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

Re: font-size and accents, again

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 19:37:49 -0800
Message-Id: <v04220806b45a72a0700e@[170.1.221.2]>
To: erik@netscape.com (Erik van der Poel), www-style@w3.org
At 2:50 PM -0800 11/18/99, Erik van der Poel wrote:
>Todd Fahrner wrote:
>>
>>  In some fonts, letterform
>>  features will overshoot or fall short of their em (i.e. font-size)
>>  boundaries at some or all sizes, by design or as a consequence of
>>  hinting
>
>So, given that style sheet authors can use font-size to specify the
>"em", and given that some glyphs overflow their em, how can these
>authors ensure that lines of text will not overlap each other?

They can't, unless they happen to know how the font is designed. 
Generally speaking, though, garden-variety fonts either don't overlap 
vertically at all when set solid, or do so only to an agreeable 
degree, as in the screen shots of a calligraphic font I provided 
earlier in this thread. Unless you propose to analyze font metrics 
exhaustively and invent some rules in your implementation (not 
recommended), I can always design a (digital) font in which some 
glyph features overlap others vertically, no matter what the 
line-height.

>I suppose
>the line-height can be set to some value, but what value? If the author
>is not sure which font will be selected on the user's system, are they
>supposed to take some arbitrary value like 1.2 and just pray that it'll
>all work out?

A little leading is almost always a good idea, and a little more is 
almost always even better, especially when you don't have to cut down 
trees to make room for it. :^)
Received on Thursday, 18 November 1999 22:37:55 GMT

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