[thelist] Default font size IEWin

Rob Schumann roblgs at cscoms.com
Tue Oct 1 03:31:01 CDT 2002

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the offer...

On 30-09-2002 Tom Dell'Aringa wrote:

 > Check out my site and its CSS for how I do it. It works
 > famously in all browsers. Not one complaint yet. Size it to
 > your hearts content.

Actually, I would be the first had I not just changed my browser settings from using 11px text at 72dpi... the 80% scaling becomes illegible at that size... however reverting to 16px at 96dpi (default settings) all is OK at 80% scaling... which is fine.

The default settings of just about all current browsers on Mac/PC are 16px at 96dpi.

The worrying thing here is that, given these settings, css default font-sizes (1em or 100%) results in grotesquely oversized text in any current browser (Moz, NN, IE, Opera) on either of the two main platforms (Mac/PC), since this will map to the way the browser is setup and in most cases that will be as per shipped defaults.

So I would think that, unless we want our websites to be viewed from a distance of 3-4 metres from the screen, we should be using default sizes of between 0.7 and 0.8em (70-80%)... but THAT goes against the notion that the browser settings (equivalent to 1em or 100% scaling) reflect how the site visitor wishes to view the sites they go to. But at least ems & %s remain re-scalable...

While I don't like moving away from the 100% default, I feel there is little alternative and offer the following tip (my first) as a viable solution.

<tip type="css: default font sizes" author="Rob Schumann">

Assumption: Most browsers are used at their factory settings as far as font sizes are concerned (16px at 96dpi.)

FACT: Styling text at 1em or 100% and viewing with browsers using factory settings WILL result in over-sized text

SOLUTION: Set body to use font-sizes of 0.7 - 0.8em
(0.7 is close to 11px and 0.8 is close to 13px. 12px would be 0.75em)




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