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Re: Font size - user control

for

From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Sep 17, 2004 10:58AM


> * Will using relative rather than absolute units always allow the user
> to manipulate font size?

Technically speaking, any font size spec'd by the developer can be
over-ridden by the browser owner.

That said, specifying type size in pixels can make it rather difficult for
users of IE/PC to resize the type.

So, the recommendation is correct in that using relative sizes is best if
you want the end-user to be able to resize type easily in their browser
(provided they know how).

The issue is that specifying ANY type size will over-ride the browser's
default type size setting. So there's the argument that you shouldn't spec
any default type size and let the browser us its own defaults.

The catch with this is that a) a lot of browsers default to a rather large
size and b) many folks have no idea/have never set a default type size.

In the end, it's the old 'there's no one right answer' to the problem.

This is how I solved it on our current site. Not sure if it's the 'best' or
even a good solution, but it seemed to accomodate the issues I have found:

- default type sizes are often very large and can
actually hinder usability for some folks
- many folks do not know how to resize type in their
own browser
- some folks DO know how to resize type in their own
browser and have set a default size

Based on that, I've added an on-screen font-resizer widget to our site:

http://www.courts.state.mn.us/

But, if you want to over-ride it (falling back on your browser's default
settings) you can by going to the ACCESSIBILITY page and selecting that
option.

-Darrel