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font sizes

P: n/a
> I work on Windows (unfortunately). But I regularly view my work in a Mac
(IE5.x and Safari). I do not notice the phenomenon that you describe.
But then, it hardly seems relevant. What's important is that 100% is
right for you on your setup, and right for someone else on their setup,
whatever there os is.
normal in my case results in too big on Windows. My code is all
valid, so too are style sheets.
I doubt you have anything to worry about, but just in case... url?

Brian
and
When not setting a font size, browsers use *their* normal font size
(whatever the user wants, generally speaking; and it's changeable to
whatever they want, if it's not). But they can't do that if you fix a font
size, and relative font sizing is still a problem (they may have to make
adjustments from site to site).

You're doing the right thing by not setting a size, you don't need to worry
about how different the text looks on different browsers in this situation.
No more than some TV show producer should concern themselves about how loud
or colourful their show is, so long as they produce it to the normal
conditions. The viewer can adjust their set as required.

Tim
Thanks Brian and Tim for your replies. There seems to be a misunderstanding.
It is the least important thing that it looks good on my set up! I would
rather it looked terrible on my set up but great on everyone else's because
the sites I make are not for me to look at but for others all over the show
(on mostly PCs).

I would be very surprised if I did not have something to worry about. I
understand the point about user settings (analogy of volume control). I am
not worried about how folk set their "volume" controls (so to speak). What I
am worried about is that quite generally, the fonts on most pro sites look
good, normal, average, like each other in size whilst mine stand out as
bigger though I do not set any special font size. What is going on?
My concerns are based on the evidence of looking at my sites on PCs and
getting some written and voiced feedback, and also from a site called
iCapture (takes pics of how sites look on different browsers), am appalled
to see my fonts so big.

Yes, of course, an example: http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html

In iCapture looking at how it looks on IE6 on a PC, the nav bar is fine (no
wonder, the fonts are coded small, but the main Ps in the body are enormous!
Actually, same trouble in Safari for Macs (again, through iCapture and
verbal feedback from a friend)

I look at things on my machine on IE 5.1.6, Mozilla 1.3.1, iCab, Netscape
6.2 and set the prefs for my personal viewing for fonts at 10 or 11pt (but
this should be irrelevant to my problem as explained above). It is the
relativities that are stumping me. I set the code for <meta
http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">.

I know there is something I am missing. I have the impression that the pro
sites that look nice in font sizes also are less than pure in their code and
do not rely on simple css linked stylesheets alone, they often make heavy
use of font tags in the html and fancy javascript controls. What's a simple
guy like me that hand-codes and wants to trust the linked css technology to
do? Someone tell me! :)

You should be able to see my style sheet that controls this one example at
http://ihpst.org/ihpst.css

Appreciate any help.

Jul 20 '05 #1
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P: n/a
chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au> wrote:
My concerns are based on the evidence of looking at my sites on PCs and
getting some written and voiced feedback, and also from a site called
iCapture (takes pics of how sites look on different browsers), am appalled
to see my fonts so big.

Yes, of course, an example: http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html


Remove Verdana from the list of fonts your CSS suggests and test
again.

Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
chart43 wrote:
I would be very surprised if I did not have something to worry about.
I find that web designers worry far more about big font-size than the
visitors. After redoing a photographer's website, she complained that
the font-size was too large. I explained about 100%, the user's default,
etc., and told her she could adjust her settings. (That last part really
surpised her!) But noone else who has seen her work said anything about
the font-size. I really believe that this is an issue for designers and
designers alone to fret over.
I am worried about is that quite generally, the fonts on most pro
sites look good, normal, average,
If by "pro" you mean the messes that pollute many a corporate site, then
I must disagree: I find that the font-size ranges from a bit small to
damn well microscopic.
like each other in size whilst mine stand out as bigger
Steve Pugh has given you the only step to take: remove Verdana.
According to those who know, it looks subjectively bigger at the same
objective height. IIRC, it has slightly larger aspect ratio or some such
thing. Take it out, and you'll see some improvement.
though I do not set any special font size. What is going on?
In a word: you do it right, they do it wrong, with perhaps the exception
being Verdana.
My concerns are based on the evidence of looking at my sites on PCs
and getting some written and voiced feedback,
Who gave you the feedback? Web designers, perchance?
http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html
http://ihpst.org/ihpst.css


