Friday 14 June 2002

Fresh off the boat

54 year-old eyes (Day 4):

Lillian likes Matt; he’s the nicest of the bunch, and he even once set her text size to “Larger” in Internet Explorer, so now her daughter’s weblog is actually large enough to be readable. She reads it every day. But when she asked Matt why she couldn’t make any larger, Matt launched into one of his geek tirades with lots of big technical words, got very frustrated, and finally said there was nothing he could do.

That’s because uses fixed pixel sizes for their text. But wait a minute, so do I! I’ve been meaning to do something about that.



Good luck. Even I had to give in to the Dark Side and use pixels. Best workaround for the sizing issue that I have thus far found is to Box Model Hack a keyword value for IE5.

But I'm still fiddling. If I come up with something better even than *that* I will let you know.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo on 14 June 2002 at 05:10 AM

Have you worked your way through Owen Briggs' 264 screenshots demonstrating text sizing problems and failures? (A lot easier than checking out 1300 cold cherry soup recipes!)

The whole issue is a nightmare. I looked at the keyword box model hack and shuddered. But I expect Mark's text accessibility tip(s) to reopen the discussion.

Posted by: Jonathon Delacour on 14 June 2002 at 01:03 PM

IE6 gets font-size: small right if you switch it into standards mode with a doctype. I ended up using that plus the voice-inherit hack to knock IE5 in to line - it's a bit ugly but it was the best solution I could find at the time. From Owen's screenshots font-size: 80% looks very consistent - does anyone know what the practical problems with using that are (I presume there are some or everyone would be using it)?

Posted by: Simon Willison on 14 June 2002 at 03:18 PM

I was a staunch em advocate. Until two days ago. Then I read Owen Briggs’ revelation about em and IE/win. Since Netscape 4 hoses fonts specified using %, I decided the best route is to use CSS’s px and ALA’s style switcher, which allows users (including IE/win users) to switch style sheets on the fly. It was suprisingly easy to convert my site’s CSS.I will, however, continue to long for the day I can use em and ex in my CSS.Wait a sec... I just had a brainstorm. Maybe I can use em...

Posted by: John Wilkins on 14 June 2002 at 07:11 PM

Thanks, Jonathon! Great site. I may try percentages.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo on 15 June 2002 at 12:03 AM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour