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Thread: Font sizes?

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    SitePoint Guru
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    I don't want to be using a lot of CSS until I really understand it, so I am reading tutorials and stuff. The only trouble with tutorials is that you can't raise your hand and ask a question. I'll be here a lot for a while.

    I'm still working on the best way to assign font sizes. I'm not looking to do anything fancy with them - just get to the sizes I've always used, but maybe with more consistancy between Netscape and IE, and also I want to allow people to use the options of larger and smaller fonts if they need to.
    I've seen a lot of discussion back and forth about that. Trying with Netscape 4.0 and I.E. 5.5 and percentages seem to work well for those purposes. Does anyone think they're not a good way of doing it, and if not, why not and what's better?

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    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    The measurements that I commonly use are EM and Point (pt).

    Those values at least let you resize the text on the page.
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    Thank you. Unfortunately I haven't found tutorials that go into the kind of details on fonts that I'd like. Percentages seem to do that too, at least on Windows NT, which is the only platform I've had the chance to check with so far. Although I've already come across one bit of weirdness. 80% worked fine on a test page, but was tiny in IE on a real page. 90% seems to work in IE and Netscape on the real page.
    Any ideas on where to learn more about em and pt? Wasn't sitepoint using pt and getting odd results with Netscape?

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    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Using pixels is "supposed" to prevent the user from being able to adjust the font size, but here's a weird thing:

    On my Mac, IE 5 I can make the fonts larger/smaller even when they are specified in pixels.

    NN6/Mac left out that particular feature, but on NN6/PC, I can also adjust font that are specified in pixels.

    With IE5/PC, you can't adjust fonts specified in pixels.

    I know that you are pretty knowledgeable on this topic, Creole. Any idea what's going on here?

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    I have had success using % values for font sizes.

    http://www.mostlyamphigory.com/navbar/vn1style.css

    I find that they are nice and consistent between browsers, and I've been told they look great on a mac too.

    It also allows the user to adjust font sizes no matter what browser they use (if the browser has this feature).

    As for being able to adjust the font size when it is px or pt, IE5.5 on pc cannot but netscape can. It's just a browser specific additional feature. In my opinion all fonts sizes should be resizeable by the browser.
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    Thanks. That's good enough for me. I'm going with percentages. Whew! That's one thing figured out. Now there's just the rest of it, and changing over lots and lots of pages. This could take a while. Got one whole page done so far and lots of regular work backing up in the meantime.

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    .net install meltdown
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    I try to use % values as well so IE win users can resize.

    Problem is a visitor resizes/zooms to large, there goes your page layout. You can resize in IE win w/ absolute values but you have to select "ignore font sizes" in the tools/accessibilty dialog.

    I've been thinking alot about this lately and have decided to use % values that will resize to 150% or so without destroying the page layout.

    Check out glish.com for some good info on bleeding edge CSS.

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    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    isotope...

    You just have to live with users destroying your design. I would guarantee that you would be SHOCKED and dismayed if you saw the way your beautiful site looked on some users computers.

    Yo usort of just have to design it the way you like it and do your best to make it compliant. You'll never have total control over the end result.

    I have never been to your site, I'm just using that as an example.
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    .net install meltdown
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    creole...

    No disagreement f/ me.

    For personal stuff, I've decided to ignore NN4 & do everything w/CSS & div's for layout in xhtml.

    For clients I try to explain as best I can the browser issue and let them decide. Also, I have no way to test in mac so I don't worry about mac's (sorry) and let the client know that up front.

    I've taught some classes at the local library on surfing skills and find that older folks really have trouble w/ typical font sizes. Thats why I use relative sizes so IE win users at least have the option to resize.

    My personal site is only two (simple) pages and more of a personal playground than anything else.

    I suppose the holy grail would be to create browser specific pages w/ ASP modifying the layout according to platform, browser, resolution etc..but what if someones using large fonts? More woes...Can't do it all i guess.

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    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Am I correct in assuming that by using percentages, the font size will be whatever percentage larger/smaller than the user has specified?

    In other words, if I specify 60% and the user sets his font size to "absolutely huge", they will display 60% of that size?

    In my opinion all fonts sizes should be resizeable by the browser.
    I agree. The only reason I use pixels is to achieve some level of consistancy between browsers/platforms. I will have to experiment with using percentages.

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    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Am I correct in assuming that by using percentages, the font size will be whatever percentage larger/smaller than the user has specified?

    In other words, if I specify 60% and the user sets his font size to "absolutely huge", they will display 60% of that size?

    In my opinion all fonts sizes should be resizeable by the browser.
    I agree. The only reason I use pixels is to achieve some level of consistancy between browsers/platforms. I will have to experiment with using percentages.

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    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Oops! I just discovered that if you use your back button too many times, it posts your message a second time!

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    Just so you know, these are the HTML to CSS conversions:

    HTML Font Size:
    1
    2

    CSS Font Sizes:
    10px
    13px

    Thats all I'm certain about, but I think they all probably go up in 3's.

  14. #14
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Using em is a little bit different between different browsers, I have found, so I decided to simplify my life and go with %. My personal choice only. I'm sure that many people have had success with em.

    They fonts all look slightly different in MAC, but in my opinion they are still pretty consistent.

    MAC doesn't use truetype fonts like Windows, but the fonts on the mac look fine to me. They do have verdana now.
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