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Adjusting text size

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From: Ruth Stillman
Date: Jul 29, 2003 6:27AM


Hi all,

I have a question regarding a method for adjusting text size. A client of
ours came to us with the request that if a user has set their browser text
size to "smaller" or "smallest", the text still be legible. In researching
ways to do this, our developer came up with three possible solutions:
1. Keep the application as-is and inform users that they need to change
their browser settings. This option was ruled out in favor of a more
technical solution.
2. Use <font> tags to handle sizing. This was ruled out due to not being in
alignment with HTML standards.
3. Write a function that would a) determine that the text was too small, and
b) readjust the text size. This was determined to be the best solution,
even though it involves the use of client-side Javascript.

What this function does is write a new layer (if supported by the browser),
checks the size of that layer, looks at its size, and readjusts if
necessary. Because it changes based on a user setting, users need not
refresh to see the change, unless they change the setting after coming to
the page.

We are aware of the lack of cross-browser support for this solution.
However, the application is already performing a browser sniffing function,
and serving up a style sheet with a larger font size for Netscape 4.7x
users.

What I want to be sure of is that this solution meets accessibility
standards. We are still giving users the ability to resize the text, so are
there any other issues of which we need to be aware? Can anyone think of
any other way to handle this request?

Thanks so much for you input.

Ruth Stillman
Senior User Experience Designer
Molecular, Inc.

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