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New Zoom Behaviour Wreaking Havoc On Layout

floated divs, defined in px, are tossed like lumber

3:14 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just a few months ago I noticed a new behaviour in Safari. When I zoom text, everything zooms. images, divs, everything. I just bought a new Mac in Dec. 2009, going from Safari 1.75 to Safari 4 something. But I am certain this did not occur during the first part of this year. There must have been an update around March or April. There is a choice in the view menu for 'zoom text only' to correct this behavior.

My concern is what it does on a page with floated divs. If a div has a width defined as a percent, it does not expand when zoomed. But if the width is defined in px it does. (I had previously discovered that defining images or divs in ems allowed them to expand with the zooming of text, in Safari and Firefox, and used it occasionally, but only under deliberately specified conditions.).

I have designed all my sites with divs defined by width. This allows the bottom to grow as text is zoomed and flows downward, but the layout can stay the same. Now, those divs defined in px will expand and bump each other down below the fold when the user zooms text. Zooming now rearranges everything on the page. It did not when I coded these pages.

I'm not really happy with such a big change in browser behaviour like this. I try to keep my pages working in all browsers and all screen sizes, but this kind of things makes me fell like I might as well just throw layout right out the window ! (Of course, on most sites, when you zoom text it goes right out of the div and becomes unreadable anyway :)

Anybody else notice this as a recent change? I also noticed similar behavior in Firefox around the same time.
3:41 am on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Yes, I have noticed the same and I agree with you that it is frustrating for any designer who works hard to achieve visual consistency.

I console myself in the idea that those few visitors who do use zoom - or custom style sheets, or any technique that replaces the author's default rules - are used to seeing broken layouts. And I also try to design pages that won't need zooming for most visitors. So my typography may not be graphically the most elegant in a right brained view, but it is very functional.
7:04 am on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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And I also try to design pages that won't need zooming for most visitors.

I hope mine don't. I actually worry that my fonts are too large for the average person. But I have to be able to see them in order to type them don't I : ?

I suppose I spend too much time designing for people just like me. Can't see. Can't remember where I just was (On the web site, I mean. )

But it was very disconcerting to realize that browser updates can more or less 'break' my layout.

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