Font Sizing, Accessibility and Style Sheets : LUSENET : MCU - Accessible Web Design : One Thread

Hi All, I'm just after reading Jim's article "Accessible web text - sizing up the issues". Thank you Jim, I found it very interesting and informative and a lot easier to understand than other articles I've read on the subject. I am trying to write a standard style sheet for a group of web designers keeping accessibility in mind. I would like to enter a font size as opposed to leaving it to the user's browser. I have coded both the and

tags as follows: p { font-family: verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size:.9em; color: #000000; text-align: justify; line-height: 1.6; } I'm sure you are probably aware that when you view this text, in Explorer 5 (PC) - its too big (as the default text size is medium), it looks OK in Netscape 6.2 (I'm creating a different style sheet for netscape 4.x). If I change it to .8 em, it looks good on Explorer 5's default setting (medium) but too small on Netscape 6.2 eventhough you can press CTRL +/- to zoom here. Also I've never really used the body tag for fonts in a style sheet, should I be using it? This is completely wrecking my head. Does anybody have any suggestions? All help appreciated. Best Regards Maura.

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2003


As I explain in the article, It is not possible to completely control the size of text that all users will see - there are too many variables that are not under your control. However, if you have lots of time to spare, and you are prepared to continue putting in lots of time in the future, you can look into setting up different style sheets for different browser versions and platforms. Type the phrase 'browser sniffer' into your favourite search engine and I am sure you will find lots of interesting stuff.

I notice you have not set a unit for your line-height - I could be wrong, but I think you need to provide a unit.

All the best, Jim p.s. thanks for the positive comment.

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2003

No I was wrong, you don't need to use a unit when setting the line-height.

Sorry to mislead.

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2003

I'm unsure exactly what is the reasoning behind suggesting a font size that's different to the user's default for the main copy. By all means, suggest smaller text for legalese, navigation, and whatnot.

By implementing a rule like you have (e.g., p{font-size:.9em}), you're suggesting that the text of paragraphs be 9/10ths of what the user has chosen as their preferred font size. Incidentally, from reading your second paragraph, it sounds as if you aren't satisfied with the default font size of your browser. ;-)

I firmly believe you shouldn't use a font-size declaration for the body element: declarations applied to the body element will cascade to elements in the document subhierarchy, thus making the text throughout the document smaller, in your case. Jim's article explains this well.

A couple more points about your proposed stylesheet:

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2003

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