Using <pre> A few Questions

I have built a site for a poet using WP. The poet submits poems that are pictures made from the words. You can see examples and get exactly what I mean here: pictopoetry.co.uk/category/poem/

If you are kind enough to check out a poem you may see an adult content warning but don’t be put off, they are NOT pornographic at all.

I get around the placing of the individual characters by getting her to type in the poem using “preformatted” but actually style the <pre> element back to a relative font in the CSS. The poet doesn’t like any monospaced fonts and who can blame her?

The first part of my question is what happens if I use a relative font on the <pre> tag. Is that going to bite me?

The next part is a bit more convoluted. The poet likes to type the poems in Notepad and then cut and paste. If she does this, the post gets absolutely full of

&nbsp;

or <p> tags or <br /> tags which can really bloat the code. I don’t like that at all so here’s my second question: does that matter?

Thanks for looking

Martin

The problem with using a font that isn’t mono spaced is that the variance you get will change the shape of the poem depending on the browser/computer. There are some alternative mono-spaced fonts.
For example this stack: Consolas, Monaco, Lucida Console, Andale Mono , Lucida Sans Typewriter

You don’t need to necessarily use <pre>. You could just use the standard editor and style the paragraphs to have the desired height,margins, and font. Just make sure the editor and the site have the same styles.
http://www.codestyle.org/css/font-family/sampler-Monospace.shtml