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Font Size units

P: n/a
Sorry if the question is a bit basic.

I generally express my font sizes in pixels, originally to handle the
Macintosh/Windows font size differences (though I believe that they both
now treat points the same way, at least within the browser window).

It has been suggested that one should use ems to allow browsers to
increase or decrease the text size. However, I have never had trouble
with pixels.

Which is best practice and why?

Also, I generally specify a font size for the body only, and the rest of
the elements as percentages (eg h1 { font-size: 200%; }). Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Mark
Jan 23 '07 #1
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71 Replies


P: n/a

Mark wrote:
Which is best practice and why?
Searching the newsgroup archives. This is a _very_ FAQ
Also, I generally specify a font size for the body only, and the rest of
the elements as percentages (eg h1 { font-size: 200%; }). Any suggestions?
That's fine -- you're "specifying font sizes" for all of them here. A
percentage is still a font size.

Best practice is to set the font size in either percentages or ems
(these are effectively the same) although using percentages avoids an
IE bug.

The only differences of best practice from your stated practice are
these:

* Always set the screen font sizes in relative units such as em or %
and never in pixels. If they ought to be different, that's the user's
choice and leave it with them. Only use absolute units (points or mm)
for printed output to a device with a clear physical mapping of sizes.
Even then it's unnecessary -- someone might _want_ a large text copy.

* Set the size of body text to 1em or 100% and DO NOT MESS WITH THIS as
it kills usability to do so. Generally setting it for <bodyis
easiest, but the important thing is that the "body text" of the main
content ends up as 1em, not necessarily <body>

* Don't go far below 1em, 0.8em is OK for "small" and maybe even
0.67em. Anything less is pretty much guaranteed to be unreadable.

* You _might_ set the default size to 80% or 70% for IE alone, as
there's a Windows bug that screws up the default size on high-res
screens with large fonts selected in the Windows desktop display. This
is a compromise though, because you are breaking the site for lo-res
Windows users. Life sucks, and IE sucks more than most.

Jan 23 '07 #2

P: n/a
Mark wrote:
Sorry if the question is a bit basic.
Asked often.
I generally express my font sizes in pixels, originally to handle the
Macintosh/Windows font size differences (though I believe that they
both now treat points the same way, at least within the browser
window).
Points are for printing. Neither points nor pixels are resizable by IE
users.
It has been suggested that one should use ems to allow browsers to
increase or decrease the text size. However, I have never had trouble
with pixels.
Please invite a person with impaired vision to use Internet Explorer,
then, and see what happens with your site when they attempt to increase
the font to a readable size, for them. (Hint: nothing happens.)
Which is best practice and why?

Also, I generally specify a font size for the body only, and the rest
of the elements as percentages (eg h1 { font-size: 200%; }). Any
suggestions?
http://k75s.home.att.net/fontsize.html

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 23 '07 #3

P: n/a
Thanks Beauregard & Andy for your comments.

I'm still a bit fuzzy on these em things.

OK, so an em is the same as the point size of the font, or something
like that. That's still a relative font size.

What happens if I want a particular font size, while somebody else wants
a different font size, at least to start off with. We both want to use
the same font-family. So how do we express this in ems? I can't see how
I wouldn't start this with a size in pixels ... ?

Mark
Jan 24 '07 #4

P: n/a
Mark wrote:
Thanks Beauregard & Andy for your comments.

I'm still a bit fuzzy on these em things.

OK, so an em is the same as the point size of the font, or something
like that. That's still a relative font size.

What happens if I want a particular font size, while somebody else wants
a different font size, at least to start off with. We both want to use
the same font-family. So how do we express this in ems? I can't see how
I wouldn't start this with a size in pixels ... ?

Mark
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but 1em=<default font size of user's
browser>

Setting body font size as 1em is supposed to be a good thing, but for me
is way to big. And I find it frustrating to have a font: rule in every
css element. So usually I set
body{font-size:0.8em}
Jan 24 '07 #5

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On Jan 24, 3:17 pm, Harris Kosmidhs
<hkosm...@remove.me.softnet.tuc.grwrote:
Mark wrote:
I'm still a bit fuzzy on these em things.
OK, so an em is the same as the point size of the font,
or something like that. That's still a relative font
size.
What happens if I want a particular font size, while
somebody else wants a different font size, at least to
start off with. We both want to use the same
font-family. So how do we express this in ems? I can't
see how I wouldn't start this with a size in
pixels ... ?

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but 1em=<default font
size of user's browser>

Setting body font size as 1em is supposed to be a good
thing, but for me is way to big. And I find it
frustrating to have a font: rule in every css element. So
usually I set body{font-size:0.8em}
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but what you just said
seems to amount to (exaggerating somewhat): 'So the user
chose the default font size that he/she finds comfortable
to read, but *I* think it's way too big for them,--I'll
just make the font noticeably smaller, because, hey, I'm
tha duh-signer here; screw the stupid users and their
bloody eyes.'

My default font size is 18pt, and any site that thinks 8px
fonts look cool or something won't ever get more than one
hit from me.

I just hope you're not a professional web-developer. If you
are, I just hope someone either makes you see the light or
fires you real soon.

--
Pavel Lepin

Jan 24 '07 #6

P: n/a
>Somebody correct me if I'm
>wrong but 1em=<default font
size of user's browser
Setting body font size as 1em is
supposed to be a good thing, but
for me is way to big.
So the font size in YOUR browser is too big for YOU. Why are you
changing the page and not the browser? I don't know any graphical
browser that doesn't have an option to let the user pick their font
size.

Jan 24 '07 #7

P: n/a
Harris Kosmidhs wrote:
Mark wrote:
>Thanks Beauregard & Andy for your comments.
You're welcome.
>I'm still a bit fuzzy on these em things.

OK, so an em is the same as the point size of the font, or something
like that. That's still a relative font size.

