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What is the most versatile sizing value for fonts? Percents?EM's?

P: n/a
Hello everyone,

Just an observation here: the CSS newsgroup
(comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets) is totally dead. Why?...

Anyway here's my discussion point: What is the most versatile value to use
to set font-size? I set my font size in percentages. I set the main font
size in the body tag (which everything will inherit), then adjust other
sizes in relation to that (for headers, fine print, etc).

I run a site for a small non-profit. A couple of people from the
organization have commented to me that they think the font size is too big
(I set it to 95%) when viewed at 1024x768 resolution. They want me to reduce
it. The problem is that the fonts look small when viewed at 1280x1024. If I
reduce it any further, the fonts will be really tiny and difficult to read
as the resolutions increase.

So, what to do? What is the best way to scale the fonts so that they look
the right size at all resolutions? Should I use points? Pixels? EM's?

Points and pixels would be a fixed value but the downside is that the user
could not adjust the font size within the browser. EM's would work, but they
basically work like percentages - I would get the same complaints about the
font size.

So....what would *you* do? I was contemplating using points as the base
value in my body tag (say, 12 point), then using ems to adjust other font
sizes relative to that (like fineprint, h1/h1/h3, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

--
Viken K.

Jan 8 '08 #1
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19 Replies


P: n/a
Viken Karaguesian wrote:
Just an observation here: the CSS newsgroup
(comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets) is totally dead. Why?...
How is it dead? I see 18 postings from January 7, 2008 in that group.
Maybe your news server or client isn't configured correctly.
--
Christian Hackl
Jan 8 '08 #2

P: n/a
How is it dead? I see 18 postings from January 7, 2008 in that group.
Maybe your news server or client isn't configured correctly.
Really? Since January 1, I see a total of 10 threads, three of which are
spam. A message that I posted has been sitting there since January 2 with no
replies, except for my own. I remember that NG being much busier than that.
I was surprised that there was so little traffic. This NG has much more
traffic, it seems. That's why I came here with this post.

I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. I use Outlook Express the same as I
always have. I haven't changed anything.

--
Viken K.
Jan 8 '08 #3

P: n/a
On Jan 8, 12:13*am, "Viken Karaguesian"
<vikenkNO_SPAM@NO_SPAMcomcast.netwrote:
Anyway here's my discussion point: *What is the most versatile value to use
to set font-size?
ems and percentages, the units you mention in the subject, are, as far
as font-size is concerned, identical except for a multiplication
factor, and that browsers are less buggy with percentages.
I run a site for a small non-profit. A couple of people from the
organization have commented to me that they think the font size is too big
http://www.dev-archive.net/articles/font-analogy.html

So, what to do? What is the best way to scale the fonts so that they look
the right size at all resolutions?
What is "the right size"?
Should I use points? Pixels? EM's?
If you want an absolutely fixed size, then points are (technically)
the correct unit. An inch is an inch, while the size of a pixel
depends on the DPI of the screen and a % depends on the user's
preference.

The problems with points are that:

* They ignore user font size preferences
* IE can't resize them (IE7 can zoom them with the rest of the page)
* Most browsers aren't configured with the correct DPI for the system,
so they render them the wrong size
So....what would *you* do? I was contemplating using points as the base
value in my body tag (say, 12 point), then using ems to adjust other font
sizes relative to that (like fineprint, h1/h1/h3, etc.)
The only difference between that and using points throughout is that
you can change everything by altering one part of the stylesheet. It
still causing all the problems for the user.

--
David Dorward
http://dorward.me.uk/
http://blog.dorward.me.uk/
Jan 8 '08 #4

P: n/a
On 1/7/2008 4:13 PM, Viken Karaguesian wrote:
Hello everyone,

Just an observation here: the CSS newsgroup
(comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets) is totally dead. Why?...

Anyway here's my discussion point: What is the most versatile value to use
to set font-size? I set my font size in percentages. I set the main font
size in the body tag (which everything will inherit), then adjust other
sizes in relation to that (for headers, fine print, etc).

I run a site for a small non-profit. A couple of people from the
organization have commented to me that they think the font size is too big
(I set it to 95%) when viewed at 1024x768 resolution. They want me to reduce
it. The problem is that the fonts look small when viewed at 1280x1024. If I
reduce it any further, the fonts will be really tiny and difficult to read
as the resolutions increase.

So, what to do? What is the best way to scale the fonts so that they look
the right size at all resolutions? Should I use points? Pixels? EM's?

Points and pixels would be a fixed value but the downside is that the user
could not adjust the font size within the browser. EM's would work, but they
basically work like percentages - I would get the same complaints about the
font size.

So....what would *you* do? I was contemplating using points as the base
value in my body tag (say, 12 point), then using ems to adjust other font
sizes relative to that (like fineprint, h1/h1/h3, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Don't set the base value at all. Let those who visit the page view it
with their own chosen default font size. Then all the other sizes will
be relative to that default.

