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Re: fonts size specification

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:29:55 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Jamie Fox <jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Cc: "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 11:41 a.m. 08/14/98 -0400, Jamie Fox wrote:
>How problematic for accessibility is it to specify font size?  I have heard 
>that doing so may prevent users from specifying their own font size in some 
>browsers.  Is this true?  If so, which ones.  Thanks for your attention.

All browsers allow the user to set their own default font
and default font size.  (Well, not Lynx, and I don't know
about pwWebSpeak -- let's say "all browsers that use fonts
as a means of presentation.")

This includes Navigator, IE, and Opera.

When using fonts, you should (in my opinion) always specify
relative fonts ("-1", "+2") or use stylesheets (which can be
turned off or overridden) rather than absolute font values
such as FONT SIZE="4" or FONT SIZE="2".  SMALL and BIG are
also preferable.

Opera is particularly nice when dealing with too-small fonts
(as when some pages abuse really small text to fit menus on
the screen), as each web page window has a pulldown option as
part of the status bar, which allows to to specify a scaling
factor, from 100% (default, unless you change it) to 150% or
200% or more, or down the other way to 80%, 50%, etc.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@hwg.org>
Vice President, Marketing and Outreach, HTML Writers Guild
Received on Friday, 14 August 1998 12:23:07 UTC

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