What happens if I want a particular font size, while somebody else
wants a different font size, at least to start off with. We both
want to use the same font-family. So how do we express this in ems?
I can't see how I wouldn't start this with a size in pixels ... ?
Pixels - in the most popular browser-like operating system component -
cannot be resized by any visitor who has vision problems. My page gave
you a sample. Did you try it with IE?
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but 1em=<default font size of user's
browser>
1em (or 100%) is the user's preferred size.
Setting body font size as 1em is supposed to be a good thing, but for
me is way to big.
Then set your own browsers' defaults to something a bit smaller. Simple
as that.
And I find it frustrating to have a font: rule in
every css element. So usually I set body{font-size:0.8em}
You don't need to set font size for every element. I detailed a
rudimentary setting on my page.
http://k75s.home.att.net/fontsize.html

body { font-size: 100%; }
h1 { font-size: 175%; } /* Adjust heading sizes as appropriate */
h2 { font-size: 150%; }
h3 { font-size: 135%; }
h4 { font-size: 125%; }
..legalese { font-size: 85%; } /* Footers and the "fine print" */

Using percentages instead of em units solves a problem with IE, where if
the user changes from, say, "Smaller" to "Medium", the browser *doubles*
the displayed size.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 24 '07 #8

P: n/a
p.*****@ctncorp.com wrote:
>Setting body font size as 1em is supposed to be a good
thing, but for me is way to big. And I find it
frustrating to have a font: rule in every css element. So
usually I set body{font-size:0.8em}

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but what you just said
seems to amount to (exaggerating somewhat): 'So the user
chose the default font size that he/she finds comfortable
to read, but *I* think it's way too big for them,--I'll
just make the font noticeably smaller, because, hey, I'm
tha duh-signer here; screw the stupid users and their
bloody eyes.'

My default font size is 18pt, and any site that thinks 8px
fonts look cool or something won't ever get more than one
hit from me.

I just hope you're not a professional web-developer. If you
are, I just hope someone either makes you see the light or
fires you real soon.
Why is everybody so ironic in this newsgroup?

And why everybody thinks that users do setup their programs they way
they want it to act? Most of the people I know don't even know where the
Settings... menu is. Yeah! Too bad, but that's the way it is...sorry...

Even I don't change the default values just to see what others see.

I stopped using px so that the user can increase/decrease the fonts, but
default font size (*I emphasize again* : the default px size the
browser has after installation) is too big.

PS: To avoid the ironic comments: No I don't think users are idiots.
They just *DON'T* care (the vast majority) learning how to customize
their computer from hardware to software.
Jan 24 '07 #9

P: n/a


On 24 Jan, 12:19, Mark <m...@comparity.not.example.netwrote:
OK, so an em is the same as the point size of the font, or something
like that. That's still a relative font size.
Something like the opposite of that!

The user's browser has a concept of "default size". This is based on a
complex cascade of screen resolution, monitor physical size, operating
system, user's OS desktop setting for "Larger fonts please, I bought
this snazzy new video card and now everything is tiny". Then you have
the browser, which has the browser vendor's idea of default sizes,
together with a clueful user's customised stylesheet. If you're really
unlucky you work for <foo>Bank where the admins push a badly-done one
of these onto every users' desktop and force them to use it !

On the whole though, an ideal "1em" is always the perfect size for
large blocks
of readable text and we assume that if it isn't, the user will fix
it for themselves.
(Print this out and frame it)

There's still an unworkable-around IE bug on big-res displays with
small screens where this is on the big side. Worse then that, you don't
even know how much in error IE is. I also make it a rule to never break
a site for compliant web browsers just to work with IE, so I use an IE
conditional comment to get round this, the only time that I do.

If 1em is "perfectably readable" than 2/3rd of this is the lower limit
before unreadability.

% and em are much the same on font-size. Use % if you're happier that
way.
Points are more like mm. They're an absolute unit, just one based on
the width of Gutenberg's thumb or something. It's just _wrong_ to use
them on screen, because screens of text are considered to care more
about user-friendliness and user-selectable defaults than they are
about absolute sizes. Maybe, if you're lucky, then your system is
configured so than an "inch" of absolute CSS units actually measures
that on the glass. If you are, you're a minority. If you are, then you
probably don't want have to adjust this careful adjustment just so that
you can make things readable.

Pixels have the disadvantges of everything, with only the advantage of
being how images are sized (unless you descend into scaling them).
They're handy for setting widths of screen elements that need to play
well with images, but otherwise avoid them. Even for vertical heights,
you're usually better leaving these unspecified and letting the browser
flow content into them than you are trying to control them around image
sizes.

What happens if I want a particular font size, while somebody else wants
a different font size, at least to start off with.
They should win. Either that or you should offer to go round and read
it for them. You just don't know what a good size is, in advance of
slapping it onto their screen and having them stare at it. This is why
Harris' approach is so wrong, it's forcing your choices onto the wrong
person.

Jan 24 '07 #10

P: n/a
On 24 Jan, 13:17, Harris Kosmidhs <hkosm...@remove.me.softnet.tuc.gr>
wrote:
Setting body font size as 1em is supposed to be a good thing, but for me
is way to big. And I find it frustrating to have a font: rule in every
css element. So usually I set
body{font-size:0.8em}
Do you use IE?
Do you have a high-resolution screen with "Large Fonts" selected under
desktop Display|Properties ?

Jan 24 '07 #11

P: n/a
Scripsit Beauregard T. Shagnasty:
Pixels - in the most popular browser-like operating system component -
cannot be resized by any visitor who has vision problems.
Actually they can be resized - by changing the monitor resolution. Of course
it's far from ideal solution to vision problems, but I wanted (in addition
to my usual nitpicking) to refer to the fact _no_ unit in CSS is really
absolute.

You probably meant to say that IE users cannot change a font size if the
author has set it in pixels. That's no quite true either. The user can use
the "Accessibility" options and make the browser ignore _all_ font sizes
specified on web pages. He can also use a user style sheet that sets font
sizes using the !important specifier.

However, this is _more difficult_ and clumsier than just using the View/Font
size setting or the font size control button.
>Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but 1em=<default font size of user's
browser>

1em (or 100%) is the user's preferred size.
Technically, 1em (or 100%) is - for font-size - the font size of the
enclosing (parent) element. By default, there is an initial
(browser-default) font size setting for <bodythat can usually be changed
from the browser controls. Thus, it can be called the user's preferred size,
though the preference is often implicit and not very conscious.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Jan 24 '07 #12

P: n/a

On Jan 24, 4:31 pm, Harris Kosmidhs
<hkosm...@remove.me.softnet.tuc.grwrote:
p.le...@ctncorp.com wrote:
[0.8em]
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but what you just said
seems to amount to (exaggerating somewhat): 'So the
user chose the default font size that he/she finds
comfortable to read, but *I* think it's way too big for
them,--I'll just make the font noticeably smaller,
because, hey, I'm tha duh-signer here; screw the stupid
users and their bloody eyes.'

And why everybody thinks that users do setup their
programs they way they want it to act?
Do you have any idea why they don't? Because programs tend
to come with 'reasonably good' default settings for an
average user out of the box.

Now, I'm visually impaired. I set up my browser to use 18pt
fonts by default so that I can read text without straining
my eyes.