You will find that visitors to the page will appreciate the use of their
own defaults, which will vary from one visitor to the next, depending on
the quality of their eyesight. Of course, they will appreciate it even
more if you also allow the page to be viewed with varying resolutions
(including 800x600) and window sizes.

I, too, am the Web master for a small charity. View our site at
<http://www.oakparkfoundation.org/>. The principles followed in
creating that site are close to those that I use for my personal site;
see <http://www.rossde.com/internet/web_design.html>.

By the way, RFC 3676 says that your signature needs dash-dash-space on
the line above it. You have only dash-dash, without the space. The
difference is that, if you comply with RFC 3676, many news readers will
automatically strip your signature away when someone else quotes your
message in a reply. This eliminates clutter in long threads. You will
note that there is indeed a blank space after dash-dash in my signature.

--
David Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Have you been using Netscape and now feel abandoned by AOL?
Then use SeaMonkey. Go to <http://www.seamonkey-project.org/>.
Jan 8 '08 #5

P: n/a
Viken Karaguesian wrote:
What is the most versatile value to use to set font-size?
http://k75s.home.att.net/fontsize.html
I set my font size in percentages.
Good. Use 100 of them. <g>

If your client thinks it is too big, instruct him/them in the fine art
of adjusting their own browsers' defaults. Explain about the myriads of
viewing possibilities and that "the web is not paper."

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 8 '08 #6

P: n/a
Viken Karaguesian wrote:
re: c.i.w.a.stylesheets

A message that I posted has been sitting there since January 2 with no
replies, except for my own.
Maybe nobody was interested. It is a discussion group, after all, not a
help desk, so no one is obligated to respond. BTW, I did read your post,
but since it concerned a quirk in IE6, I didn't care. Sorry.
I remember that NG being much busier than that.
True, it used to be more active. I noticed a distinct decline over the
past year. Many of the regulars are gone.

--
Berg
Jan 8 '08 #7

P: n/a
>A message that I posted has been sitting there since January 2 with no
>replies, except for my own.

Maybe nobody was interested. It is a discussion group, after all, not a
help desk, so no one is obligated to respond. BTW, I did read your post,
but since it concerned a quirk in IE6, I didn't care. Sorry.
No problem :>) Well, my main point was just that I remember the group being
so busy that your post could get lost in a sea of other posts. I remember a
guy named Spartanicus who seemed to be the groups guru (or is he in here? Or
both?).

I was just surprised at the lack of activity. Ususally, *someone* replies
after three or four days...

BTW, I fixed the aforementioned problem, in case you missed my reply to
myself. LOL!

--
Viken K.
Jan 8 '08 #8

P: n/a
"Viken Karaguesian" <vikenkNO_SPAM@NO_SPAMcomcast.netwrites:
Just an observation here: the CSS newsgroup
(comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets) is totally dead. Why?...
I'm seeing some recent traffic on that group with the server I use. But
then, my ISP contracts their usenet service through Giganews, and they're
insanely reliable. Maybe your ISP is missing messages?
Anyway here's my discussion point: What is the most versatile value to use
to set font-size? I set my font size in percentages. I set the main font
size in the body tag (which everything will inherit), then adjust other
sizes in relation to that (for headers, fine print, etc).
Sounds fine.
I run a site for a small non-profit. A couple of people from the
organization have commented to me that they think the font size is too big
(I set it to 95%) when viewed at 1024x768 resolution. They want me to reduce
it. The problem is that the fonts look small when viewed at 1280x1024. If I
reduce it any further, the fonts will be really tiny and difficult to read
as the resolutions increase.

So, what to do?
Set the font size for the body element to 100%; that will be precisely the
default size that a user has set for his or her browser. If that's too big
or too small for a particular user, they should change their browser defaults
to suit their monitor size and/or resolution.

sherm--

--
My blog: http://shermspace.blogspot.com
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Jan 8 '08 #9

P: n/a
Hello all,

Thanks to everyone for replying. I know the concept of setting font sizes in
percentages for scalability. I prefer to do it that way but I was just
wondering if there was a better way to scale fonts across screen
resolutions. I'm actually OK with the way the fonts look, so I think I'll
just leave it alone. I was just wondering if there was a way to appease the
complainers :>)

Thanks.

--
Viken K.
Jan 8 '08 #10

P: n/a
Viken Karaguesian wrote:
>
I remember a
guy named Spartanicus who seemed to be the groups guru (or is he in here? Or
both?).
Spartanicus is one of the regulars who has dropped out of sight.

--
Berg
Jan 8 '08 #11

P: n/a
On 1/7/2008 6:21 PM, Viken Karaguesian wrote:
Hello all,

Thanks to everyone for replying. I know the concept of setting font sizes in
percentages for scalability. I prefer to do it that way but I was just
wondering if there was a better way to scale fonts across screen
resolutions. I'm actually OK with the way the fonts look, so I think I'll
just leave it alone. I was just wondering if there was a way to appease the
complainers :>)

Thanks.
The point of my prior reply was that users will set their own default
font sizes according to how they have set their window sizes and monitor
resolutions, in a way that optimizes readability for the characteristics
of their own eyesight. This MUST be brought to the attention of your
complainers. They might complain, but visitors to your Web site will
complain even more if you accede to those within your organization who
want specific fonts sizes. The end result of giving in to your internal
complainers could be quite negative for the organization.

