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Font-size [and font-size-adjust] (was RE: Units, font sizing, and zoom suggestion for CSS 3)

From: Karlsson Kent - keka <keka@im.se>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 18:21:38 +0100
Message-ID: <C110A2268F8DD111AA1A00805F85E58DA68575@ntgbg1>
To: www-style@w3.org
Cc: 'www-font@w3.org' <www-font@w3.org>
Font-size (and font-size-adjust)

	(In summary: forget font-size-adjust; add a "mode" argument
	to font-size [like Ian Hickson suggested, since font-ex-size
	would not work]. Let that "mode" default to 'line-height'.)

First, let’s forget about font-size-adjust.  Its intended functionality
is much better realised by the suggestion below.  It could be left as
a no-op, or just left out of CSS 3 completely.  (So one does not
need to work out how the below proposal "interacts" with font-size-adjust.
It simply doesn't if font-size-adjust is left as a deprecated no-op.)

As Ian Hickson suggested, add a “mode” parameter to “font-size”.  E.g.:

	font-size 1cm  -- sets the Åp-height (swashes not counted) to 1 cm.
	font-size line-height 1cm  -- sets the Åp-height (swashes not
		to 1 cm. This sets the *nominal* line-height of the glyphs,
		as opposed to the baseline separation, which is set by
		the 'line-height' property. Choose another name if you like.
	font-size 1.5line  -- sets the Åp-height (swashes not counted) to
		times of the inherited computed size.
	font-size line 1.5line  -- sets the Åp-height (swashes not counted)
		1.5 times of the inherited computed size.
	font-size cap-height 1cm -- sets the cap height (swashes not
		or ideographic height) to 1 cm.
	font-size cap-height 1.5cap -- sets the cap height (or ideographic
		height) to 1.5 times what it was.
	font-size ex-height 1cm -- sets the x-height to 1 cm.
	font-size ex-height 1.5ex -- sets the x-height to 1.5 times what it

The only scripts that appear difficult with this approach is Arabic and
Mongolian.  But these scripts are often mixed with the Latin script,
so I guess there is some kind or reasonable, and 'traditional', size
relationship for these scripts too, relative to Latin script glyphs.

font-size cap-height is useful for all caps headlines, and for text which
are mainly ideographic.

font-size ex-height is useful for texts which mix capital and small letters,
with small letters dominating.

Note that the default "mode" is "line-heigth".  Thus there will be few
for the current uses of "line-height", though it will be a bit more

Note that since, according to this suggestion, font-size should take a
'mode' parameter, the current "definition" of "em" becomes moot.  See
my parallel message on "What's an em".

	ex -- the x-height
	cap -- the H-height; a.k.a. cap-height
	line -- the Åp-height; a.k.a. Ép-height

	line-height 2cm -- sets the line height to 2 cm
	line-height 1line -- sets the line height to the current Åp-height
	line-height 1.2cap -- sets the line height to 1.2 times the current
		H-height (cap height)
	line-height 1.5line -- sets the line height to 1.5 times the current

I don't see why the descender to ascender height (maybe to be the
Opentype ""em"") would be very useful for a CSS file author.  Åp (line)
height, cap height, ex height, and em width I do see as useful.

		Kind regards
		(still trying to get this "spec.d/done right")
		/kent k
Received on Monday, 31 January 2000 12:22:13 UTC

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