But *of course* you know better and force 0.8em upon me.
(Well, honestly, since I've set up minimum font size as
well, you don't, - but not for the lack of trying! Now,
that's kinda fun. Thanks to the best intentions of
web-developers thinking in a similar vein I've had to jump
through some hoops to set up a comfortable browsing
experience where I should've gotten away with simply
choosing the appropriate default font size. Thanks guys, I
really appreciate the effort.)
Most of the people I know don't even know where the
Settings... menu is.
Some people certainly don't know that. And some of the
people that don't know that might find the default settings
uncomfortable. If that is the case, even the stupidest of
them will ask their support staff/IT
admin/computer-literate buddy for help.

It's not your job fixing imaginary problems with default
settings by forcing your own idiosyncratic preferences onto
other people. You're not doing any good. You're doing the
opposite of good.

The web is going to be viewed by dozen of different
browsers on dozens of different platforms, with users
setting up zillions of possible configurations for
comfortable browsing experience. Deal with it. Saying, 'I
think 1em is too big' is, frankly, clueless, because 1em is
a reference point to be set up by the user. By bloody
*definition* of it.
Even I don't change the default values just to see what
others see.
What 'others'? Me, with the setup I described above? Or me,
reading news on my PDA? Or my mother, who has 20/20
eyesight and loves to see as much text on the page as
possible, so she switches to font size so tiny I can't
friggin' recognize it as text.

Clueless.
I stopped using px so that the user can increase/decrease
the fonts, but default font size (*I emphasize again* :
the default px size the browser has after installation)
is too big.
Browser? Which one?

Oh. THE browser. Using what kind of display, resolution and
system-wide fonts?

Clueless.

--
Pavel Lepin

Jan 24 '07 #13

P: n/a
On Wed, 24 Jan 2007, Harris Kosmidhs wrote:
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but 1em=<default font size of user's browser>
You are wrong. It's not the "default size", but the "reader's size" in
the reader's browser.

What's are the default settings of the rear-view mirrors in your car?
Have you ever changed them?
Jan 24 '07 #14

P: n/a


On 24 Jan, 14:31, Harris Kosmidhs <hkosm...@remove.me.softnet.tuc.gr>
wrote:
And why everybody thinks that users do setup their programs they way
they want it to act? Most of the people I know don't even know where the
Settings... menu is. Yeah! Too bad, but that's the way it is...sorry...
So you should punish the ones that do?

Jan 24 '07 #15

P: n/a
Harris Kosmidhs <hk******@remove.me.softnet.tuc.grwrites:
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but 1em=<default font size of user's
browser>
Yep.
Setting body font size as 1em is supposed to be a good thing, but for
me is way to big.
If the default font size of your browser is too big, then change the default
font size of your browser. That's why it has preferences.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Jan 24 '07 #16

P: n/a
In article <ep**********@volcano1.grnet.gr>,
Harris Kosmidhs <hk******@remove.me.softnet.tuc.grwrote:
Why is everybody so ironic in this newsgroup?
I think you mean sarcastic. People get pissed off with so much
small text, who can blame them?

--
dorayme
Jan 24 '07 #17

P: n/a
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
Pixels - in the most popular browser-like operating system component -
cannot be resized by any visitor who has vision problems. My page gave
you a sample. Did you try it with IE?
Good News and Bad News on that front. IE7 does allow resizing of
hard-coded sizes, while IE6 doesn't. Firefox, of course, also allows
resizing.

Or to put it another way, given time, here's one more issue which may
resolve itself ... ?

Mark
Jan 25 '07 #18

P: n/a
Gosh, thanks for your constructive and friendly comments.

p.*****@ctncorp.com wrote:
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but what you just said
seems to amount to (exaggerating somewhat): 'So the user
chose the default font size that he/she finds comfortable
to read, but *I* think it's way too big for them,--I'll
just make the font noticeably smaller, because, hey, I'm
tha duh-signer here; screw the stupid users and their
bloody eyes.'

My default font size is 18pt, and any site that thinks 8px
fonts look cool or something won't ever get more than one
hit from me.
I'm short-sighted myself, and know all about hard-to-read pages. That's
not the question. The question was whether it is better to specify sizes
in em or px.

The short answer is that IE6 and before won't resize hard-coded font
sizes, so, without IE comments, it limits the users' control over the
page. OK.

In either case, it is still possible to specify unrealistically small
font sizes. Here's a nice trick:

h1 { font-size: 400 %; }
p { font-size: 40%; }

Now, how might one set a suitable font size for that?
I just hope you're not a professional web-developer. If you
are, I just hope someone either makes you see the light or
fires you real soon.
Thank you. FYI, the question was a technical one, such as professional
might ask. Not an emotional one, which is the hallmark of amateurism.

Mark
Jan 25 '07 #19

P: n/a
Mark wrote:
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
>Pixels - in the most popular browser-like operating system component -
cannot be resized by any visitor who has vision problems. My page gave
you a sample. Did you try it with IE?

Good News and Bad News on that front. IE7 does allow resizing of
hard-coded sizes, while IE6 doesn't.
Yes, that is so. I need to remember to specify IE *6* or less. (I'll
never have 7 on any of my computers.
Firefox, of course, also allows resizing.
...along with every other modern browser.
Or to put it another way, given time, here's one more issue which may
resolve itself ... ?
It's going to be awhile until all Win98 and Win2K users have converted
to Linux ... :-)

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 25 '07 #20

P: n/a
Sherm Pendley wrote:
If the default font size of your browser is too big, then change
the default font size of your browser. That's why it has preferences.
I think this is a totally valid-yet unrealistic-suggestion.

There's two problems with this:

1. According to webstats, most people still use IE/Win to read web
pages, and average Windows users are notoriously crap at setting-up
their computers. How many do you expect actually know they can change
their default font size, or can be bothered to do this?

2. As long as most people are unaware how easy it is to change their
default font size, website designers will reduce the default font size
so that IE/Win users can get a reasonable amount of copy in their
hypothetical 760x440px viewports.

I'm afraid that I must include myself in the latter group. Much as I
dislike contradicting good standards, punters are not going to change
and they not impressed by primary school sized text. But try telling
millions of surfers that their default font size is too big for their
tastes. It's a chicken-and-egg thing.

So, IMO the pragmatic solution is to decide on a minimum font size
percentage which is acceptable to a majority (based on IE/Win's 16px).
Make sure it's not so small that partially-sighted people will have too
much trouble with it, and make sure it's resizeable.