2 meta issues: first, this message appears in a new thread even though
it is a reply. If my newsreader is off (and it is flaky at times), then
no matter. But if you started a new thread, don't: leave replies in the
original thread. Second, thank you for including links to your html and
css. :-)

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
chart43 wrote:
I set the code for <meta http-equiv="Content-Type"
content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">.
This is unrelated to font size, but still worth commenting on. Using
meta http-equiv for content type and charset is a poor substitute for
setting real http headers. Set a real http header if it's at all possible.
http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html


And while we're on other topics, how about fixing the markup, hm?

<p><img src="pics/headerNav.gif" width="100" height="89" border="0"
alt="gif"></p>

What's this bit? An image does not a paragraph make, at least not in
typical situations. Since this appears in a table cell, lost the <p>
tags. If you need the image to be a block container, use
<div><img...></div>. And please consider what the page looks like when
image loading is off, as it is for me most of the time. In fact, don't
just consider it. *Try* it. Look above the nav. What do you see? ;-)

<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><b r><br><br><br><br><br><br>
<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><b r><br><br><br><br><br><br>

Oh dear, it must be cold where you are.[1] Didn't you say you wanted to
author properly? Use css margins instead of all those <br> elements.

<img src="pics/unswHome.jpg" width="65" height="56" align="top"
border="0" alt="UNSW home gif">

Another poorly thought out alt attribute. The replacement of that should
be "UNSW" or maybe "UNSW home." Must you inform your visitors what image
type this is?

Finally, I see nested tables.

</td></tr></table>

</td></tr></table>

I realized that css-p is more difficult than font/colors, but nested
table layout is not the ideal. At the least, you don't need the nested
table at the bottom. Start by removing that footer table, and use css
for positioning. Once you get that, you may be ready to move on to
getting rid of all the superfluous table markup.
[1]Joke borrowed from ciwah post of some months ago.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
On Sun, 16 May 2004 09:11:47 +1000, chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au>
wrote:
iCapture (takes pics of how sites look on different browsers), am appalled
to see my fonts so big.

Yes, of course, an example: http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html


Not a coder, (just learning a little now and again,) but as a viewer
the font size for the body was OK. Larger than the menu sure, but
just how small do site writers want to go? I shouldn't have to dig
out my rarely used glasses or resize the text from the browsrer to be
able to read the text.

And the left border keeps changing size, not neseccerily(sp?) due to
toe size of the words used.

Just my tuppenceworth. Have a nice summer.
--
Regards from Mike Barnard
South Coast, UK.

[To reply by email remove ".trousers" spamtrap from email address]
Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
In message <BC*******************@optusnet.com.au>, chart43
<ch*****@optusnet.com.au> writes
[snip]
What I
am worried about is that quite generally, the fonts on most pro sites look
good, normal, average, like each other in size whilst mine stand out as
bigger though I do not set any special font size. What is going on?
My concerns are based on the evidence of looking at my sites on PCs and
getting some written and voiced feedback, and also from a site called
iCapture (takes pics of how sites look on different browsers), am appalled
to see my fonts so big.

Yes, of course, an example: http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html
Your body text looks just fine to me (although the menu is way too
small). This may be happening because Verdana at 100% is my preferred
viewing standard, and is what my system is set to deliver to me.

Verdana is a 'bigger' font, so if your preference is based on Arial at
100%, than if you have Verdana installed, the text will seem too big to
you.

On my system, however, it looks just right. Conversly, Arial at 100%
would look at little small.

Some people will have set up their system as they like it, some haven't
-- or don't know how to; I guess there's no easy solution.

Try not specifying any font at all (other than 'sans-serif') and see how
it looks. It should then default to the user's preferences.

In iCapture looking at how it looks on IE6 on a PC, the nav bar is fine (no
wonder, the fonts are coded small, but the main Ps in the body are enormous!
Actually, same trouble in Safari for Macs (again, through iCapture and
verbal feedback from a friend)

I look at things on my machine on IE 5.1.6, Mozilla 1.3.1, iCab, Netscape
6.2 and set the prefs for my personal viewing for fonts at 10 or 11pt (but
this should be irrelevant to my problem as explained above). It is the
relativities that are stumping me. I set the code for <meta
http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">.

I know there is something I am missing. I have the impression that the pro
sites that look nice in font sizes also are less than pure in their code and
do not rely on simple css linked stylesheets alone, they often make heavy
use of font tags in the html and fancy javascript controls. What's a simple
guy like me that hand-codes and wants to trust the linked css technology to
do? Someone tell me! :)

You should be able to see my style sheet that controls this one example at
http://ihpst.org/ihpst.css

Appreciate any help.


--
Jake
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
Tim
On Sun, 16 May 2004 09:11:47 +1000,
chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au> posted:
I would be very surprised if I did not have something to worry about. I
understand the point about user settings (analogy of volume control). I am
not worried about how folk set their "volume" controls (so to speak). What I
am worried about is that quite generally, the fonts on most pro sites look
good, normal, average, like each other in size whilst mine stand out as
bigger though I do not set any special font size. What is going on?
I find the fonts on many sites are too damn small. Not only are they
difficult to read, they're far far smaller than what I'd call a "normal"
font size.

As a general test, if you make no font specifications at all (size, font
face, etc.). the fonts should be at a normal size. But if you specify a
font face, then you're at the mercy of that font's own size. Particularly
Verdana, as a number of people will tell you.
My concerns are based on the evidence of looking at my sites on PCs and
getting some written and voiced feedback, and also from a site called
iCapture (takes pics of how sites look on different browsers), am appalled
to see my fonts so big.

Yes, of course, an example: http://ihpst.org/may2004newsletter.html
That's the Verdana issue. Try a different font face, and you'll notice the
change.

You'll see plenty of sites play the Verdana game. It's a big font, so they
set it at small size. The trouble is that they often pick a very small
size (fonts with that type's design aren't too legible when they're small,
and the font weight is light - which it is). So that doesn't help, even
when I have Verdana on my system. Then on my other systems which don't
have Verdana, the text is even smaller. Very nasty...

I'm glad that most of my browsers now have a minimum font size feature.
Without that, I'd forever be messing with the font size on different sites.
In iCapture looking at how it looks on IE6 on a PC, the nav bar is fine (no
wonder, the fonts are coded small, but the main Ps in the body are enormous!
Actually, same trouble in Safari for Macs (again, through iCapture and
verbal feedback from a friend)
Looking at your site here, I wouldn't say the font's enormous. Sure, it's
a bit big. But it's not like you've done double-sized fonts like some
people have done on their sites.
I look at things on my machine on IE 5.1.6, Mozilla 1.3.1, iCab, Netscape
6.2 and set the prefs for my personal viewing for fonts at 10 or 11pt (but
this should be irrelevant to my problem as explained above). It is the
relativities that are stumping me. I set the code for <meta
http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">.
That (the meta statement) has nothing to do with the font size.
I know there is something I am missing. I have the impression that the pro
sites that look nice in font sizes also are less than pure in their code and
do not rely on simple css linked stylesheets alone, they often make heavy
use of font tags in the html and fancy javascript controls. What's a simple
guy like me that hand-codes and wants to trust the linked css technology to
do? Someone tell me! :)


Don't use Verdana. That's the simple quick answer. Well, not for body
text, at least. It's sizing issues aren't so much of a problem when it's
used for headings. I find most headings stupidly large, no matter what.

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
> Subject: Re: font sizes

chart43 wrote:
I would be very surprised if I did not have something to worry about.

Thank you Steve, Brian, Mike, Jake and Tim for your replies. I got a bunch
of goodies indeed from my first use of this group. All the more regretful am
I for accidentally and unnecessarily starting a second thread...

I knew I was missing something and it turns out that you look like you had
the key all along. You have pinpointed the larger appearance of Verdana in
particular. And the importance of thinking through the relations between
available fonts and sizes set in preferences or by default on peoples'
computers/browsers and what is set in css as the preferred order. Certainly
I will remove Verdana for a while on my sites. I am much tempted to just
specify sans-serif in the css at the body level and be done (but I will
experiment a little further... my first shot at this made things look not as
nice as I was used to on my computer but then - little wonder - I have
optimised my browser prefs for things I do to look nice to me!). I noticed
an immediate difference in size on removing Verdana from the css spec. I
will experiment, now armed with a new awareness.

Brian! I appreciate straight talking. And note all your points, some of
which I was aware, some half-aware and others not at all. In iCab, there's a
little face to top right, I try to get the face green and smiling and
therefore approving of my HTML. I am scared of it going deep purple and
grimacing and sometimes I think I do whatever it takes to quickly avoid this
and my Tidy having the least criticism. I do have an urge to be purer and I
will be. Please believe me... :)

Ted

Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
Tim
chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au> posted:
I am much tempted to just specify sans-serif in the css at the body level
and be done (but I will experiment a little further...


I have done this for headings on my pages, but notice a problem on Windows
machines: MSIE, as usual, ignores the specs and doesn't see sans-serif as
an instruction to use the preferred sans-serif font, but will often decide
to use a font called sans-serif. In my case, it often picks on a crappy
fixed size bitmap font that doesn't scale well. It's behaviour is also
inconsistent - refreshing a page seveal times will cause it to be drawn
using different fonts. Mine's more likely to use the crap one if the
memory is running low.

There's another non-Windows problem: Sans-serif fonts are generally harder
to read (when they're the same size and weight as serif fonts) on machine
printed text (particularly low-resolution screens, as nearly all VDUs are).
Which seems to be the general way (no change in weight or size) that
someone will see a sans-serif font on their machine instead of a serif one,
when the only difference is being told to pick a sans or non-sans (eww,
that's a nasty double-negative) font.

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #9

P: n/a
Tim <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid> wrote:
chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au> posted:
I am much tempted to just specify sans-serif in the css at the body
level and be done (but I will experiment a little further...
I have done this for headings on my pages, but notice a problem on
Windows machines: MSIE, as usual, ignores the specs and doesn't see
sans-serif as an instruction to use the preferred sans-serif font,


Actually, sans-serif means a generic sans-serif font. Whether it can be
specified in the browser settings depends on the browser. One might even
argue that it is _wrong_ for a browser to allow setting it freely, though
a browser might let the user select between sans-serif fonts that can be
classified as _typical_ - and the CSS 2 specification explicitly says:
"User agents are encouraged to allow users to select alternative choices
for the generic fonts."

I must admit that the description of "generic fonts" looks more and more
confusing to me. And it does not help that browsers often have poor
assignments for them.
but will often decide to use a font called sans-serif.
Are you sure you have specified sans-serif correctly, and not using the
notation "sans-serif" with quotation marks (which by definition means a
specific, though probably nonexistent, font with that proper name)?
There's another non-Windows problem: Sans-serif fonts are generally
harder to read (when they're the same size and weight as serif fonts)
on machine printed text (particularly low-resolution screens, as
nearly all VDUs are).


Pardon? If you are referring to printed text, where do the _screens_ come
into the play?

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #10

P: n/a
On Mon, 17 May 2004, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Tim <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid> wrote:
chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au> posted:
I am much tempted to just specify sans-serif in the css at the body
level and be done (but I will experiment a little further...
I have done this for headings on my pages, but notice a problem on
Windows machines: MSIE, as usual, ignores the specs and doesn't see
sans-serif as an instruction to use the preferred sans-serif font,


Actually, sans-serif means a generic sans-serif font.


Yes, and older versions of IE had some spectacularly bad behaviour in
that. Which may have persuaded authors to nominate several plausible
Windows font names ahead of the generic choice, thus bringing everyone
down to the mass-market "common factor". I have the impression that
recent versions have got somewhat better. And since anyone who's
keeping their Windoze secure will have been forced to upgrade to IE6
(and taking a look at server access statistics, not that I'd want to
put *too* much credence on sever statistics), probably we can pretty
much ignore old IE versions now.
and the CSS 2 specification explicitly says:
"User agents are encouraged to allow users to select alternative choices
for the generic fonts."


So it does. And how does the dominant vendor respond?
but will often decide to use a font called sans-serif.


Are you sure you have specified sans-serif correctly, and not using the
notation "sans-serif" with quotation marks (which by definition means a
specific, though probably nonexistent, font with that proper name)?


