Another Perspective on Web Fonts

I’m sick and tired of going to sites that use CSS to set their font sizes in points or pixels. I’m not sure who this text is formatted for—but it’s too small for me, and, I would guess, a lot of people. The higher resolution your monitor, the smaller the type looks, and so these sites that are setting body text at 10 or 9 point are doing their readers a disservice.

If other people are like me, they try to read, get annoyed that they can’t increase the size of the type in their browser, and go find another site that has the same kind of information but is easier to read!

In case you didn’t know, you can usually enlarge fonts in your browser. In Explorer, choose View/Text Size and choose Larger or Largest. In Netscape, choose View/Increase font.

But if someone designs their site with CSS font coding that uses points or pixels, browsers don’t scale the fonts.

—Daniel Will-Harris, Font Sizes on the Web

Oh dear. He’s got a point. I get annoyed if I can’t increase the font size when I want to print an article for my dad. So I guess I’ll start over with ems or percents. Bear with me while I tinker.

UPDATE: Here are instructions for proper font sizing: How to size text using ems


5 comments on “Another Perspective on Web Fonts

  1. Milan says:

    My font size is defined in CSS (I think) and Firefox 2.0 is perfectly happy to make it bigger or smaller by hitting Apple-+ or Apple–.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Yes, your font sizes are set in % and ems. They're only unscalable if they're set in absolute terms like pixels.

  3. Milan says:

    Ah. Most of the technical underpinnings to my site are just cobbled together from other templates.
    One day, I will make a truly original one.

  4. Wil Cone says:

    Hmm…another reason to switch to Firefox?? 😉 You can scale any/all fonts (px as well, as it should be).

  5. Sylvia says:

    Ah, well, maybe Firefox isn't so bad after all!

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