Re: font size equivalence

Subject: Re: font size equivalence
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 06:35:38 -0800 (PST)

--- Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com wrote:
> Best option: Tell your boss what he wants cannot be done, period.
> (It's a Bad Idea as well, but bosses typically don't accept that as a
> Good Reason, so stick with the technology limitation.) Then accept
> whatever size the user has defined for their default font, and size
> other things in "em"s to make them consistent.
> The "font sizing secret" that you might not have been privy to? That
> every web user has their own preferred font size, and doesn't
> appreciate it when some airhead designer decides they know what is
> readable better than the person who actually uses the eyeballs in
> question. Even if the airhead is right, I might add.

First, I agree with what Arlen said. You really can't control how the
reader views your web page. I'll concede that within broad stuctural
parameters you probably shouldn't try. That said, this thread has
raised a question in my mind. (A new experience, I'll admit, but I'm
coping...I'm coping. <g>)

While there are many users who do control how their browsers display
the text of web pages, there are also a large number of users, it seems
to me, who really don't know how to use their browsers at all. I spend
a interesting amount of time at work, where we have some very savvy
programmers, explaining to them some of the simplest browser concepts
(such as How to Set Your Home Page, How to turn On/Off scripts, etc.).

If users don't know how to set presentation on their browsers,
shouldn't I set the fonts for them, using stylesheets of course? If
they're smart enough to figure out how to control the display
themselves, they'll turn off my page's settings in favor of their own,
if they want to. Otherwise, I'm thinking I am justified in setting my
choices for type, size, leading, and so forth.

(Opening himself up for all sorts of abuse) Am I off base in this
thinking? If you, your reasons would be appreciated.


Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page -

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