You know, the CSS specs are fairly vague - and I think deliberately so
- when it comes to matching up a CSS font face specification with some
actual font on the target system.

It could be argued that matching a CSS specification of "sans-serif"
with an actual font "MS Sans Serif" was well within the spirit of the
CSS specification, if no closer name match can be found. Even if the
result is unsatisfactory in several different ways!

Well, it seemed that earlier versions of IE were choosing "MS Sans
Serif" in response to the generic sans-serif specification, but I
don't think that current versions are doing so(?)
Jul 20 '05 #11

P: n/a
On Mon, 17 May 2004, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Actually, sans-serif means a generic sans-serif font.
Actually, sans-serif means Arial to Microsoft. If you specify "sans-serif"
you will get Arial in Internet Explorer - even if your preferred typeface
is some other sans-serif tpyeface.
I must admit that the description of "generic fonts" looks more and more
confusing to me.


Me too. If don't see any point in specifying a "generic" typeface as last
item in the list.

--
Top-posting.
What's the most irritating thing on Usenet?

Jul 20 '05 #12

P: n/a
Andreas Prilop wrote:
On Mon, 17 May 2004, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Actually, sans-serif means a generic sans-serif font.


Actually, sans-serif means Arial to Microsoft. If you specify "sans-serif"
you will get Arial in Internet Explorer - even if your preferred typeface
is some other sans-serif tpyeface.


Exeption being if system doesn't have Arial font (someone dislikes it so
much that removed it). Then at least some versions of IE try to find most
similar font, which can be anything (not just one (low quality) font is
done by editing Arial, leaving panorose information as it was...)
--
Lauri Raittila <http://www.iki.fi/lr> <http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts>
I'm looking for work | Etsin työtä
Jul 20 '05 #13

P: n/a
Tim
chart43 <ch*****@optusnet.com.au> posted:
I am much tempted to just specify sans-serif in the css at the body
level and be done (but I will experiment a little further...

Tim <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid> wrote:
I have done this for headings on my pages, but notice a problem on
Windows machines: MSIE, as usual, ignores the specs and doesn't see
sans-serif as an instruction to use the preferred sans-serif font,
"Jukka K. Korpela" <jk******@cs.tut.fi> posted:
Actually, sans-serif means a generic sans-serif font.
System preferred then? ;-)
I must admit that the description of "generic fonts" looks more and more
confusing to me. And it does not help that browsers often have poor
assignments for them.
I can see there being merit in saying use a sans-serif font for headings
and a serif font for text, for example, and letting which particular font
be picked by the user. Opera's method isn't too bad, though it's
convoluted if you want to see all of your H elements to a specific font
(you have to do it one by one, you can't select a group and pick a face).
but will often decide to use a font called sans-serif. Are you sure you have specified sans-serif correctly, and not using the
notation "sans-serif" with quotation marks (which by definition means a
specific, though probably nonexistent, font with that proper name)?
Yes, just like this:

body {font-family: serif}
h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {font-family: sans-serif; font-weight: bold;}
There's another non-Windows problem: Sans-serif fonts are generally
harder to read (when they're the same size and weight as serif fonts)
on machine printed text (particularly low-resolution screens, as
nearly all VDUs are).

Pardon? If you are referring to printed text, where do the _screens_ come
into the play?


I said machine printed, as opposed to hand written (even if it is printed
on a screen). Machine "rendered" might have been a better word, though; it
was the machine aspect that I was referring to. It's the absolute
regularity of the rendering that give the eyes trouble interpreting text.

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

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Jul 20 '05 #14

P: n/a
Tim
On Mon, 17 May 2004 10:43:14 +0100,
"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> posted:
Well, it seemed that earlier versions of IE were choosing "MS Sans
Serif" in response to the generic sans-serif specification, but I
don't think that current versions are doing so(?)


Mine still is, from time to time (6.0.2800.1106IS on Win98SE).

--
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temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #15

P: n/a
On Tue, 18 May 2004, Lauri Raittila wrote:
Exeption being if system doesn't have Arial font (someone dislikes it so
much that removed it).


I rather believe in the Yeti than a Windows computer without Arial. ;-)

--
Top-posting.
What's the most irritating thing on Usenet?

Jul 20 '05 #16

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