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

Re: font-size and accents, again

From: Erik van der Poel <erik@netscape.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 15:15:17 -0800
Message-ID: <383B2005.9DD49108@netscape.com>
To: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
CC: www-style@w3.org
Todd Fahrner wrote:
> At 1:29 PM -0800 11/23/99, David Perrell wrote:
> >
> >"It is the 'x' height, rather than body size, or the length of
> >the ascenders and descenders, that conveys the true visual
> >size of a type face..."
> Aye - this is the point of font-size-adjust.

Somehow this discussion reminded me of the fact that Netscape's default
fonts are Times 12 and Courier 10. When I asked why the Courier was
smaller than the Times, I was told something like "The Courier looks too
big if you ask for 12pt".

So I just had a look at the heights of the letter 'x', and found that
the Courier 'x' was smaller than the Times 'x' at the same point size.
So it's not the 'x' height alone that determines the visual size of a

When I set both the Times and Courier to 12pt in my browser and took a
look at a sentence with mixed variable and fixed width fonts, I noticed
that the Courier didn't really look to tall. It seemed that the *width*
of the Courier made it look too big.

I agree with Todd that if you try to render a font with a small 'x'
height in too few pixels, certain letters like 'e' become hard to read.
But my little experiment with Times and Courier leads me to believe that
the *width* of a font also has an impact.

Received on Tuesday, 23 November 1999 18:18:17 UTC

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