--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Jan 25 '07 #21

P: n/a
Am 24.01.2007 15:31 schrieb Harris Kosmidhs:
p.*****@ctncorp.com wrote:
>
Why is everybody so ironic in this newsgroup?
Because it makes live so much more interesting?
And why everybody thinks that users do setup their programs they way
they want it to act?
Do you suggest that users set up their programs in a way they don't
want them to act?
Most of the people I know don't even know where the
Settings... menu is. Yeah! Too bad, but that's the way it is...sorry...
And because you know better than those people who *do* know the
settings menu, you decide which font size is good for *them*?
Even I don't change the default values just to see what others see.
Sounds like a thoroughly tested website.
>
I stopped using px so that the user can increase/decrease the fonts, but
default font size (*I emphasize again* : the default px size the
browser has after installation) is too big.
For everybody? How interesting to finally meet the guy who knows every
single one of the 6+ billion people on earth well enough judge their
vision.

Jan 25 '07 #22

P: n/a

On Jan 25, 8:58 am, Mark <m...@comparity.not.example.net>
wrote:
Gosh, thanks for your constructive and friendly comments.
Oh, come on! You were expecting friendly attitude after
describing your "screw-you-all-I-know-better" practices and
instisting they're good despite most of the regulars
telling you time after time that NO, THEY'RE NOT and
explaining why? Talk about wishful thinking.
p.le...@ctncorp.com wrote:
[0.8em]
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but what you just said
seems to amount to (exaggerating somewhat): 'So the user
chose the default font size that he/she finds
comfortable to read, but *I* think it's way too big for
them,--I'll just make the font noticeably smaller,
because, hey, I'm tha duh-signer here; screw the stupid
users and their bloody eyes.'
My default font size is 18pt, and any site that thinks
8px fonts look cool or something won't ever get more
than one hit from me.

I'm short-sighted myself, and know all about hard-to-read
pages.
Gosh, that's a good one. I gotta tell that to my co-workers
and see how many of them actually manage to laugh their
backsides clear off. I'd bet on the figure being close to
45%.
That's not the question.
FYI, USENET is a medium for discussions, not a free
helpdesk. Group regulars are often willing to help, though,
at least in case of visitors willing to listen and grok.
The question was whether it is better to specify sizes
in em or px.
That's not even a question.
In either case, it is still possible to specify
unrealistically small font sizes. Here's a nice trick:
Don't do that then. You missed the point completely - it
wasn't about it being possible to specify small font sizes,
it was about body { font-size : 0.8em ; } being translated
into layman's terms as "serving (with no plausibly good
reason) content styled in font significantly smaller than
the user wants". Which is, in turn, translated into
management's terms as "screw the client".
I just hope you're not a professional web-developer. If
you are, I just hope someone either makes you see the
light or fires you real soon.

Thank you.
You're quite welcome.
FYI, the question was a technical one, such as
professional might ask.
A professional wouldn't ask that question. A professional
in training might ask that question, but he or she would
also be willing to listen to what others say. Assuming
thoughtful tone while asking questions like that does not
make you professional, although it might make it easier to
pass for one in the eyes of unknowledgeable people.
Not an emotional one, which is the hallmark of
amateurism.
Try walking into a car service and asking: 'Hey guys,
wouldn't you think five-wheeled cars with cardboard bodies
and nuclear fission engines would be much better that all
this four-wheeled, internal combustion nonsense.'

After listening to their (probably short and rather direct)
responses try calling them 'amateurs'.

--
Pavel Lepin

Jan 25 '07 #23

P: n/a
Sorry, I must have dozed off for a while and found myself on the wrong
planet.
Oh, come on! You were expecting friendly attitude after
describing your "screw-you-all-I-know-better" practices and
instisting they're good despite most of the regulars
telling you time after time that NO, THEY'RE NOT and
explaining why? Talk about wishful thinking.
Just which of my comments is described as "screw-you-all-I-know-better"?

Mark
>p.le...@ctncorp.com wrote:
>>>[0.8em]
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but what you just said
seems to amount to (exaggerating somewhat): 'So the user
chose the default font size that he/she finds
comfortable to read, but *I* think it's way too big for
them,--I'll just make the font noticeably smaller,
because, hey, I'm tha duh-signer here; screw the stupid
users and their bloody eyes.'
My default font size is 18pt, and any site that thinks
8px fonts look cool or something won't ever get more
than one hit from me.
I'm short-sighted myself, and know all about hard-to-read
pages.

Gosh, that's a good one. I gotta tell that to my co-workers
and see how many of them actually manage to laugh their
backsides clear off. I'd bet on the figure being close to
45%.
>That's not the question.

FYI, USENET is a medium for discussions, not a free
helpdesk. Group regulars are often willing to help, though,
at least in case of visitors willing to listen and grok.
>The question was whether it is better to specify sizes
in em or px.

That's not even a question.
>In either case, it is still possible to specify
unrealistically small font sizes. Here's a nice trick:

Don't do that then. You missed the point completely - it
wasn't about it being possible to specify small font sizes,
it was about body { font-size : 0.8em ; } being translated
into layman's terms as "serving (with no plausibly good
reason) content styled in font significantly smaller than
the user wants". Which is, in turn, translated into
management's terms as "screw the client".
>>I just hope you're not a professional web-developer. If
you are, I just hope someone either makes you see the
light or fires you real soon.
Thank you.

You're quite welcome.
>FYI, the question was a technical one, such as
professional might ask.

A professional wouldn't ask that question. A professional
in training might ask that question, but he or she would
also be willing to listen to what others say. Assuming
thoughtful tone while asking questions like that does not
make you professional, although it might make it easier to
pass for one in the eyes of unknowledgeable people.
>Not an emotional one, which is the hallmark of
amateurism.

Try walking into a car service and asking: 'Hey guys,
wouldn't you think five-wheeled cars with cardboard bodies
and nuclear fission engines would be much better that all
this four-wheeled, internal combustion nonsense.'

After listening to their (probably short and rather direct)
responses try calling them 'amateurs'.
Jan 25 '07 #24

P: n/a
On 25 Jan, 12:03, Mark <m...@comparity.not.example.netwrote:
Just which of my comments is described as "screw-you-all-I-know-better"?
"for me is way to big. [...] So usually I set body{font-size:0.8em} "

However this was Harris' comment not yours.

I don't agree with how you're currently coding things, but you seem
amenable to discussing it rather than taking this "It works fine for
me" attitude.

Jan 25 '07 #25

P: n/a

On Jan 25, 2:03 pm, Mark <m...@comparity.not.example.net>
wrote:
Sorry, I must have dozed off for a while and found myself
on the wrong planet.
No, you removed the attributions and the context and
answered to a message that was addressed to Harris
Kosmidhs. Since you answered as if I was talking to you,
I assumed I *was* talking to you, and that it was you who
mentioned the outrageous body { font-size : 0.8em ; }
Oh, come on! You were expecting friendly attitude after
describing your "screw-you-all-I-know-better" practices
and instisting they're good despite most of the
regulars telling you time after time that NO, THEY'RE
NOT and explaining why? Talk about wishful thinking.

