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Using small sized text. What is the smallest size that is allowed.
The smallest sized text before penalties are placed on a page. help.

 9:10 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey guys:)

I was planning on using 10px or 11px for the size of the text in my content pages. Is this size ok to use without penalties? Or is it it too small of a text?

->Q. Is 10px ok to use for my content size?

Thanks fellas for your help:)
I appreciate your input.




 9:23 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

From the W3C, not a guarantee of how the SE's will see it...

Note 1. To preserve readability, a UA applying these guidelines should nevertheless avoid creating font-size resulting in less than 9 pixels per EM unit on a computer display.

Fixed font sizes can be a pain, why not us em's


 10:07 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whats the purpose of such small print?
Your visitors will hate it. -Larry


 10:49 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah I gave up the aesthetics over usability a while back. The more eyes that can read it out ways the cosmetics.


 11:14 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Get a few people to do test readings, using a variety of fonts. Some are quite clear at smaller sizes, others are a pain.

If you really do not people to read your pages, you'll probably find it cheaper to simply close the site ;)

But seriously, page appearance does matter; readers don't want something they can just about read - they want a page design that is comfortable and welcoming, not agoraphobic.


 11:56 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all your replies guys.
I apprecite the great response.

Well, the reason i wanted to use the smaller text
size was because the index page of a site i'm working on has a lot of content. I tried to shrink the navigation area down so i can fit the content in better but still it needs some more work. I'm trying to fit in a specific paragraph
higher on the page so people can click on the links. It's a menu. But the way i had written the content, placed the Menu area way too far
into the page below and i was thinking that people might not scroll so far down the page to view it.

So what i did was just move the "paragraph and menu" higher into the page, but it sounded kind of funny where i had placed it. You can now view the paragraph better once a visitor lands on the page. Before the paragraph and menu were not visable unless you scrolled way down the page a bit.

The page still has alot of content and i'm still adding more to it. Right now it's up to over
1000 words. The reason, more content better results in my opinion. Of course All unique.

Anyways...I'm not trying to trick the engines
with tiny text or anything, just trying to add more content.

Q.->In your opinions, is it ok to use about 11px-12px in my content pages?

11px is quite readable in my opinion:)
But i have good eyesight;)

I saw one site using around 8px to fit in in more

Well, thanks for your help guys:)
I appreciate your input.



 12:06 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

IMHO Break the page up. If the content at the end of the page is important, then you will get more views of that content by having multiple pages.

I rarely read a long page, I will continue to the next page if I find the content interesting.


 8:01 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

As a point of interest, 8px is the smallest font size that offers enough pixels to display mixed case text (which needs ascenders and descenders.) I believe all caps can be done with a smaller size, but I personally limit small text to 10px, and that is only in very rare cases. If I were writing an algo, I would flag anything smaller than 9px for a hand check -- can't say for sure what practices are currnetly in use.

As a general rule, I've found that when you make the font size larger (say at least 12px) you can watch your stats go up. And if you are designing very tight pages where only so many characters will fit, then I would suggest rethinking the design. Scrolling has not been a problem for many years, unless it goes beyond, say, 5 or 6 screens full.

Robert Charlton

 7:04 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Depends also on the font. I like keeping Arial at 12px or larger. Verdana is wider and you could take it down to 11px or 10px... but I hate to use fixed px sizes really small because users can't resize them.

What is the smallest size that is allowed.

This, in my opinion, is completely the wrong way to look at this. It really is a usability issue, and that to me trumps everything.

I saw one site using around 8px to fit in more content.

If you're thinking that an 8px font is more usable than scrolling, you're not thinking very clearly. ;)


 1:22 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

But I hate to use fixed px sizes really small because users can't resize them.

Personally, I wouldn't use anything less than 12px if it's primary content. Even at 12px, depending on the font family, those with a sight disadvantage are going to go somewhere else if they don't know how to adjust their browser font size. We're referring strictly to IE as all the other browsers are able to resize fixed font sizes.

With the higher resolutions being utilized these days, I've now been focusing on using 14, 15 and even 16px font sizes for primary content. When you've got a site showing at 1024x768 and it fills that screen nicely and the font can be read from more than 12 inches away, you're doin' good. ;)

Robert Charlton

 5:08 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've now been focusing on using 14, 15 and even 16px font sizes for primary content...

pageone - I trust your instincts a lot. I'm seeing that on the last site I built, I used 13px Verdana for primary content, and I wasn't fully comfortable about that choice.

I remember feeling that at larger sizes, though, Verdana and Arial don't look as good as at smaller sizes, because they have no thicks and thins and lack weight. At the larger sizes, what fonts do you use?


 5:24 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

At the larger sizes, what fonts do you use?

You are correct that at "certain sizes" the fonts become a bit "large".

I've been using verdana, "trebuchet ms", tahoma and of course a default font-family of sans-serif or serif depending on the site.

I like using Arial and Tahoma for headlines, they both look nice and clean at larger sizes. Verdana and Trebuchet for body copy. Verdana gets a bit unruly over 15px and some of it is relative to line-height. The bigger the font, the more line-height. I like white space, easy to read from left to right, top to bottom. No clutter, no "squeezed" in copy. If the page is too long, time to break it up into smaller more succinct pages.

I used 13px Verdana

That's about the norm. I have many sites using 13px verdana for primary body content.


 9:42 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey fellas:)

Glad to hear all your responses. You guys do make alot sense.
Thank you for all your informative input.


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