What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - CCS using %... using "x-small"

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Shiperton Henethe, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. Hi

    What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
    text in
    the body of a page - these days?

    Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.

    But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
    "xx-small"
    is minute!

    Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
    a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small !!

    As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
    thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...

    What is the 'received wisdom' on this?


    Ship
    Shiperton Henethe
    Shiperton Henethe, Dec 13, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Shiperton Henethe wrote:

    > Hi
    >
    > What is the *preferred* way of defining text size


    Doesn't w3c have an edict on this?

    --
    Charles Sweeney
    http://CharlesSweeney.com
    Charles Sweeney, Dec 13, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. .oO(Shiperton Henethe)

    >What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
    >text in the body of a page - these days?


    font-size: 100%

    If any at all.

    >Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.
    >
    >But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large...


    A font-size two times smaller than the user's default one appears too
    large in the designer's eye ... that sounds bad. Really bad.

    'small' is hard to read already, 'x-small' is nearly unreadable on my
    system. You really want to do that to your visitors?

    >Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
    >a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small !!


    Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
    they prefer, not you.

    >As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
    >thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...


    I think your designer looks very basic as well.

    >What is the 'received wisdom' on this?


    As usual: Let the user decide.

    Micha
    Michael Fesser, Dec 13, 2004
    #3
  4. Michael Fesser wrote:

    > Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
    > they prefer, not you.


    I use 80%. As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
    otherwise I wouldn't use it. Haven't had any complaints.

    --
    Charles Sweeney
    http://CharlesSweeney.com
    Charles Sweeney, Dec 13, 2004
    #4
  5. Shiperton Henethe

    Jim Royal Guest

    In article <41bdb369$0$8366$>, Shiperton
    Henethe <> wrote:

    > Hi
    >
    > What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
    > text in
    > the body of a page - these days?


    The problem with text sizing is that ems and percentages both give
    slightly inconsistant results when the browser resizes the text. And
    using keywords is even more unpredictable.

    I've adopted a technique by which the font size is specfied in BODY
    using a percentage... and then I use ems to set font sizes for P, LI,
    and Hx elements. This seems to help smooth out the inconsistant
    behaviour while allow the text to be resized by the UA.

    See this for more suggestions:

    http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=FontSize

    --
    Jim Royal
    "Understanding is a three-edged sword"
    http://JimRoyal.com
    Jim Royal, Dec 13, 2004
    #5
  6. .oO(Charles Sweeney)

    >I use 80%.


    Are you using Verdana? Then it's no surprise ...

    >As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
    >otherwise I wouldn't use it.


    Sure, but I would be really annoyed if I would have to adjust the
    font-size on every site I open.

    Micha
    Michael Fesser, Dec 13, 2004
    #6
  7. Re: What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - CCS using%... using "x-small"

    Charles Sweeney wrote:
    > Michael Fesser wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
    >>they prefer, not you.

    >
    >
    > I use 80%. As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
    > otherwise I wouldn't use it. Haven't had any complaints.


    <smartass>Of course you don't get any complaints, they can't read the
    bloody "Complain Here" button!</smartass>.

    Just joking :). I generally don't set the text-size for the content;
    messing with font-sizes is always tricky and guessing the visitor's
    settings is looking for trouble. However, I did make an exception on one
    site (http://www.blog.ch/) and set font-size to 0.8em, simply because I
    wanted more feed titles visible without scrolling. Nobody has complained
    so far, so I guess it's OK.


    Matthias
    Matthias Gutfeldt, Dec 13, 2004
    #7
  8. Shiperton Henethe

    Steve Pugh Guest

    On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 15:21:14 -0000, "Shiperton Henethe"
    <> wrote:

    >What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
    >text in the body of a page - these days?


    1. Leave it at the users' chosen default.
    2. Use %
    3. Use keywords

    >Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.


    Which rules out px and all the physical measurements (pt, mm, cm, in,
    pc), leaving us with em/ex, % and keywords.

    em run foul of another IE bug. ex may run foul of the same bug and are
    merely treated as 0.5em by most browsers anyway.

    So % or keywords.

    >But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
    >"xx-small" is minute!


    If x-small (two steps below your default) is too large then your
    default is set too large. Change it.

    >Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
    >a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small !!


    Then don't let that happen. It's quite simple to write your HTML and
    CSS in such a way that font sizes don't multiply like that.

