W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2011

Re: List cases for a cap height unit

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 10:19:49 -0700
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C25E4A65-D5C2-4F49-8B5C-F28885850496@gmail.com>
To: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>

On Oct 26, 2011, at 10:13 AM, Alan Stearns wrote:

> On 10/26/11 10:03 AM, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 9:49 AM, Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com> wrote:
>>> Even in Roman text, cap height is not any of these things:
>>> 
>>>  size of the text
>>>  as tall as possible
>>>  height of the text
>>>  height of the line
>> 
>> Is it approximately that, or is it far off?  Would any of the
>> use-cases *not work* with a cap-height unit?
>> 
>> ~TJ
> 
> It all depends on the font. In some fonts ascent will be significantly
> taller than cap height, so a lowercase 'f' will loom above a capital "A."
> What "size of the text" means is a little fuzzy - is it cap height, ascent,
> the max of those, or an optic average?
> 
> The discussion so far seems to be around wanting to size things based on cap
> height, which is perfectly fine. Another possible use case could be wanting
> to size things based on ascent, which would require a different unit than
> "cap height." I just want to be precise about what the current proposal will
> be providing.

I think cap height is the more useful measure. Just as x-height is useful for racking in something that is generally the height of a lower case letter (even though ascenders and descenders go beyond that height), cap height is useful for racking in something that is generally the height of a upper case letter (even though ascenders and descenders go beyond that height).
Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 17:20:23 GMT

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