa5-joomla”, but icon continue not appear.
    Tried with many icons Brand type, and no one was it possible to use.

    I using your files from github

    • Hi Felipe,

      Not sure – perhaps check your browser Network tab (Ctrl+R to refresh) and check that the resource fa-brands-400.woff2 is being loaded successfully.

  5. Felipe Colacioppo
    11 March 2021 - 10:59 pm

    Sorry for the ignorance, but how do I check if the resource is being loaded?

    • When you run the page in the browser, open the browser console (e.g. in Chrome press F12) – click on the “Network” tab, then press Ctrl+R (or whatever key combo refreshes the page on your browser) to log all network traffic. It should list all the resources downloaded for the page, including font files (.woff2 files).

  6. Felipe Colacioppo
    12 March 2021 - 4:35 am

    No, not is loaded the resource 🙁

    Where is the problem?

  7. I have loaded the new font awesome 6 per the instructions above into my application files. I am attempting to use the brand icons. The icons work except for in my desktop navigation menu. I have updated the .css and min.css with the suggested code (changing to fa6)
    .fa.fa5:before, .fa.fa5:after {
    font-family: ‘Font Awesome 5 Free’ !important;
    but the icons still won’t work in the menu. WDYT?

  8. Ginger that problem should be pretty obvious.

    I you are using Font Awesome 6, I guess you need to set the font-family to ‘Font Awesome 6 Free’ ..

    Also I would replace fa5 with fa6.

  9. Does this work the same with Fontawesome 6?

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