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Re: [css21] line-height, problem?

From: Gérard Talbot <www-style@gtalbot.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 14:18:10 -0500
Message-ID: <28cfd7e60e3b950c1d0afd6a5b8130d2.squirrel@ed-sh-cp3.entirelydigital.com>
To: "Andrew Fedoniouk" <news@terrainformatica.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Le Lun 26 novembre 2012 13:51, Andrew Fedoniouk a écrit :
> On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 12:14 AM, L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
> wrote:
>> On Sunday 2012-11-25 23:21 -0800, Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:
>>> This sample:
>>> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14981836/line-height-test.htm
>>> contains two identical paragraphs, the only difference is that
>>> first one has line-height:normal and second one - line-height:1em;
>>> According to the spec [1]:
>>>    'line-height' specifies the *minimal* height of line boxes within
>>> the element.
> ...
>>> I suspect that I miss something between lines of the spec.
>>> My understanding of the spec wording is this:
>>> used-line-height = max( {normal-line-height}, {defined-line-height} );
>> (1) when you're testing line-height, you should really test
>> standards mode rather than quirks mode; quirks mode behavior is
>> substantially different (and not fully explained by the first two
>> items in http://quirks.spec.whatwg.org/#css ).
>> (2) 'normal' and '1em' are *very* different in terms of how they
>> inherit when the font size changes (since '1em' inherits as the
>> computed value, which is no longer relative to the changed
>> descendent font size).  'normal' and '1' are much more similar.
>> -David
> Thanks, David. I've updated the sample with HTML5 doctype.
> That actually makes no difference (only IE started to match
> all other UAs here).
> In fact I've missed that part in the spec:
> "On a non-replaced inline element, 'line-height' specifies the height
> that is used in the calculation of the line box height."

Right here, the "calculation of the line box height" should be a link to


And the sentence itself is not easy to figure out. It should be saying

"On a non-replaced inline element, 'line-height' specifies its height
which will be used in the calculation of the line box height."


The height of each inline-level box in the line box is calculated. For
replaced elements, inline-block elements, and inline-table elements, this
is the height of their margin box; for inline boxes, this is their

> So for such elements (like <big> in my sample) line-height defines
> not "min-line-height" but just 'line-height' allowing to reduce it.
> Together with the fact that line-height is an inheritable property
> that creates such strange effect.

Not sure what you're trying to say... but I definitely agree with you that
this part of the spec - without useful diagrams and judicious explaining
schemas - is difficult to visualize, to conceptualize.

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Received on Monday, 26 November 2012 19:18:42 UTC

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