Emails from Zeldman About Font Sizes and Readibility
Last updated: 6/16/2002; 10:21:42 AM
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Emails from Zeldman About Font Sizes and Readibility

General Comment: Jeffrey Zeldman gave me such a wonderful response to a random question, from someone that he didn’t know from, well, Adam, made me a fan for life.  Thanks Jeffrey.

Jeffrey’s First Response to my less than informed email:

have you tried using the text-size buttons?

right hand nav bar.

two buttons:

default style - bigger text

link: about the buttons:

article: how to build your own style sheet switcher:

according to CSS2 (and accessibility), all text should be

able to scale if the viewer requires it.

opera allows this.

ie5/mac has text zoom (since march 2000).

mozilla has the same thing.

IE/win still will not allow text to be resized when it is set

in pixels.

through i have been arguing with

them about this for several years, but so far i cannot convince them

to allow text set in pixels to be resized.

so we developed the style switcher to work around that defect

in IE/win.

i use the style switcher at and and we will use something similar in the

upcoming version of

as to why i use px instead of ems, it's to avoid inheritance

problems and cross-platform problems with ems, which often make

ems-based pages LESS, not more accessible.

( , an old ALA

article, explains why.)

see also:

hope this helps!




At 8:29 AM -0400 4/13/02, wrote:

>appellation=Scott Johnson





>I love your stuff and have for a long time but I have a long

>standing gripe about ALA. Your CSS has disabled the View menu's

>Text Size command in IE. Like a lot of web designers, I run high

>res -- 1600x1200 and when I try to read ALA, it makes my eyes hurt!

>Sure, I can downscale my resolution but that seems silly.


>Given that ALA is covering accessibility recently, isn't this part

>of it, shouldn't it be accessible itself?


>I totally understand the need to look cool but given that ALA is

>content designed to be read, shouldn't it be easy for people to read






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