W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2000

Re: Units, font sizing, and zoom suggestion for CSS 3

From: Erik van der Poel <erik@netscape.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 16:03:36 -0800
Message-ID: <3888F3D8.179BB08B@netscape.com>
To: Karlsson Kent - keka <keka@im.se>
CC: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>, www-style <www-style@w3.org>
> > Are these European fonts also available in TrueType format? Do they work
> > well with Windows? For example, can you mix American and European fonts
> > on the same line at the same font-size, and still "look OK"?
> 
> No, that does not "look ok" with the current use of font size values.
> For most text, using mostly lowercase letters, keeping the x-height
> constant when mixing fonts will look ok (barring exceptional typeface
> designs).  That the asked for font size come out as rather different
> actual glyph sizes is a problem.  That is why my suggestion was that
> both "font-size" and the suggested "font-ex-size" specified actual
> measurable sizes of (certain) glyphs, and neither referred to the
> typeface designer's "design square" (or whatever it should be called).

Wow. Just how common are these European fonts that don't look good next
to American fonts when given the same size according to the em square?
Are there lots of such European fonts, and do lots of people use them?
Do they use them with Web documents? Or only in MS Word documents, where
they can explicitly set the size for those particular faces?

It would be much easier if all font designers would agree to use the em
square as the basis for setting the font size. Then we could mix fonts
and even mix languages with the same font size throughout a piece of
text. It would be a pain if you had to set one size for font F1 in
language L1, set another size for font F2 in language L1, and set yet
another size for font F3 in language L2.

Particularly on the Web, where it is difficult to predict which
particular fonts will be used by the user, it seems to me that we should
agree on a common way to set and interpret font sizes.

Now, font-size-adjust (and font-ex-size) may be useful to smooth over
the differences between font designs that use very different ex/em
ratios (aspects), but we still need some reliable way to set the font
size for fonts that don't have lower-case letters (e.g. Japanese). And
it would be great if we could mix Japanese with Western text without
changing the font size.

Or do people here think that document authors should explicitly change
font size when they mix, say, English and Japanese?

Erik
Received on Friday, 21 January 2000 19:06:44 GMT

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