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Re: on text size...

  • Subject: Re: on text size...
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 14:15:16 +0100
  • Newsgroups: alt.html
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <ZbidnXGvx6U-2LjeRVnyrg@eclipse.net.uk>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [Jim Higson] on Monday 12 September 2005 10:08 \__

> Most sites seem to use smaller text smaller than the user's default for
> their content. Not just badly designed sties - a lot of the very beautiful
> pages on CSS Zen Garden have text at 80% or smaller. From what I can tell,
> this is because browsers (IE especially) have the default text size set to
> be quite large.
> Now, if users are used to text being set to 80% in CSS, they will set
> their default size to 120% or so, thus getting it back up to a sane size.
> I do this: I like reading 10px text, but if I keep that as the default I
> have to hit Ctrl-plus for every site, so I set my browser to use size 14.
> When designing sites I like to respect the users' preferences, and have
> always thought the main content should be the default size, but once users
> have compensated for every other site using 60~90% for their default text
> this is making the text on my sites look large and out of place. Plus
> there are many IE users who don't realise they can change their default
> text size and just wonder why my text is so large.
> The "font-size:80%" phenomenon seems to be a larger problem among web
> designers of following the letter of the spec (validating HTML etc) but
> not in the spirit by actually using the tools as intended.
> What to do?
> Jim

Fortunately, I still have decent eyesight, so I added the following to
userContent.css in my Firefox profile:

html{ font-size: 0.90em; }

What to do in the general case? There are no easy answers. You cannot change
millions of sites overnight and you cannot change the source code and
recompile a browser that hundreds of millions of people use. Your question
in some sense is a complaint or a request for concurrence, which you
definitely will get from me. A friend of mine who is retired chose to use
Firefox primarily because of flexibility in terms of text size.

I am afraid that I have nothing more to say at the moment. Others will have
more to say, I have no doubt about it.


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "Software sucks. Open Source sucks less."
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    |     PGP-Key: 74572E8E
  2:05pm  up 18 days  9:11,  3 users,  load average: 0.63, 0.72, 0.97

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