Just which of my comments is described as
"screw-you-all-I-know-better"?
So 0.8em wasn't your idea, but, heck, using pixels to
specify font sizes is even worse.

[a few pages long unanswered, unattributed quote snipped]
FYI, the question was a technical one, such as
professional might ask.
A professional wouldn't ask that question. A
professional in training might ask that question, but
he or she would also be willing to listen to what
others say. Assuming thoughtful tone while asking
questions like that does not make you professional,
although it might make it easier to pass for one in the
eyes of unknowledgeable people.
Not an emotional one, which is the hallmark of
amateurism.
Try walking into a car service and asking: 'Hey guys,
wouldn't you think five-wheeled cars with cardboard
bodies and nuclear fission engines would be much better
that all this four-wheeled, internal combustion
nonsense.'
After listening to their (probably short and rather
direct) responses try calling them 'amateurs'.
Top-posting, attributions and context loss. How very
professional of you. Is there any point to explaining that
USENET posting conventions exist for a good reason, or
should I skip that step and proceed directly to mentally
*plonk*ing you?

--
Pavel Lepin

Jan 25 '07 #26

P: n/a
On 2007/01/25 09:25 (GMT) K A Nuttall apparently typed:
Sherm Pendley wrote:
>If the default font size of your browser is too big, then change
the default font size of your browser. That's why it has preferences.
I think this is a totally valid-yet unrealistic-suggestion.
You need to do more thinking.
There's two problems with this:
1. According to webstats, most people still use IE/Win to read web
....
pages, and average Windows users are notoriously crap at setting-up
their computers.
Where is the authority for this?
How many do you expect actually know they can change
their default font size, or can be bothered to do this?
Why does this matter?
2. As long as most people are unaware how easy it is to change their
default font size, website designers will reduce the default font size
Reduce the default font size

=

tyrannize the majority with biased designer judgement.
so that IE/Win users can get a reasonable amount of copy in their
hypothetical 760x440px viewports.
Bogus designer assumption.
I'm afraid that I must include myself in the latter group. Much as I
dislike contradicting good standards, punters are not going to change
and they not impressed by primary school sized text. But try telling
It's probably about 5 years past time for you to discover the current
average size of 16px. It hasn't been primary school sized in at least
that long. http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/f...px-tabled.html
millions of surfers that their default font size is too big for their
tastes. It's a chicken-and-egg thing.
Then maybe it should be up to the professionals to start doing the right
thing and accept that only the user is in the right position to
determine the right size for that user's environment.
So, IMO the pragmatic solution is to decide on a minimum font size
percentage which is acceptable to a majority (based on IE/Win's 16px).
No, the pragmatic solution is to defer to the judgement of your guests,
or their imputed judgement, via the browser makers.

BTW, the majority of browser defaults are actually 12pt, the size normal
people prefer. 16px just happens to equate to 12pt using the M$ default
DPI, but that default has become less than ubiquitous with the advent of
widescreen and high resolution. If you shop for a 17" laptop you're
liable to find the DPI setting is 120 rather than 96, which makes the IE
default translate to 20px.

When DPI is reasonably accurately set, rather than grossly overspecified
as was typical last century, 16px is not too big for normal people, and
on 17" laptops, even 20px is not too big for normal people.
Make sure it's not so small that partially-sighted people will have too
much trouble with it, and make sure it's resizeable.
No one should have to resize on account of a web developer who is
unwilling to respect his guests. Resizers are defense mechanisms
provided by modern browser makers to combat web designer disrespect.
--
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Jan 30 '07 #27

P: n/a
On 2007/01/24 15:17 (GMT+0200) Harris Kosmidhs apparently typed:
I find it frustrating to have a font: rule in every
css element. So usually I set
body{font-size:0.8em}
I find it enormously frustrating to need to use zoom (or minimum font
size) on 90%+ of web sites that don't respect that my default size is
perfectly set to exactly the right size for my environment. .8em X
exactly right is always too small, and is always an unjustified imposition.
--
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Jan 30 '07 #28

P: n/a
On 2007/01/24 16:31 (GMT+0200) Harris Kosmidhs apparently typed:
And why everybody thinks that users do setup their programs they way
they want it to act? Most of the people I know don't even know where the
Settings... menu is. Yeah! Too bad, but that's the way it is...sorry...
Sorry is your attitude that you know better than your guest.
Even I don't change the default values just to see what others see.
How do you tell you tell that your sites work when people have other
sized defaults, a minimum font size set, or use zoom?
I stopped using px so that the user can increase/decrease the fonts, but
default font size (*I emphasize again* : the default px size the
browser has after installation) is too big.
That's why defaults are adjustable. If they're too big for your
environment, the correct way to compensate is for you to adjust your
browser.
PS: To avoid the ironic comments: No I don't think users are idiots.
They just *DON'T* care (the vast majority) learning how to customize
their computer from hardware to software.
It only matters that its theirs to do and that any actually do.
--
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Jan 30 '07 #29

P: n/a
Felix Miata wrote:
BTW, the majority of browser defaults are actually 12pt, the size
normal people prefer. 16px just happens to equate to 12pt using
the M$ default DPI, but that default has become less than
ubiquitous with the advent of widescreen and high resolution. If
you shop for a 17" laptop you're liable to find the DPI setting is
120 rather than 96, which makes the IE default translate to 20px.

When DPI is reasonably accurately set, rather than grossly
overspecified as was typical last century, 16px is not too big for
normal people, and on 17" laptops, even 20px is not too big for
normal people.
This is all news to me, and it's something I must now read-up on. I
wasn't aware that browsers calculated fonts in point sizes based on DPI
values. As far as I knew, browsers still used 'medium = 16 pixels', and
this is always how it appears to me, when working on pages. So, thanks
for the link, I'm intrigued.
No one should have to resize on account of a web developer who is
unwilling to respect his guests. Resizers are defense mechanisms
provided by modern browser makers to combat web designer
disrespect.
What I was suggesting is that designers design for the status quo, who
are generally technically ignorant (I base this on 20 years experience
in the IT industry). They want web pages to look good for these people,
who have average eyesight and average browsers. Considerate designers
also design pages so that fonts are scalable - so that people with less
than average eyesight can change their browser default to a larger font
size. Where's the crime in that?
--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Jan 30 '07 #30

P: n/a
Okay, I've read-up on DPI, and it certainly was an eye-opener...

