W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 2005

Re: Why reduce font size

From: Kevin Lawver <kplawver@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 07:24:43 -0500 (EST)
To: "Susan Lesch" <lesch@w3.org>
cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <42245F0B.7050101@aol.com>

    You're using a strange font for your default.  This doesn't explain 
designers' and authors' need to place more content above the fold (which 
means they use really tiny fonts), but I think changing your font to the 
"real" default might help.

Firefox uses:
    Serif @ 16pt
    Courier @ 13pt
All at 96dpi.  You could also set the minimum font size, but the default 
is not to.

Safari uses:
    Times 16pt
    Courier 13pt
    It also allows you to set a minimum font size.

Opera uses:
    Times 16pt
    Courier 13pt

    I don't think browser makers are planning on changing the defaul font 
sizes for their browsers anytime soon, but even if they do, it's only a 
preference away.

    This is not a standards problem, but a design problem.  Designers, and 
authors, are too dismissive of those with failing eyesight.  We've got a 
lot of people on the standards bandwagon; it's time to get them on the 
accessibility bandwagon as well.


Kevin Lawver
AOL | WSP Pub Dev
Web Standards Advisory Group: http://wsag.office.aol.com

"I never watch Sesame Street anymore.  I know most of that stuff." --
George Carlin

Susan Lesch wrote on 2/28/05, 6:58 PM:

 > Hello,
 > Do some Web designers prefer fonts too small to read in Firefox with my
 > preference, Baskerville 14 (Mac OS 10.3.8)? If I needed to call Opera,
 > Adobe, Microsoft or Netscape, I'd have to be very close to the screen to
 > read a phone number. Here are a few examples.
 > http://www.opera.com/company/about/
 > style sheet
 > http://www.opera.com/css/screen.css
 > body is 73%
 > http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/main.html
 > style sheet
 > http://www.adobe.com/ssi/css/mainnav.css
 > some fonts xx-small
 > http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/default.mspx
 > (sorry I gave up)
 > http://www.microsoft.com/
 > style sheet
 > http://www.microsoft.com/h/en-us/r/hp.css
 > (various, 70% and up)
 > http://channels.netscape.com/ns/browsers/download.jsp
 > style sheet
 > http://cdn-channels.netscape.com/browsers/i/download.css
 > "is faster....", languages are 11px
 > http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/
 > style sheet
 > http://www.mozilla.org/css/cavendish/content.css
 > body is small
 > http://www.apple.com/contact/
 > style sheet
 > http://www.apple.com/main/css/global.css
 > body is 12px
 > http://www.omnigroup.com/company/
 > style sheet
 > http://www.omnigroup.com/resources/global.css
 > body is 10pt
 > http://www.omnigroup.com/resources/2004.css
 > body is 12pt
 > http://www.w3.org/Consortium/
 > style sheets
 > http://www.w3.org/Guide/pubrules-style.css
 > http://www.w3.org/Consortium/about-style.css
 > (no size)
 > The good news is they all have style sheets. :-)
 > In about 1999, Mac browser vendors changed from 12px to 16px [1,2]. I
 > assume the problem, if there was one, has been solved. Or do you think
 > CSS usage is raising shipping and or user preference sizes again?
 > [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/1998Dec/0030.html
 > [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/1998Dec/0052.html
 > Thank you.
Received on Tuesday, 1 March 2005 13:00:03 UTC

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