W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > October to December 2001

RE: Compensating for doublebyte fonts

From: Eric Jarvis <webmaster@befrienders.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 14:50:47 -0000
To: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NEBBIHPCGLLJLCMNKHFLCEEGCFAA.webmaster@befrienders.org>
The obvious answer is don't specify font sizes in points or pixels.
That's how I deal with it. Any other solution just leads you into a
mess of kludges to fix the mess left by other kludges.

We have a site in 12 languages, so I've had to learn how differently
the characters display. There simply isn't a point size that works
equally well in Enflish and in Arabic.

The only time there might be a need to specify font size is when
matching text to pictures, I've simply stopped trying to do that
unless it really can't be avoided. The design itself is intended to
be extremely flexible so that the site still works if the user wants
a very large font. That isn't just because we have a multilingual
user base, I started working that way when I noticed that a close
friend normally set his PC to use something like 20pt as a default
font size (too vain to wear specs IMO).

Assume it will happen. Design to take account of it. Assume that if
people are used to it elsewhere they won't mind on your site. Leave
as much at the user's default settings as you can bear.

Eric Jarvis
Assistant Manager, BI Online
Tel: ++44- (0) 20- 8541 4949
website: www.befrienders.org

-----Original Message-----
From: www-international-request@w3.org
[mailto:www-international-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of David Wiggins
Sent: 08 November 2001 00:48
To: www-international@w3.org

I have people connecting to an English language site
that also frequent sites with double-byte fonts (aka.
in most cases Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language

Many of these people have been checking the "Ignore
font sizes specified on web pages" in the
Accessibility section of Internet Options in IE5 and
later. The most common reason is 'otherwise most
double-byte pages display with unreadably small type
on a high-resolution display'.

Whether this is really the best workaround for issues
with double-byte text in web browsers by people or not
I can't keep people from using this method.  The issue
I have is when those people come to the English
language site.

The result is that when they get to the English
language site the display becomes screwy fontwise (ie.
some fonts become HUGE).

What can I do? Browser detection? CSS?  Any tutorials
or anything out there?

Thanks for any and all help.

Double-byte Dumbfounded,
Received on Thursday, 8 November 2001 09:48:50 UTC

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