    >As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
    >thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...


    It is basic. If you want (the illusion of) fine control then % is the
    way to go. But for most content you don't need that level of control
    so keywords often suffice. But remember that in IE5 small = browser
    default, whilst in other browsers medium = browser default (and IE6
    differs depending on whether quirks or standards mode is being used)
    so you may need to use a hack to send different values to different
    browsers.

    Steve
    Steve Pugh, Dec 13, 2004
    #8
  9. Michael Fesser wrote:

    > .oO(Charles Sweeney)
    >
    >>I use 80%.

    >
    > Are you using Verdana? Then it's no surprise ...


    No, arial,helvetica,sans-serif.

    >>As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
    >>otherwise I wouldn't use it.

    >
    > Sure, but I would be really annoyed if I would have to adjust the
    > font-size on every site I open.


    You don't need to on the sites where I use it.

    Like I said, I haven't had any complaints. I'll let you know when I get
    one, don't hold yor breath waiting.

    --
    Charles Sweeney
    http://CharlesSweeney.com
    Charles Sweeney, Dec 13, 2004
    #9
  10. Matthias Gutfeldt wrote:

    > Charles Sweeney wrote:
    >> Michael Fesser wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Even a "single" 75% is too small. Your visitors decide what font-size
    >>>they prefer, not you.

    >>
    >>
    >> I use 80%. As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
    >> otherwise I wouldn't use it. Haven't had any complaints.

    >
    > <smartass>Of course you don't get any complaints, they can't read the
    > bloody "Complain Here" button!</smartass>.
    >
    > Just joking :). I generally don't set the text-size for the content;
    > messing with font-sizes is always tricky and guessing the visitor's
    > settings is looking for trouble. However, I did make an exception on

    one
    > site (http://www.blog.ch/) and set font-size to 0.8em, simply because I
    > wanted more feed titles visible without scrolling. Nobody has

    complained
    > so far, so I guess it's OK.


    I know you were joking! That's why you're one of the good guys!

    --
    Charles Sweeney
    http://CharlesSweeney.com
    Charles Sweeney, Dec 13, 2004
    #10
  11. Shiperton Henethe

    Matt Probert Guest

    Once upon a time, far far away, the king summoned Charles Sweeney
    <> who replied:

    >I use 80%. Haven't had any complaints.


    ROTFL!

    My wife demands I use 100% !!! And still I get complaints.

    Matt



    --
    Over 16,000 searchable slang definitions from around
    the 'English' speaking world.

    http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/slang.htm
    Matt Probert, Dec 13, 2004
    #11
  12. Shiperton Henethe

    C A Upsdell Guest

    "Shiperton Henethe" <> wrote in message
    news:41bdb369$0$8366$...
    > Hi
    >
    > What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
    > text in
    > the body of a page - these days?
    >
    > Whatever happens we need to make sure that it can be resize by the user.
    >
    > But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
    > "xx-small"
    > is minute!
    >
    > Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
    > a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small
    > !!
    >
    > As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
    > thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...
    >
    > What is the 'received wisdom' on this?


    You should note that xx-small for IE is closer to x-small for other
    browsers. You can get around this problem using a simple CSS trick ... but
    many people with conventional wisdom would condemn you and tell you to use %
    instead.
    C A Upsdell, Dec 13, 2004
    #12
  13. Shiperton Henethe

    Dan Ruscoe Guest

    In article <Xns95BEA35339BA2mecharlessweeneycom@130.133.1.4>, Charles
    Sweeney says...
    > Michael Fesser wrote:
    >
    > > .oO(Charles Sweeney)


    > >>As far as I am aware, my visitors can change this to suit,
    > >>otherwise I wouldn't use it.

    > >
    > > Sure, but I would be really annoyed if I would have to adjust the
    > > font-size on every site I open.

    >
    > You don't need to on the sites where I use it.
    >
    > Like I said, I haven't had any complaints. I'll let you know when I get
    > one, don't hold yor breath waiting.


    I suppose the old rule of thumb is for every user who complains, there
    are ten more who thought the same but didn't bother!

    On my own sites I set font sizes I like. Clients' sites are up to them,
    fixed-size or otherwise.

    --
    Dan Ruscoe
    Dan Ruscoe, Dec 13, 2004
    #13
  14. Shiperton Henethe

    Eric Jarvis Guest

    Shiperton Henethe wrote:
    >
    > But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
    > "xx-small"
    >


    Then your local default setting is too large, change that.

