The inhibition of the two transmembrane, tumor-associated isozymes of carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 188.8.131.52) of human origin, hCA IX and XII, with a library of aromatic and heteroaromatic sulfonamides has been investigated. Most of them were sulfanilamide, homosulfanilamide, and 4-aminoethyl-benzenesulfonamide derivatives, to which tails that should induce diverse physico-chemical properties have been attached at the amino moiety, whereas several of these compounds were derived from metanilamide, benzene-1,3-disulfonamide or the 1,3,4-thiadiazole/thiadiazoline-2-sulfonamides. The tails were of the alkyl/aryl-carboxamido/sulfonamido-, ureido or thioureido type. Against hCA IX the investigated compounds showed inhibition constants in the range of 3-294 nM, whereas against hCA XII in the range of 1.9-348 nM, respectively. The best hCA IX inhibitors were ureas/thioureas incorporating 4-aminoethyl-benzenesulfonamide and metanilamide moieties. The best hCA XII inhibitors were 1,3,4-thiadiazole/thiadiazoline-2-sulfonamides incorporating 5-acylamido or 5-arylsulfonylamido moieties. These compounds also inhibited appreciably the cytosolic isozymes hCA I and II, but some selectivity for the transmembrane, tumor-associated isozymes was observed for some of them, which is an encouraging result for the design of novel therapies targeting hypoxic tumors, in which these carbonic anhydrases are highly overexpressed.