--
David Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Have you been using Netscape and now feel abandoned by AOL?
Then use SeaMonkey. Go to <http://www.seamonkey-project.org/>.
Jan 8 '08 #12

P: n/a
Scripsit Viken Karaguesian:
Just an observation here: the CSS newsgroup
(comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets) is totally dead. Why?...
This is not a group for discussing the life of other groups. And the
assumed death of another group is not an excuse for posting off-topic
questions here. You cannot even plea ignorance, since you apparently
knew the right group, just refused to use it.
Anyway here's my discussion point: What is the most versatile value
to use to set font-size?
And you're trying to re-raise an old frequently asked question without
having checked the FAQs.

Please keep your current forged e-mail address until you have a clue and
you stop creating disturbance. Thank you in advance.

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

Jan 8 '08 #13

P: n/a
On 8 Jan, 02:21, "Viken Karaguesian"
<vikenkNO_SPAM@NO_SPAMcomcast.netwrote:
Hello all,

Thanks to everyone for replying. I know the concept of setting font sizes in
percentages for scalability. I prefer to do it that way but I was just
wondering if there was a better way to scale fonts across screen
resolutions.
No there isn't, sadly. There's no metadata (i.e. signalling from
monitor hardware to display hardware to desktops) so it's simply not
possible to determine this automatically (unless Macs can do it?, I
wouldn't know). The way this information has to be transferred is
through the human user, choosing their favoured default text size.
Jan 8 '08 #14

P: n/a
Mon, 7 Jan 2008 19:13:44 -0500 from Viken Karaguesian
<vikenkNO_SPAM@NO_SPAMcomcast.net>:
Just an observation here: the CSS newsgroup
(comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets) is totally dead. Why?
Something is wrong on your end. There are new articles there every
day.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Jan 8 '08 #15

P: n/a
Mon, 7 Jan 2008 19:13:44 -0500 from Viken Karaguesian
<vikenkNO_SPAM@NO_SPAMcomcast.net>:
What is the most versatile value to use
to set font-size? I set my font size in percentages.
Good. 100% is the correct size for body text.
A couple of people from the organization have commented to me that
they think the font size is too big (I set it to 95%) when viewed
at 1024x768 resolution.
No doubt they call the TV station to complain that the programs are
too loud (or not loud enough).

Tell them to adjust their browsers properly, and change your 95% to
100%.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Jan 8 '08 #16

P: n/a
Mon, 7 Jan 2008 19:31:34 -0500 from Viken Karaguesian
<vikenkNO_SPAM@NO_SPAMcomcast.net>:
Really? Since January 1, I see a total of 10 threads, three of which are
spam.
Oh, silly me. I thought when you said "totally dead" you meant
"totally dead" and not just "not terribly busy".

Sheesh!

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2.1 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Why We Won't Help You:
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200..._wont_help_you
Jan 8 '08 #17

P: n/a
Andy Dingley wrote:
No there isn't, sadly. There's no metadata (i.e. signalling from
monitor hardware to display hardware to desktops) so it's simply not
possible to determine this automatically (unless Macs can do it?, I
wouldn't know). The way this information has to be transferred is
through the human user, choosing their favoured default text size.
And since there are plenty of humans who wouldn't have the faintest idea
that they can change font sizes (and sometimes font faces) it is
becoming more common for sites to include an obvious control that the
user can tinker with. I suspect the user's choices are stored in cookies.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Jan 8 '08 #18

P: n/a
Steve Swift wrote:
>
And since there are plenty of humans who wouldn't have the faintest idea
that they can change font sizes (and sometimes font faces) it is
becoming more common for sites to include an obvious control that the
user can tinker with.
Which is a dumb way to do it, really. It is far simpler to link to a
page instructing the user how to adjust their own browser settings than
all that stylesheet switching junk necessary for site-specific controls.
Instructing them how to adjust their own browser is something they can
use on other sites. Site-specific controls are not.

Besides, I don't remember ever seeing a site with their own text size
adjustments that has one large enough for me. Their idea of "large" type
is usually about 75% of my default. :(

--
Berg
Jan 8 '08 #19

P: n/a
Bergamot <be******@visi.comwrote:
Besides, I don't remember ever seeing a site with their own text size
adjustments that has one large enough for me. Their idea of "large" type
is usually about 75% of my default. :(
That isn't surprising. A lot of deezyners seem tied to 62.5% as the
"correct" font size for body text. If they vary that by 20% for "large" and
"small" fonts, then "large" fonts are 75% and "small" fonts are 50%.

A user style sheet is your friend:

html, body { font-size: 100% !important }
--
Darin McGrew, mc****@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da***@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"How long is this Beta guy going to keep testing our stuff?"
Jan 9 '08 #20

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