    --
    eric
    www.ericjarvis.co.uk
    "live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
    Eric Jarvis, Dec 13, 2004
    #14
  15. > >What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly ordinary
    > >text in the body of a page - these days?

    >
    > 1. Leave it at the users' chosen default.


    No I fundamentally disagree.
    I run a commercial site.
    It needs to be as convenient as possible for the majority of
    customers - it's a democratic/numbers game.
    I am not at liberty to stick to some kind of purism.

    And the VAST majority of users runs MSIE.
    Hence I have to get it looking as good as possible for
    the majority of users, WITHOUT them needing to adjust
    their font sizes just to visit our site.

    > 2. Use %

    See below.
    In Dreamweaver the fonts tend to nest and thus tend to mutliply when you
    cut and paste...


    > >But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
    > >"xx-small" is minute!

    >
    > If x-small (two steps below your default) is too large then your
    > default is set too large. Change it.


    I cant! Not permanently I cant.
    Every time I open MSIE (v6.0.2 latest) text size is re-set to "Medium"

    I am running my 22" monitor at 1280x1024 and ordinary Windows (Win2000-Pro)
    text is uncomfortably small to read. Like many other users of higher res
    screens
    I have had to resort to changing the text size at the *Windows* level - ie
    the
    "Display Font Size". (Min fwiw is set to 120%)


    > >Alternatively, using % can be unreliable because if one uses
    > >a (e.g.) 75% *within* an (e.g.) 75%, then it suddenly gets way too small

    !!
    >
    > Then don't let that happen. It's quite simple to write your HTML and
    > CSS in such a way that font sizes don't multiply like that.

    Not is Dreamweaver (MX2004) it isnt!
    If you can and paste text is immediately nests the
    <span> tags and the text shrinkage multiplies...


    > >As a result I prefer working with "x-small" but my web-designer
    > >thinks 'x-small' 'xx-small' (etc) look very "basic"...

    >
    > It is basic. If you want (the illusion of) fine control then % is the
    > way to go. But for most content you don't need that level of control
    > so keywords often suffice. But remember that in IE5 small = browser
    > default, whilst in other browsers medium = browser default (and IE6
    > differs depending on whether quirks or standards mode is being used)
    > so you may need to use a hack to send different values to different
    > browsers.


    What a nightmare! Why is G*d's name did M$oft do that!?
    I'm tempted to revert to good old-fashioned <font size=...> >:^0
    then at least both browsers would look about the same...

    No satisfactory rational answer is leaping out at us so far folks...


    Ship
    Shiperton Henethe
    Shiperton Henethe, Dec 13, 2004
    #15
  16. "Eric Jarvis" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Shiperton Henethe wrote:
    > >
    > > But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large... whereas
    > > "xx-small"
    > >

    >
    > Then your local default setting is too large, change that.


    No as I said elsewhere I am running a high res monitor
    at fairly high resolution 1280x1024 and the ordinary windows
    text becomes uncomfortably small. Hence I have had to set
    the Windows level display text at 120%. And I'm not budging!

    I have no idea how to stop MSIE form defaulting to "medium",
    do you?

    Ship
    Shiperton Henethe, Dec 13, 2004
    #16
  17. Shiperton Henethe

    Kris Guest

    In article <41be007f$0$8595$>,
    "Shiperton Henethe" <> wrote:

    > then at least both browsers would look about the same...


    Do your visitors visit your page using more than one browser at the same
    time so they can compare and decide to buy your stuff based on what they
    think of that comparison? Who cares if it looks the same as long as it
    looks good.

    --
    Kris
    <> (nl)
    Kris, Dec 13, 2004
    #17
  18. Shiperton Henethe

    Chris Hope Guest

    Shiperton Henethe wrote:

    >> >What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly
    >> >ordinary
    >> >text in the body of a page - these days?

    >>
    >> 1. Leave it at the users' chosen default.

    >
    > No I fundamentally disagree.
    > I run a commercial site.
    > It needs to be as convenient as possible for the majority of
    > customers - it's a democratic/numbers game.
    > I am not at liberty to stick to some kind of purism.
    >
    > And the VAST majority of users runs MSIE.
    > Hence I have to get it looking as good as possible for
    > the majority of users, WITHOUT them needing to adjust
    > their font sizes just to visit our site.


