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RE: Image Galleries, Alt vs caption.

From: Francois Jordaan <Francois.Jordaan@wheel.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2005 14:17:34 -0000
Message-ID: <DB5599985CAE3C4B82D1A47B8DEA8D82128E85@virgo.intranet.wheel.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: "'Bailey, Bruce'" <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>, "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>, "B.K. DeLong" <bkdelong@pobox.com>
> > The W3C has specified 16px/96ppi
> Okay, but 11px/16px is 0.6875 not .76.
> If B.K. meant 11pt (and not 11px) the base font size should 
> be about 0.92 em.
> Francois, is .76 fairly arbitrary or did you calculate it 
> somehow?  (If the latter, please provide the math.)

I agree this has become very off-topic, but I'm replying to the list in
order to correct some errors in my earlier email.

Indeed, .76em normally renders as 12px, and not 11px as I said.

And I can't remember where that figure came from originally (perhaps trial &
error), but since the W3C default 1em = 16px, as John pointed out, a more
correct figure would be 12/16 = .75em. Then 11px text would be 11/16 =

Due to rounding, .76em still results in 12px text, and .7em would result in
11px text. In a Windows environment anyway, with hinted fonts. Perhaps on
the Mac OS X, which I don't think uses font hinting, .69em and .7em may
actually look slightly different.

> This is apparently an IE hack.
> http://clagnut.com/blog/348/#c790

Also to clarify: The IE hack in question comes down to the importance of
declaring a relative font size for BODY in the CSS, to overcome a bug in IE.
If you use relative font sizes in your CSS, and you resize the text in
IE/Windows, the sizing increments are so large that the 'smaller' setting
already results in illegibly small text. This bug goes away if you have a
declare relative font size for BODY. Even BODY { font-size: 100% } fixes the
bug, even though it obviously doesn't do anything else.

For a demonstration, compare these 2 pages...
...by resizing the text in IE/Windows.

> Links from that page also point out that 76% is as small as 
> it is safe to go.  It also becomes apparent that the 
> prevailing attitude among web designers is that the default 
> font size is just too large and must not be left alone.  * deep sigh *

It's true that most designers consider the default font sizes too large.
Especially where Verdana, a large-bodied face, is concerned. Fortunately
this trend is decreasing, along with the greater adoption of relative font
sizes (resizable in IE/Win), as accessibility awareness increases. (And
screen resolutions increase.)

Lately I've had more acceptance from designers when recommending a body text
font-size of .75em (12px) Verdana, as opposed to the general favourite of
11px, or heaven forbid, 10px. Recommendations for other font faces may


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Received on Wednesday, 5 January 2005 14:12:28 UTC

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