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The definitive truth about Internet Explorer default text size settings

Sent by Donna Casey on 28 September 2005 23:11


Felix Miata wrote:
> Medium on IE is always 12pt BTW.
**yes, roughly 16px if you calculate the difference between windows and 
macintosh (default 16px)


> Exactly why is it you need to "gauge size in pixel amounts"?

Then sizing can be calculated easier. 1.2em in a container that inherits 
the .625em is going to be 12px. Sure, that varies, but *the default* 
(medium, normal) -- the most likely used -- setting is what I design for 
first. Those who adjust get larger or smaller, as desired.

I know from reading all your past posts that you hate small type...

I don't size everything to 10px, just change the base font-size to make 
it easier to set whole number values for child selectors.

I mean, what *is* .75em of 100% (I use 100.01% to avoid IE micro-text) 
at Medium? If you do the math, it's 75% of 12pt/16px or 12px, so 1.2em 
in that container is 14.4px whereas

...625em (62.5%) of (12pt)16px is 10px. If a containing block uses that 
font-size, from there, it's dead easy to reset that #foo p to what it 
would be normally at medium by setting it to 1.6em. If I set something 
to 1.2em, I know it's 12px. The math is just easier and it works 
consistently and compatibly.

Sure, if you set to larger or smaller, the sizes change - as it would 
anyway.

> I spent a very long time constructing these.
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/auth/absolute-sizes-IE5.html
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/auth/absolute-sizes-IE6.html
> 
> Compare Gecko on
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/auth/absolute-sizes-M.html and
> http://members.ij.net/mrmazda/auth/absolute-sizes-MvE.html

***yes, very useful and I have shown these to this and other clients, 
thanks. That said, my method works well and makes it dead easy to say to 
the client that the heading in one region of the page is a specific 
whole number value at the default Medium setting...no saying that it's 
14.4 px, but rather a full value, especially since not all browsers 
render the 14.4px the same way.

By resetting to 10px, I get VERY consistent results.

thanks for your help!

donna


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