W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2012

RE: line-height suggestions and easier alignment

From: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 01:00:04 +0000
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
CC: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <3C4041FF83E1E04A986B6DC50F017829033FA797@TK5EX14MBXC296.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Hudson [mailto:tiro@tiro.com]
> Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:59 AM
> To: Richard Le Poidevin
> Cc: www-style@gtalbot.org; Peter Sorotokin; Alan Gresley; W3C www-style
> mailing list
> Subject: Re: line-height suggestions and easier alignment
> Richard Le Poidevin wrote:
> > InDesign isn't a WYSIWYG HTML editor although it can export HTML
> > (probably not very well!). It's a print layout tool by Adobe that is
> > similar to Quark Express. It's become the industry standard for print
> > layouts in magazines, documents, brochures and I think even newspapers
> > - basically it good at handling lots of text. I mentioned it here as
> > it most clearly illustrated how line-height (leading) has been
> > traditionally applied and the advantages it has for vertically
> > aligning text. Whilst not everything Adobe do is great they do have a
> > lot of experience with typography.
> Indeed.
> In the font world there is only one mostly* constant vertical alignment,
> and that is baseline. All other metrics are font specific, so cannot be
> relied upon to produce aligned text across columns except when the same
> font is used at the same size everywhere within the text. Most
> misalignments are the result of different fonts or font sizes in the top
> lines of text, with distance from the top of the text block being
> calculated relative to one of these font-specific metrics, e.g. ascender
> height or cap height. The only way to ensure alignment across columns is
> to set the distance from the top of the text block to equal an absolute
> leading value used throughout the columns (or a multiple of that value if
> a larger size of text is used in the top line, e.g. a 24pt header on 30pt
> leading above 12pt text on 15pt leading. This is one of the options
> InDesign sensibly provides; obviously this implies that all leading is
> applied above the line of type, and is a baseline-to-baseline measurement.
> Very sensible.
> JH
> * I say 'mostly' because the OpenType BASE table provides for the
> possibility of varying baseline height when aligning different scripts.
For what it's worth, it does seem easier to define a baseline spacing and
choose header sizes that are a multiple of it than the current CSS model.

I believe future line grid work aims in that direction.
Received on Saturday, 7 January 2012 01:00:42 UTC

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