W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 1999

Re: font-size and accents, again

From: Erik van der Poel <erik@netscape.com>
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 1999 15:44:48 -0800
Message-ID: <3845B2F0.628FC842@netscape.com>
To: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
CC: www-style@w3.org
David Perrell wrote:
> 
> It may be that
> ascender height and descender depth are not relevant for
> unicameral and non-latin bicameral fonts.

I will refrain from making any comments on non-Latin bicameral scripts
like Cyrillic and Greek since I'm not very familiar with them, but
Japanese (unicameral) does indeed look better if it is centered with
respect to its bounding box. The only exception I can think of for
Japanese is when it is underlined, in which case you might need some
extra space under the text, but that's probably a separate issue. Some
might argue that underlining is foreign to Japanese anyway, and that a
different highlighting style is needed.

> In another respect, this doesn't seem like a good idea. If
> two-case text is centered relative to the bounding box, fonts
> are likely to appear to be too low in their block element.

I think that might depend on the particular text. For example, in some
European languages, there are accents above the capital letters. I don't
know how often such characters appear in "normal" text, but maybe there
are some Scandinavians or other Europeans on this list that would like
to comment.

> There is a fourth possibility you neglected: centering
> relative to the x-height.

Yes, that's another possibility. (I *did* say "at least 3".)

> For two-case latin fonts, I think that vertical centering on
> the ascender to descender height looks best.

So now you've introduced a 5th possibility. Here are the 5:

1. font's em square
2. font's bounding box
3. text's vertical height
4. font's ex height
5. font's ascender + descender

> I posted an example at
> http://www.hpaa.com/css1/font-position.html

I agree with you that the text "A pascally dementia" does indeed look
best when it is centered with respect to ascender and descender.

Erik
Received on Wednesday, 1 December 1999 18:48:27 GMT

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