W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 1997

"em" should be horizontal, "ex" vertical

From: Hakon Lie <howcome@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 23:29:42 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <199707202129.XAA10330@www4.inria.fr>
To: Lee Daniel Crocker <lee@piclab.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

 > While that's a good definition, typesetting practice /never/ uses "em"
 > as vertical measurement; an em is a horizontal measurement only, and an
 > "ex" is the vertical measurement.  This makes measurements based on
 > fonts size work with compressed an/or fat fonts.

Ok. So, would you argue for not allowing "em" to be used in any
vertical measurement? E.g., to set a uniform border width that scales
with the font size, 'em' is very useful:

  P { border: thick red 1em }

I have much respect for typographical tradition, but it is seldom
consistent and always changing (the term 'em' is a good example of
that). I think 'em' is too useful to be limited to horizontal
measurements only and this is reflected in the CSS1 specification..


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Received on Sunday, 20 July 1997 17:29:46 UTC

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