Print Subscribe to Everyone's Blog about Web Design and your Online Business
Print Subscribe to Everyone's Blog about Web Design and your Online Business

Web Design and your Online Business

Welcome to Everyone's blog where you'll find me musing about anything related to online business and web design. One of my favorite pastimes is interviewing other people in the industry about how they deal with the challenges of designing pages for their clients. You will hear about everything from how to attract people to your site to making the page behave for any browser, new or old. If you've got an idea for a blog, or for a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, please drop me a line at blogtalk@everyones.com or just leave a comment here!

Second Interview with John Gallant Part Three – Font Sizing

Myra Rhodes - Sunday, September 19, 2010

In John Gallant’s opinion, font sizing is the most intense subject in web design. The focus of this portion of my Blog Talk Radio interview with John is to discover how you can set up font sizing on a site that you can maintain later on without going crazy. The reason for this ‘crazy making’, according to John is because sometimes too many people have their hands on the design of a page and they are changing font sizes for their particular portion of the page instead of having a more organized approach.

To begin this topic, John discusses the differences between sizing using pixels, percentages and ems. If you have absolute font sizing in, for instance, pixels, you ‘tell an element’ to be so many pixels tall and you would then have to set it up for all of your different font sizes.

Relative sizing, however works in a totally different way. Relative font sizing starts out with the root element, really the HTML element which has a default size, normally 16 pixels. If you don’t do anything, then that is the size of the text on the page.

So to globally resize the text, you would set your body size. You could set it in ems or in percentages. John normally uses percentages, mainly because his clients understand percentages better than ems.

To keep your font sizing in check, John recommends that you start out with a ‘strict organizational scheme’. To begin you would put a percentage on the body element for your global control. Then you should try to avoid putting font sizing on any of the intermediate elements.

So, say you put 110% on the body element, so now the body text might be approximately 18 pixels tall. Then you decide that you want the paragraphs in one of the columns to be a lot smaller. So you go to the column element and give it a size of 60%. But if you do a lot of stepping up and stepping down in percentages, things can get out of control. I think this is what John calls, ‘crazy making’.

Next, John explains the difference between using ems and percentages with dimensions (heights and widths of elements). A percentage width says, ‘how big is my parent element? I’m going to be, say 50% of that width.’ An em width, on the other hand says, ok, how big is ‘my text’? It tries to calculate how big a capital M is at its particular font size, say 50 ems and it sets the width of the element to 50 ems wide. It’s not perfect, says John. However, the advantage of using ems for widths and heights is that, if someone increases their text size, the em value for that element is going to change and the width of the element is going to change in proportion. So if the text gets longer, the element will get wider to accommodate it without having to wrap more often. The only danger with this is that you may run out of room on the page for the element.

John warns about a common mistake that people make with regard to applying percentages to margins. Suppose you have a left margin on a div and the div was 100 pixels wide. If you give it a 10% left margin, you might think that the margin is going to be 10 pixels. But that’s not what happens. Instead, it makes the margin a percentage of its parent.

To explain why he does not recommend using pixels for font sizing, John describes how the web actually evolved from print media where the reader has no control over the size of the text. Of course, people in the printing industry would not want users to be able to change the appearance of the text on the page. Therefore, many web designers would size in pixels in order to take control away from the user.  This gets into the various different types of style sheets. John does not go into great detail about those here. However it is covered in his webinar on “CSS Explaining the Cascade” (See below for more details).

If you’d like to listen to the interview in its entirety and for a list of the links that John refers please go to: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/everyones/2010/06/14/css-junkie-john-gallant-second-interview .

Comments
lRfDKKvKUw commented on 06-Oct-2012 12:43 AM
buy valium online valium vs xanax more addictive - valium 2683 dosage
MmjFHbsGLi commented on 06-Oct-2012 02:06 AM
buy xanax online much does generic xanax cost - xanax drug identification
nvLyrSTFFB commented on 06-Oct-2012 02:27 AM
buy xanax buy xanax online australia no prescription - does xanax show up on hair drug test
RzqlrQBHBb commented on 06-Oct-2012 03:09 AM
buy generic ambien ambien online without rx - ambien generic price walmart
psXewqxQqJ commented on 06-Oct-2012 03:10 AM
cheap xanax no prescription xanax caffeine - xanax without doctors prescription
OYwvISpIyv commented on 06-Oct-2012 03:48 AM
buy valium online taking valium depression - valium 10 mg effects
BRFzmlbKyF commented on 06-Oct-2012 04:45 AM
xanax anxiety is xanax a schedule 4 drug - non generic xanax
FOPpyKpKnb commented on 06-Oct-2012 04:47 AM
buy xanax xanax 1mg how long does it last - xanax and alcohol bad
cdCewsREPu commented on 06-Oct-2012 05:07 AM
buy xanax online generic xanax round - what does 2mg xanax look like
ChyVrbifmM commented on 06-Oct-2012 05:19 AM
buy valium online valium 10mg vs klonopin - valium 10mg street price
xQOMaoSAhg commented on 06-Oct-2012 05:49 AM
buy valium online valium 10mg picture - valium plus alcohol
MddYSDPnVX commented on 06-Oct-2012 06:01 AM
xanax for sale xanax insomnia - can you overdose xanax alcohol
jPAnUhJdcG commented on 06-Oct-2012 07:01 AM
cheapest xanax makers generic xanax - buy xanax online from u.k
WRhfkMVSpo commented on 06-Oct-2012 07:43 AM
buy xanax xanax 555 - xanax dosage white pill
YPjbWBmxLn commented on 06-Oct-2012 08:20 AM
xanax antidepressant .5 xanax effects - xanax for cheap online
pIOByuNcDM commented on 06-Oct-2012 09:34 AM
generic xanax does xanax show up drug test long - 1mg klonopin same xanax
dLsgvZdbKQ commented on 06-Oct-2012 10:06 AM
buy valium online valium dosage blue pill - valium 3927
KlptcSlUVM commented on 06-Oct-2012 10:11 AM
buy xanax online no rx xanax side effects if you stop taking - best site buy xanax online
CFxYBNmZrG commented on 06-Oct-2012 10:30 AM
buy valium online how to buy valium online uk - 5mg valium vs .5 xanax
HXvScXuPaw commented on 06-Oct-2012 11:21 AM
buy valium online valium highest mg - valium side effects for dogs
VdMtiqFXto commented on 06-Oct-2012 11:36 AM
xanax pill buy xanax online real - xanax urine drug test
nlssvtIUOF commented on 06-Oct-2012 11:53 AM
buy xanax online overdose on xanax how much - xanax 2mg overdose
dFfOiRDRus commented on 06-Oct-2012 12:27 PM
buy xanax online 3mg xanax withdrawal - buy real xanax
RHXEopVekw commented on 06-Oct-2012 01:33 PM
buy alprazolam xanax side effects depression - xanax dosage adults
hzsqUCSYvp commented on 06-Oct-2012 02:24 PM
buy alprazolam online no prescription white round pill generic xanax - xanax and alcohol sleep

Post a Comment




Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://everyones.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=7400&PostID=164838&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.


Newsletter Sign-Up




Subscribe me to your newsletter.