Felix Miata wrote:
BTW, the majority of browser defaults are actually 12pt, the size
normal people prefer. 16px just happens to equate to 12pt using
the M$ default DPI, but that default has become less than
ubiquitous with the advent of widescreen and high resolution. If
you shop for a 17" laptop you're liable to find the DPI setting is
120 rather than 96, which makes the IE default translate to 20px.
This is all news to me and something I shall look at more in the
future. Funnily enough, my home computer was the furthest from the
default, and has now been adjusted. However, the computers we use to
design with at work are all 100dpi, 4% above default. So, in our case,
I can't agree with the suggestion that designers' computers show an
unrealistic representation of actual font size, if anthing they show
them smaller than 'normal'.
No one should have to resize on account of a web developer who is
unwilling to respect his guests. Resizers are defense mechanisms
provided by modern browser makers to combat web designer
disrespect.
So, you don't accept that people with less than average eyesight are
the majority of the few who will have actually looked into adjusting
their computers to show fonts larger? Or that they will also base their
monitor buying decision on perceived font size or DPI value?

Anyway, the point is taken. I have certainly opted for higher base
percentages of late - certainly not going below 87.5% (equivalent to
14px at 96dpi) recently. My fluid design skills aren't up to scratch
yet, having done primarily fixed-width layouts for the last couple of
years, so adjusting to 100% will be a gradual process, and one that I
was working towards anyway.

--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Jan 31 '07 #31

P: n/a
On 2007/01/30 14:16 (GMT-0500) K A Nuttall apparently typed:
What I was suggesting is that designers design for the status quo, who
are generally technically ignorant (I base this on 20 years experience
in the IT industry). They want web pages to look good for these people,
Works good should trump looks good. Works good necessarily includes legible text. Only the user can determine the most appropriate text size for maximum legibility. Your frame of reference is biased, and excludes factors
local to the user.
who have average eyesight and average browsers. Considerate designers
also design pages so that fonts are scalable - so that people with less
than average eyesight can change their browser default to a larger font
size. Where's the crime in that?
We already have the best size set. When you assume otherwise you impose, which is rude. No amount of analysis and discussion will make it not rude. We shouldn't have to change it again because you have determined we made
inappropriate choices. You aren't here, so you can't possibly know what's appropriate here. Main body text should always be 100%/1em/medium, no ifs, ands or buts.
--
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Feb 1 '07 #32

P: n/a
On 2007/01/31 08:02 (GMT) K A Nuttall apparently typed:
Funnily enough, my home computer was the furthest from the
default, and has now been adjusted. However, the computers we use to
design with at work are all 100dpi, 4% above default. So, in our case,
I can't agree with the suggestion that designers' computers show an
unrealistic representation of actual font size, if anthing they show
them smaller than 'normal'.
Any time the system DPI setting deviates significantly from the actual DPI you get an unrealistic representation of any size that purports to be a real size. This goes for both users and designers. It used to be that
system setting and real DPI on average deviated significantly. This is no longer true, as the deviations now are just as likely to understate as overstate. http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/dpi.html

Mind you this only applies to fonts specified in absolute sizes. Px sized font actual sizes still don't relate to any particular physical sizes, or to sizes suitable for users. The same goes for relative sizes, except that
with relative sizes, it is reasonable to presume that, on average, medium/1em/100% will be close to if not exactly the right size, whatever that size happens to be in fact for any particular user, for main body text.
>No one should have to resize on account of a web developer who is
unwilling to respect his guests. Resizers are defense mechanisms
provided by modern browser makers to combat web designer
disrespect.
So, you don't accept that people with less than average eyesight are
the majority of the few who will have actually looked into adjusting
their computers to show fonts larger?
Resizers shouldn't necessarily be equated to default sizers. All modern browsers except the most common one have distinctly different default and resize mechanisms. IE only has a resizer integrated, while it takes its
default directly from OS settings.

How many people have non-average eyesight shouldn't play into the decision whether to accept user decisions about appropriate sizes. Any time you set main body text to something other than 100%/1em/medium, you're
overruling whatever that choice happens to be, big, small or otherwise.
Or that they will also base their
monitor buying decision on perceived font size or DPI value?
I think the reasonable perception of the under educated masses is that bigger display translates to bigger stuff. This often leads to shock upon discovery that the native display resolution (now for desktops typically
1280x1024 on 17" = ~96 real DPI) is higher than what they are accustomed to, which means smaller stuff (other than overall display height & width) instead of bigger stuff, unless they take the trouble to adjust system
settings to compensate.

True story from my brother, who is a large international company systems admin: People were commonly unhappy with their 19" CRT displays when purchased about 6 years ago to replace older 15" & 17" CRT displays. Their
smaller 17" LCD recent replacements have made them happier because they aren't "too big", even though the actual display size difference is under 1" diagonal. :-p
--
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Feb 1 '07 #33

P: n/a
Felix Miata wrote:
Works good should trump looks good. Works good necessarily
includes legible text.
All are important considerations, when developing a web site. Good
looks are important when selling a web site though - so many coding
dogmatists have web sites that look like shit - we'd soon be out of
business if they looked like that.
Only the user can determine the most
appropriate text size for maximum legibility. Your frame of
reference is biased, and excludes factors local to the user.
I think you'll find that ALL frames of reference are biased :-)

--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Feb 2 '07 #34

P: n/a
Felix Miata wrote:
I think the reasonable perception of the under educated masses is
that bigger display translates to bigger stuff. This often leads
to shock upon discovery that the native display resolution (now
for desktops typically 1280x1024 on 17" = ~96 real DPI) is higher
than what they are accustomed to, which means smaller stuff (other
than overall display height & width) instead of bigger stuff,
unless they take the trouble to adjust system settings to
compensate.
This isn't my experience. Higher DPI monitors are still a lot more
expensive where I live. Since taking an interest in this subject, I've
noticed that all of the larger monitors I have come across have average
or lower DPI values, making the type larger and easier to read.

I am looking to buy a new monitor myself, a 20" 1600px model, but I
can't afford one yet.

--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Feb 2 '07 #35

P: n/a
K A Nuttall <ke***@yammer.coedotyoukay.invalidwrites:
Felix Miata wrote:
>Works good should trump looks good. Works good necessarily
includes legible text.

All are important considerations, when developing a web site. Good
looks are important when selling a web site though - so many coding
dogmatists have web sites that look like shit - we'd soon be out of
business if they looked like that.
You're right, but the plain appearance isn't caused by dogmatic coding,
it's simply that dogmatic coders tend to be logical left-brain people
rather than artistic right-brainers. A person who can excel at both is
a very rare individual.

IMHO, the best results come from both types working together - a designer
and a developer, each working to his or her own strength.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Feb 2 '07 #36

P: n/a
Scripsit Felix Miata:
Any time the system DPI setting deviates significantly from the
actual DPI you get an unrealistic representation of any size that
purports to be a real size. This goes for both users and designers.
I'm not sure whether variation in DPI is the heart of the matter.

