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Text Size - How do you describe it, in css? Em, Pt, Px etc?

 9:16 am on Jan 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

was just playing with increasing the text on a site which has been described in css as Ems (but is way too small) and I set it without thinking in Px because as I understand it that is pixels and that is how the rest of the site is configured.

But as I understand it, Px does not permit users to resize text in their own browsers, nor I think does Pt, only Ems does.

What to use, and why?



 9:50 am on Jan 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ignore this post, I see the subject has been covered a number of times before, including [webmasterworld.com...]


 11:51 am on Jan 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Actually that post is almost seven years old and it may not apply in the same way that it did back then when browser resizing was not universal. (I mean resizing the whole screen as opposed to just the text size.)

It would be interesting to hear some other current, views?


 12:58 pm on Jan 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I remember reading a long time ago that pt was really intended for print media, and there were many good reasons to not use it on a website. I always thought em was really the way to go, so that the text size could change along with the rest of the page, which should be liquid so it conforms to the viewers settings.

I've never had much luck with em, as my site has a lot of graphics and images, and I really need things to be situated as designed on the page. So, I use px for consistency.

I just checked, and changing the text size in IE when viewing my site doesn't increase the text size, but the zoom works and that increases image size as well as text, so anyone who needs bigger text would likely also need larger images.

I've never had anyone complain. It would be interesting to hear what the latest thoughts are on this, as I'm sure using px is not the best way to go. I would like for my site to be flexible for the end user, but my site would just be confusing with large text that wraps around images that remain the original size and are no longer aligned correctly with the text.


 1:45 pm on Jan 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

My position is pretty much like yours Andy.


 6:50 pm on Jan 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've never used em since the meaning is less than obvious.
I used pt originally since it allowed users to resize text in most browsers.
I now use px to ensure layouts have some chance of not breaking.

I haven't tested browsers for resizing for some time, however, the last time I did, the only one that worked as it should was Opera. By "as it should" I mean resizing all text however the size is defined, framesets, iframes, images, absolutely positioned items, etc. - this means that layouts continue to work properly.

If a user selects "large fonts" in Windows, i.e. 120dpi instead of 96dpi, fonts specified using pt should be displayed 25% larger but fonts specified in px should be displayed precisely as specified. If a page is free-flowing pt may be better for the user otherwise I would say use px but avoid small font sizes.



 2:38 am on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

If I have a choice - percent. Ems are unwieldy, percent is straightforward, and I prefer to allow the user set what they want and design so if flows with it. I generally start from a base of 90-95% for most body text.

Too often I deal with designs in which the designer couldn't care less about the end user, only their precious design which has obvious roots in print media and Graphic Design 101 with beautifully bottomed out columns in spite of the fluid nature of dynamic content, textual elements intended to line up with fixed graphic elements all over the place, and of course it must maintain stability in all browsers, so I'm forced to use px. This is, sadly, a majority.


 5:51 am on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll just inject this into the mix as a "something to think about": [webmasterworld.com...]

I prefer ems, which work in "percent" with decimal points just fine.

.9 is 10% less of 1 and 1.2 is 20% of 1...

What is necessary is finding a comfortable "base" upon which to code then view those results in various screen res and window sizes to see if it works as expected. rocknbil is correct that clients with more money than sense hire graphics designers (mostly with print bias) which makes it difficult, not impossible but darn difficult!, to transfer to web presentation. Best one can do it "fix" that presentation to something just short of "half" of a widescreen monitor. Most browsers do zoom both text and images (or zoom text and leaves images alone... that choice depending on the browser) but none of the above address the issue the link above addresses...

And the number of folks out there choosing to set their MINIMUM font size IN BROWSER is growing because the number of really high res screens in use is rising.


 1:10 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Browser default is 16px if I set 100 in body and em can be resized with IE and other browser by click?
If you have a base of 90-95% for most body text, it means than 16px X 0.90 or o.95%. Right?

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