    I had an interesting situation a while back. We launched a new version
    of a resaonably highly trafficked New Zealand website (well it's
    reasonably high for an NZ site :) and I went along the lines of using %
    for font sizes deciding it's a good idea to leave it up to the end
    user. I decided that if they've set their default font size bigger or
    smaller then it's like that for a reason so we should leave it up to
    them.

    The only issue was that the "Smaller" and "Smallest" text size options
    in Internet Explorer make default font sizes unreadable. And because
    most websites seem to use fixed font sizes it makes no difference what
    setting IE has. We discovered that heaps of people visiting the site
    for some reason had their font setting at either smaller or smallest,
    making the site unreadable for them. After a lot of complaint phone
    calls we changed the base font to a fixed size and no more complaints.

    Sure, you can tell them it's their browser settings that are wrong and
    try to educate them, but at the end of the day a Joe-average end user
    visitor to the site just wants to be able to view the site. And if
    they've accidentally changed their default font size in IE (which is
    really easy to do by mistake with a wheel mouse) suddenly your site
    becomes unreadable to them and they either complain or vote with their
    feet and go somewhere else.

    Most Joe-average end users don't know how to change the font size in
    their browser and for a lot of websites we need to cater to those
    people.

    --
    Chris Hope - The Electric Toolbox - http://www.electrictoolbox.com/
    Chris Hope, Dec 13, 2004
    #18
  19. Shiperton Henethe

    Noozer Guest

    > > > But using CCS even "x-small" seems to us to be slightly large...
    whereas
    > > > "xx-small"
    > > >

    > >
    > > Then your local default setting is too large, change that.

    >
    > No as I said elsewhere I am running a high res monitor
    > at fairly high resolution 1280x1024 and the ordinary windows
    > text becomes uncomfortably small. Hence I have had to set
    > the Windows level display text at 120%. And I'm not budging!
    >
    > I have no idea how to stop MSIE form defaulting to "medium",
    > do you?


    I've tried to alter the behavior of IE. There's just no way that I can find
    to do it.

    Just get used to making the font bigger once you start the browser.

    Most of the time I browse in Firefox these days anyhow.

    Bottom line is that your system is not "working properly" and you need to
    get that problem dealt with and the font size won't be an issue any longer.

    (BTW, setting Windows to anything but 100% causes all kinds of issues with
    some software, not just IE)
    Noozer, Dec 13, 2004
    #19
  20. Shiperton Henethe

    Noozer Guest

    "Shiperton Henethe" <> wrote in message
    news:41be007f$0$8595$...
    > > >What is the *preferred* way of defining text size - particularly

    ordinary
    > > >text in the body of a page - these days?

    > >
    > > 1. Leave it at the users' chosen default.

    >
    > No I fundamentally disagree.


    Then you're fundamentally wrong.

    > I run a commercial site.
    > It needs to be as convenient as possible for the majority of
    > customers - it's a democratic/numbers game.


    Great... then leave it alone and let the USER decide how they want their
    system to work.

    > And the VAST majority of users runs MSIE.
    > Hence I have to get it looking as good as possible for
    > the majority of users, WITHOUT them needing to adjust
    > their font sizes just to visit our site.


    If you leave your font at the default, it will be at the proper size because
    it will already have been adjusted and compensated.
    Noozer, Dec 13, 2004
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Bei

    ccs question

    Bei, Aug 17, 2003, in forum: ASP .Net
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    395
    Eliyahu Goldin
    Aug 17, 2003
  2. Jason Cavett

    Preferred Size, Minimum Size, Size

    Jason Cavett, May 23, 2008, in forum: Java
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    12,517
    Michael Jung
    May 25, 2008
  3. Chris F.A. Johnson

    Re: Preferred way to size fonts

    Chris F.A. Johnson, Nov 5, 2008, in forum: HTML
    Replies:
    19
    Views:
    738
    Sherm Pendley
    Nov 8, 2008
  4. dorayme

    Re: Preferred way to size fonts

    dorayme, Nov 5, 2008, in forum: HTML
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    416
    dorayme
    Nov 5, 2008
  5. richard

    Re: Preferred way to size fonts

    richard, Nov 6, 2008, in forum: HTML
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    453
    Acmeous
    Nov 10, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page