Please correct me if I'm wrong - and I mean this -, but it seems to me that
browsers typically use the pixel as the fundamental unit to which everything
is mapped according to some fixed ratio. The ratio may vary, but this is of
secondary importance; mostly it is "96 DPI", or 96 pixels = 1 inch. My point
is that the inch varies here.

Typically, 1pc = 12pt = 16px = 42.3mm, and the only really "physical" unit
here is px. When the monitor resolution is changed, the physical dimensions
of a pixel change of course, but pc, pt, mm, cm, in still have the meanings
as given by the equation. Thus, the CSS unit mm has only a casual and
allusive relationship to the millimeter as defined by the internation system
of units (SI) as a physical quantity. At some resolution, the CSS unit mm
might (almost) match 1 mm in the SI sense, but of course, people using other
resolutions may see your mm in different sizes.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Feb 2 '07 #37

P: n/a
On 2007-02-02, Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrote:
Scripsit Felix Miata:
>Any time the system DPI setting deviates significantly from the
actual DPI you get an unrealistic representation of any size that
purports to be a real size. This goes for both users and designers.

I'm not sure whether variation in DPI is the heart of the matter.

Please correct me if I'm wrong - and I mean this -, but it seems to me that
browsers typically use the pixel as the fundamental unit to which everything
is mapped according to some fixed ratio. The ratio may vary, but this is of
secondary importance; mostly it is "96 DPI", or 96 pixels = 1 inch. My point
is that the inch varies here.

Typically, 1pc = 12pt = 16px = 42.3mm, and the only really "physical" unit
here is px. When the monitor resolution is changed, the physical dimensions
of a pixel change of course, but pc, pt, mm, cm, in still have the meanings
as given by the equation. Thus, the CSS unit mm has only a casual and
allusive relationship to the millimeter as defined by the internation system
of units (SI) as a physical quantity. At some resolution, the CSS unit mm
might (almost) match 1 mm in the SI sense, but of course, people using other
resolutions may see your mm in different sizes.
You're supposed to set DisplaySize in your xorg.conf file, and browsers
should ask the Xserver for the DPI (or resolution and display size from
which they can work it out).

This is for X11 systems, I don't know what happens on Windows, Mac, etc.
I imagine in many cases things might default to 96DPI if some part of
the configuration is missing.
Feb 2 '07 #38

P: n/a
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fiwrites:
Please correct me if I'm wrong - and I mean this -, but it seems to me
that browsers typically use the pixel as the fundamental unit to which
everything is mapped according to some fixed ratio. The ratio may
vary, but this is of secondary importance; mostly it is "96 DPI", or
96 pixels = 1 inch. My point is that the inch varies here.
Precisely so. Browsers - operating systems in general, really - aren't
aware of the true resolution of the display device, and most of them simply
assume 96 DPI. When the real DPI varies from that - which it usually does -
then what is assumed to be an inch is actually no such thing.

I know of at least one browser (Netscape Nav) that can be calibrated to be
aware of your monitor's exact DPI, with the result that 12pt really is 42.3mm
onscreen - but few people actually go to the trouble of calibrating it.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Feb 2 '07 #39

P: n/a
In article <sl*********************@bowser.marioworld>,
Ben C <sp******@spam.eggswrote:
I don't know what happens on Windows, Mac, etc.
I imagine in many cases things might default to 96DPI if some part of
the configuration is missing.
On Macs, one usually just sets the dpi from a menu of choices for
the monitor. With LCD screens, best is native. One of mine is 20"
and 1600 x 1200 matches the inch measurements giving 100 dpi (but
there are lots of other choices, the "d" in the dpi varying with
each one.

--
dorayme
Feb 2 '07 #40

P: n/a
dorayme <do************@optusnet.com.auwrites:
In article <sl*********************@bowser.marioworld>,
Ben C <sp******@spam.eggswrote:
>I don't know what happens on Windows, Mac, etc.
I imagine in many cases things might default to 96DPI if some part of
the configuration is missing.

On Macs, one usually just sets the dpi from a menu of choices for
the monitor. With LCD screens, best is native. One of mine is 20"
and 1600 x 1200 matches the inch measurements giving 100 dpi
That doesn't change the DPI that's assumed for font rendering purposes.
That's why using pt sizes for fonts aren't reliable on the web - popular
OSes and browsers assume 96 DPI whether that's the actual resolution of
the user's monitor or not. That's also why, when you choose a higher res
for your monitor, display fonts get smaller instead of sharper.

There *is* some support in Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" for adjusting the assumed
DPI, but it's intended for developers. There's no user-friendly UI to adjust
it - you have to use the "defaults" command-line tool - and many apps aren't
yet aware of it.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Feb 2 '07 #41

P: n/a
In article <m2************@Sherm-Pendleys-Computer.local>,
Sherm Pendley <sp******@dot-app.orgwrote:
dorayme <do************@optusnet.com.auwrites:
In article <sl*********************@bowser.marioworld>,
Ben C <sp******@spam.eggswrote:
I don't know what happens on Windows, Mac, etc.
I imagine in many cases things might default to 96DPI if some part of
the configuration is missing.
On Macs, one usually just sets the dpi from a menu of choices for
the monitor. With LCD screens, best is native. One of mine is 20"
and 1600 x 1200 matches the inch measurements giving 100 dpi

That doesn't change the DPI that's assumed for font rendering purposes.
You are right... I should not have come in on this one...

That's why using pt sizes for fonts aren't reliable on the web - popular
OSes and browsers assume 96 DPI whether that's the actual resolution of
the user's monitor or not. That's also why, when you choose a higher res
for your monitor, display fonts get smaller instead of sharper.

There *is* some support in Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" for adjusting the assumed
DPI, but it's intended for developers. There's no user-friendly UI to adjust
it - you have to use the "defaults" command-line tool - and many apps aren't
yet aware of it.
Interesting... I think that in one version at least of iCab there
was a facility to tell the browser things about your resolution,
you would get a ruler out and measure a line it offered and enter
the result. I forget the details now or if this had anything to
do with the issue here.

--
dorayme
Feb 2 '07 #42

P: n/a
dorayme <do************@optusnet.com.auwrites:
In article <m2************@Sherm-Pendleys-Computer.local>,
Sherm Pendley <sp******@dot-app.orgwrote:
>There *is* some support in Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" for adjusting the assumed
DPI, but it's intended for developers. There's no user-friendly UI to adjust
it - you have to use the "defaults" command-line tool - and many apps aren't
yet aware of it.

