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RE: screen magnifiers and fragmented text

From: Mike Scott <mscott2@msfw.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 10:16:37 -0600
To: "'Michelle Podd'" <mpodd@iqnetcom.com>, "'WAI \(E-mail\)'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001f01c1c918$228e3e30$0b00000a@mikes>
Michelle,

It's not your page, it's the screen magnifier. ZoomText (which is likely
what she is using) has some limitations in it's ability to "smooth" text
of different colors. (Smoothing is used to help reduce the "pixelation"
of text at high magnification.) By default, ZoomText "smoothes" black
text on a white background and vice versa. With this setting, text of
other colors is not smoothed, and some color combinations - such as
colored text on a white background - can actually be slightly garbled.
To confirm, you can ask the user to turn smoothing off, or you can set
your font color to black...

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Michelle Podd
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2002 11:31 AM
To: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: screen magnifiers and fragmented text

Anyone ever have text "fragment" when using a screen magnifier? Any
ideas why that would happen?

At www.accessdome.com/preview I'm using Verdana as a main body font. The
size is expressed in em's. I'm getting a feedback from a lady using
Zoomtext Extra Level 2 on a new PC through IE6. She tells me that the
software acts as a screen magnifier and a screen reader. On the
magnification side, she says that the headings (which are Georgia font)
enlarge just fine while some (but not all) of the body text fragments
and is hard to read when magnified. I asked her to look at the National
Organization on Disability site

http://www.nod.org/cont/dsp_cont_loc_hme.cfm?locationId=12&locationNm=Ho
me ) which I'm told is highly accessible. Her feedback was that the
regular text enlarged properly but any link text was fragmented.

My only guess is regarding the use of styles - the inheritance rule.
Netscape 4.x has inheritance issues (among many many many other problems
but I won't go there). I've got a separate style sheet for Netscape
however in places where it doesn't listen to the font-size, I add a
class to force it. For example, I have a style applied to <p> and <td>.
In my web page, I have a table. IE 5.x renders the font just fine but in
Netscape, it ignored the size (it displayed the proper font-family
however so go figure). So I add class="table" (which contain the same
properties as my regular body font) to the table tag then most times,
the font size displays properly in both IE5.x and Netscapte 4.x.  Here's
part of my netscape style sheet. The one for "everyone else" is exactly
the same, only the values are different.

p, body
{
font-family: verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;
font-size: .8em;
color: #333333;
}

p
{line-height: 1.1em;}

.table
{
font-size: .8em;
line-height: 1.1em;
}

td
{
font-family: verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;
font-size: .8em;
color: #333333;
}

So, do you think the fragmentation occurs because of a style being
applied twice?

Any assistance is appreciated,
Michelle Podd
Web Designer
Received on Monday, 11 March 2002 11:16:55 GMT

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