W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2004

Re: FW: Using em or percent for properties that need to change

From: Alastair Campbell <ac@nomensa.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 18:27:22 +0100
Message-ID: <41223FFA.5080907@nomensa.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:
 > If you set a fixed with to your CSS selector then, what
> happens if the user has a screen which is less than the specified width?
> Horizontal scrolling?  So, no, I would not use a fixed width and claim
> AAA compliance

It gets more complicated than that though. I have to admit I prefer a 
flexible content area for readability.

Aside: I'm not visually impaired, but the resolution on my laptop is 
very high, and doesn't look right at a lower res. So I leave it high and 
bump up the font sizes. Having a small fixed width content column makes 
for very narrow reading lines on some sites, but that's a preference, 
I'll make no accessibility claim on that basis ;)

For people who are visually impaired (is there another target audience 
for this guideline?) and increase the font size, it doesn't always help 
for everything to be relative. For example, if the columns increase with 
font size it can decrease the content area (e.g. nomensa.com). This can 
make it more difficult for the audience it's intended to help.

I've found in practice that it's best to have a flexible content area, 
and fixed side columns. These tend to expand well (up to a point, which 
is as least as much as IE allows you to scale), and maintain the 
aesthetic aspect fairly well. (e.g. wats.ca).

Only part of the layout is flexible, so it's not a clearly WCAG 1 
compliant technique. However, it works well in practice (until IE 
supports max-width). Could example layouts, or at least methods, be 
incorporated into the CSS techniques?



Alastair Campbell   |   Director of Technology

Please refer to the following disclaimer for this message:
Received on Tuesday, 17 August 2004 17:27:21 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:29 UTC