Interesting... I think that in one version at least of iCab there
was a facility to tell the browser things about your resolution,
you would get a ruler out and measure a line it offered and enter
the result.
Yeah, Netscape Navigator (but not FireFox) has a similar utility.

Mac OS X's support is at the OS level though, and I think Windows Vista has a
similar setting. Both of those are system-wide, although since they're brand
new not all applications have caught up yet.
I forget the details now or if this had anything to
do with the issue here.
Calibrating your browser ensures that fonts specified as 12pt in HTML and/or
CSS really are displayed at 12pt onscreen - in your browser.

The problem is, many pages that specify a point size were written by folks
who haven't done that calibration and don't understand that, at its core,
on-screen font rendering is very often based on an assumption of 96 DPI that
is often not very accurate.

sherm--

--
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Feb 3 '07 #43

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Please correct me if I'm wrong - and I mean this -, but it seems
to me that browsers typically use the pixel as the fundamental
unit to which everything is mapped according to some fixed ratio.
The ratio may vary, but this is of secondary importance; mostly it
is "96 DPI", or 96 pixels = 1 inch. My point is that the inch
varies here.
I looked into this, after Felix pointed it out. In Windows, in Advanced
Display Settings, there is a DPI setting, which defaults to 96. There
is also a 120 DPI setting, and a custom setting, in which you can
stretch a virtual rule to match a real one.

If your physical DPI is lower than the default (as is the case with my
home 19" TFT), a reduction in DPI, using the custom setting results in
shrinking of the system fonts. There seems to be a certain amount of
rounding-up or down of system font pixel size involved, because there
seems to be a big difference with only a small change to the setting. A
bit of fine-tuning may be necessary to get the best result.

Internet Explorer and Opera base their font sizes on the system DPI
(defaulting to 12 points, which results as 16 pixels at 96DPI). Type
was indeed smaller with my new 86 DPI setting, but it was exactly the
same in Firefox, which has a default size of 16 pixels, regardless of
the DPI setting.

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K A Nuttall
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Feb 3 '07 #44

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On Fri, 2 Feb 2007, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Typically, 1pc = 12pt = 16px = 42.3mm
http://www.google.com/search?q=1+pc+in+m
http://www.google.com/search?q=12+points+in+mm
Feb 5 '07 #45

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Scripsit Andreas Prilop:
On Fri, 2 Feb 2007, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>Typically, 1pc = 12pt = 16px = 42.3mm

http://www.google.com/search?q=1+pc+in+m
Very funny. Surely everyone and his brother confuses the CSS unit pc (pica)
with the astronomic unit parsec on a daily basis. After all, we frequently
see people complaining that their font sizes are a few light years too
large.
http://www.google.com/search?q=12+points+in+mm
You could have just remarked that I had misplaced the decimal point and
meant 4.23mm.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

Feb 5 '07 #46

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On Mon, 5 Feb 2007, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>http://www.google.com/search?q=1+pc+in+m

Very funny.
>http://www.google.com/search?q=12+points+in+mm

You could have just remarked that I had misplaced the decimal point
and meant 4.23mm.
Yes - but that's not funny. ;-)
Feb 5 '07 #47

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On 2007/02/02 21:03 (GMT+0200) Jukka K. Korpela apparently typed:
Scripsit Felix Miata:
>Any time the system DPI setting deviates significantly from the
actual DPI you get an unrealistic representation of any size that
purports to be a real size. This goes for both users and designers.
I'm not sure whether variation in DPI is the heart of the matter.
Please correct me if I'm wrong - and I mean this -, but it seems to me that
browsers typically use the pixel as the fundamental unit to which everything
is mapped according to some fixed ratio. The ratio may vary, but this is of
secondary importance; mostly it is "96 DPI", or 96 pixels = 1 inch. My point
is that the inch varies here.
I don't know about the others, but Gecko browsers have up until a few days ago (development trunk only) used the twip, and did a lot of internal juggling to get results in px, leading to aggravating rounding errors that
cause rendering aberrations and other deviations from rendering by other browsers.

Any time a unit purports to be a real physical unit, it's important to give a chance to at least get close. There are several reasons why browsers assume either 96 or a 96 minimum, but none touch the issue that purported
such absolutes exist in CSS. With higher resolution displays, where the real DPI exceeds 96, more intelligent systems (e.g. Linux from the past 3 or more years) can get very close.

XP and its predecessors really weren't designed to use anything other than 96 or 120, and setting doz to use anything else can create some pretty annoying font rendering aberrations and system dialog/window sizing
problems. Whether Vista has changed anything to improve this I have no idea.
Typically, 1pc = 12pt = 16px = 42.3mm,
Always 1pc = 12pt = 4.23mm. Typically 16px approximates that group only because DPI approximates 96. As DPI deviates from 96, the error increases. Average DPI is closer to 96 now that ever before. Historically real DPI was
much lower, with the result that 16px was more like 14pt or 16pt, giving rise to the general designer assumption that the defaults are "too big".

Average DPI is increasing, with the result that 16px will before long be more like 10pt or 8pt, unless something happens to compensate. It looks like that compensation is now a live happening on the Gecko development
front: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=177805 http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roc/a...patch_lan.html
and the only really "physical" unit
here is px. When the monitor resolution is changed, the physical dimensions
of a pixel change of course, but pc, pt, mm, cm, in still have the meanings
as given by the equation. Thus, the CSS unit mm has only a casual and
allusive relationship to the millimeter as defined by the internation system
of units (SI) as a physical quantity. At some resolution, the CSS unit mm
might (almost) match 1 mm in the SI sense, but of course, people using other
resolutions may see your mm in different sizes.
All of which means neither px nor any of the absolute sizes are appropriate for sizing web page objects (e.g.. most text) that need to be a usable size to the user/visitor.
--
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8 NIV

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Feb 10 '07 #48

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On 2007/02/02 16:46 (GMT-0500) Sherm Pendley apparently typed:
when you choose a higher res
for your monitor, display fonts get smaller instead of sharper.
They get both sharper and smaller. The sharper you should want. If you don't like the smaller, you adjust settings so that they aren't smaller.
--
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
Feb 10 '07 #49

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Felix Miata wrote:
giving rise to the general designer assumption that the defaults
are "too big".
Just a passing comment: I am working on a customer's site redesign, at
the moment. Yesterday, I asked what he thought of the latest draft,
which had a copy font size of 81.25%. He said the main problem was that
the font was too big. So, I dropped it to 75%. We appealed, giving
reasons, but he insisted, so he got what he wanted.

My point is, that it's not always the designer who decides how big the
font size is.

--
Keith Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk/webdesign
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Feb 10 '07 #50

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