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

Re: Why reduce font size

From: Brian Sexton <discussion-w3c@ididnotoptin.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 06:55:06 -0800
Message-ID: <000d01c51e6e$a85f9780$651aa143@desktop>
To: "Paul Duncan" <paul.duncan@marketpipe.com>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>


> Thanks to standards I exclusively use font sizes specified as "x-small and
> xx-small etc..."
> Why? I use this as it allows the users of ALL browsers (including IE) to
> change the size of the font according to their wishes.
> It's scary to note that some of those large organisations you highlighted
> fix the font size (Apple at 12px) which does limit the accessibility to
> their sites.

Just because Internet Explorer lacks an accessibility feature that every 
half-decent browser has--in this case, resizing text from so-called fixed 
sizes--does not mean that it is the Web developer who is limiting 
accessibility by using fixed sizes.

As I see it, in this case, there are two problems: the browser's failure to 
resize text set to such sizes (a failing that makes even less sense to me 
than using the term "favorites" to refer to bookmarks--a decent metaphor and 
less likely to have distasteful implications--or limiting their names to 
names allowed by the underlying file system) and the common notion that a 
particular outdated browser with poor standards support even matters when 
free and inexpensive browsers with better standards support and 
accessibility features are available for all major computer platforms.

I do not think we should appeal to the failings of a particular browser--any 
particular browser, regardless of how common it is--as a point against using 
those so-called fixed sizes or anything else.

Kind regards,

Brian Sexton 
Received on Tuesday, 1 March 2005 14:55:00 UTC

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