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What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - CCS using %... using "x-small"

 
 
Shiperton Henethe
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      12-13-2004
Hi

What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
text in
the body of a page - these days?

Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.

But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
"xx-small"
is minute!

Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small !!

As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...

What is the 'received wisdom' on this?


Ship
Shiperton Henethe


 
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Charles Sweeney
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      12-13-2004
Shiperton Henethe wrote:

> Hi
>
> What is the *preferred* way of defining text size


Doesn't w3c have an edict on this?

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Charles Sweeney
http://CharlesSweeney.com
 
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Michael Fesser
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      12-13-2004
.oO(Shiperton Henethe)

>What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
>text in the body of a page - these days?


font-size: 100%

If any at all.

>Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.
>
>But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large...


A font-size two times smaller than the user's default one appears too
large in the designer's eye ... that sounds bad. Really bad.

'small' is hard to read already, 'x-small' is nearly unreadable on my
system. You really want to do that to your visitors?

>Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
>a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small !!


Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
they prefer, not you.

>As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
>thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...


I think your designer looks very basic as well.

>What is the 'received wisdom' on this?


As usual: Let the user decide.

Micha
 
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Charles Sweeney
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      12-13-2004
Michael Fesser wrote:

> Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
> they prefer, not you.


I use 80%. As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
otherwise I wouldn't use it. Haven't had any complaints.

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Charles Sweeney
http://CharlesSweeney.com
 
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Jim Royal
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      12-13-2004
In article <41bdb369$0$8366$(E-Mail Removed)>, Shiperton
Henethe <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Hi
>
> What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
> text in
> the body of a page - these days?


The problem with text sizing is that ems and percentages both give
slightly inconsistant results when the browser resizes the text. And
using keywords is even more unpredictable.

I've adopted a technique by which the font size is specfied in BODY
using a percentage... and then I use ems to set font sizes for P, LI,
and Hx elements. This seems to help smooth out the inconsistant
behaviour while allow the text to be resized by the UA.

See this for more suggestions:

http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=FontSize

--
Jim Royal
"Understanding is a three-edged sword"
http://JimRoyal.com
 
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Michael Fesser
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      12-13-2004
.oO(Charles Sweeney)

>I use 80%.


Are you using Verdana? Then it's no surprise ...

>As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
>otherwise I wouldn't use it.


Sure, but I would be really annoyed if I would have to adjust the
font-size on every site I open.

Micha
 
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Matthias Gutfeldt
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      12-13-2004
Charles Sweeney wrote:
> Michael Fesser wrote:
>
>
>>Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
>>they prefer, not you.

>
>
> I use 80%. As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
> otherwise I wouldn't use it. Haven't had any complaints.


<smartass>Of course you don't get any complaints, they can't read the
bloody "Complain Here" button!</smartass>.

Just joking . I generally don't set the text-size for the content;
messing with font-sizes is always tricky and guessing the visitor's
settings is looking for trouble. However, I did make an exception on one
site (http://www.blog.ch/) and set font-size to 0.8em, simply because I
wanted more feed titles visible without scrolling. Nobody has complained
so far, so I guess it's OK.


Matthias

 
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Steve Pugh
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      12-13-2004
On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 15:21:14 -0000, "Shiperton Henethe"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
>text in the body of a page - these days?


1. Leave it at the users' chosen default.
2. Use %
3. Use keywords

>Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.


Which rules out px and all the physical measurements (pt, mm, cm, in,
pc), leaving us with em/ex, % and keywords.

em run foul of another IE bug. ex may run foul of the same bug and are
merely treated as 0.5em by most browsers anyway.

So % or keywords.

>But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
>"xx-small" is minute!


If x-small (two steps below your default) is too large then your
default is set too large. Change it.

>Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
>a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small !!


Then don't let that happen. It's quite simple to write your HTML and
CSS in such a way that font sizes don't multiply like that.

>As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
>thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...


It is basic. If you want (the illusion of) fine control then % is the
way to go. But for most content you don't need that level of control
so keywords often suffice. But remember that in IE5 small = browser
default, whilst in other browsers medium = browser default (and IE6
differs depending on whether quirks or standards mode is being used)
so you may need to use a hack to send different values to different
browsers.

Steve

 
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Charles Sweeney
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      12-13-2004
Michael Fesser wrote:

> .oO(Charles Sweeney)
>
>>I use 80%.

>
> Are you using Verdana? Then it's no surprise ...


No, arial,helvetica,sans-serif.

>>As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
>>otherwise I wouldn't use it.

>
> Sure, but I would be really annoyed if I would have to adjust the
> font-size on every site I open.


You don't need to on the sites where I use it.

Like I said, I haven't had any complaints. I'll let you know when I get
one, don't hold yor breath waiting.

--
Charles Sweeney
http://CharlesSweeney.com
 
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Charles Sweeney
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      12-13-2004
Matthias Gutfeldt wrote:

> Charles Sweeney wrote:
>> Michael Fesser wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
>>>they prefer, not you.

>>
>>
>> I use 80%. As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
>> otherwise I wouldn't use it. Haven't had any complaints.

>
> <smartass>Of course you don't get any complaints, they can't read the
> bloody "Complain Here" button!</smartass>.
>
> Just joking . I generally don't set the text-size for the content;
> messing with font-sizes is always tricky and guessing the visitor's
> settings is looking for trouble. However, I did make an exception on

one
> site (http://www.blog.ch/) and set font-size to 0.8em, simply because I
> wanted more feed titles visible without scrolling. Nobody has

complained
> so far, so I guess it's OK.


I know you were joking! That's why you're one of the good guys!

--
Charles Sweeney
http://CharlesSweeney.com
 
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