Topic: Font Sizes

I'd love to get some thoughts on font sizes. Typically I gravitate toward px sizes since I can get them exactly how I need them, but I'm sure they cause a problem for some browsers. Points never seem to look the same and % only works on my computer I think. wink Then there's em which is my second favorite choice... anyone else? What are some pros and cons to each?

Re: Font Sizes

Natalie: Personally, I use px. The only browser that has a problem with pixel-sized fonts is Internet Explorer, because the text cannot be resized. Other, more modern browsers such as Safari, Firefox, and Opera all work just fine.

I consider this a bug with IE6, rather than enhanced features of newer browsers. I expect that it will be fixed in the upcoming IE7 release. If IE7 weren't right around the corner, I'd recommend ems, but since that method has its own quirks, I choose px, and just try to steer people towards Firefox. wink

Technically though, if I'm wearing an Accessibility hat, I should as a good citizen recommend ems. Here's an article on how to perfect font-sizing with them...

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Re: Font Sizes

That's a great article. I've really been pretty stubborn about using only px these days, but with this article I'll definitely be giving em more of a chance.

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Re: Font Sizes

Hey Natalie. I tend to use px also, however I've been considering trying to use em's a bit more of late. I'm trying to think more along the lines of incorporating a lot more accessibility into the websites that I do. So I guess you could say I'm trying to wear the accessibility hat. smile

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Re: Font Sizes

I've been trying out ems for layout as well as text. What's supposed to happen is that the columns and boxes all expand or contract as the font size changes, so that the text is always comfortable to read at any size. At the moment, though, I think my site looks kind of wonky in IE.

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Re: Font Sizes

That's some great info, guys! I can say guys, right? Am I the only girl here? Anyway, I think I'll give ems another chance. I use them for layout, but not for fonts. I actually didn't know the relationship of em to px (1em is 10px). That helps. I think with px I can envision the way it will look in my mind before I save the stylesheet.

Re: Font Sizes

I've tended to use em mostly for font sizes due to the IE issues, it's important that text can be resized for these users I think. (I agree that IE's lack of resizing of px is a bug!) I have been using % too recently.

Another option to consider is using a style-sheet switcher so that font sizes are changed using that, then you can use px sizes but still give people with any browser the ability to change font sizes. Interestingly IE on windows doesn't make it very obvious that you can change font sizes anyway, a lot of people don't even realise they can change the font size. Putting a way right there on screen to let them change font sizes means it's very obvious to people you can do it.


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