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RE: pt vs px for font sizes.

From: Shashank Tripathi <sub@shanx.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 20:29:30 +0900
To: "'W3C-WAI-IG List'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>, "'Jon Hanna'" <jon@spin.ie>
Message-ID: <003901c258bd$5599c800$0200a8c0@SHASHANK>

You could consider using percentages. E.g.,

    font-size: 70%

I mention 70% because I notice that 70% leads to similar sizes in
IE/Gecko-s/Opera. YMMV. 

    | And in browsers which followed the original CSS 
    | recommendation on how big the named sizes should be the 
    | differences are already too much for many people.

This is precisely the reason why I'd steer clear of named sizes. 

    | Oh, and please don't make normal text bigger or smaller 
    | than the user's default. Although some people can't 
    | change their default size, it is frustrating for people 
    | who have set a size that they need.)

I am not sure if I would completely agree with this stance though.
Sizing text to convey certain meanings or to control prominence is a
necessary part of presentation and font-sizes play an important role in
achieving that goal. For e.g., in a message board on a website, the text
that people post could be normal sized but the time of posting or the
number of posts by a certain individual (which are not an equally
significant part of the overall information) could be a relatively
smaller size. 

While it is frustrating for people to see fonts that are incongruent to
their 'ordinary' sizes, it is equally if not more frustrating to scour
for relevant info from a page that contains all the text in one
same-sized blob. I would rather see the usual, focal topic of the
interface in a 'normal' font, but would prefer all the ancillary info to
be slightly smaller...not to mention that certain sections can be
highlighted for prominence (e.g., section titles). 

One could say "Use the standard H2 for the titles" -- but perhaps this
is a subjective issue where the designer's judgment comes into play and
one may decide that 18px of Arial looks better than whatever "default"
H2 the user has on his/her machine (e.g., an 18px Verdana). 


Shashank Tripathi 
Received on Tuesday, 10 September 2002 07:30:47 UTC

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