Re: font sizes in ems

David Perrell wrote:
> Your test page is meaningless. You are comparing a reader-font-relative
> size of 1em to an absolute size of 10pt. To make your test valid, add
> this to the declaration:
>           BODY { font-size: 10pt }
> Now, all of your em measurements should refer to the 10pt BODY (the
> parent of P), and so 1em should equal 10pt for each of the fonts.

I tried this and it doesn't matter a whit what I put in as BODY
font-size. It all comes out the same. Which means it's ignoring the BODY
setting, apparently.

See a second demo at:
I've set the BODY font-size to a ridiculous 16 pts, but it doesn't
affect the display at all in either browser, only the last para.
> As to why you're getting a different relationship in MSIE and NSN -- is
> the default font size exactly the same in both browsers? Remember,
> since you did not explicitly set a size on BODY, your em measurements
> are relative to the _default_ font size of the browser. That's the
> whole point!

The browsers were set to the same size, as far as one can guess (MSIE
forgoes point size designations for smallest, small, medium, large,
largest). I tried changing the default font and font size in both
browsers. This only seemed to have an effect in Netscape, and only with
a few odd font choices.
> All you need to remember is that
> (1) 1em = 100% of the font size.
> (2) you have no way of knowing the point or pixel size of a client's
> default font, therefore em or percent are the best way to give a reader
> a font size relative to what she/he is accustomed to reading.

But only with a proper conversion value.... which is my point (or

Gayle Kidder

Received on Thursday, 17 July 1997 19:28:31 UTC