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Old 11-23-2008, 10:06 AM   #9
don Arnoldy
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 495

Originally Posted by iamback View Post
What you should consider is window width.
There are three things that I'm trying to reconcile:
  • the user's default font size
  • the user's window width
  • the desire to present textual material that conforms to good design principles in terms of characters per line and the relationship of margin to live area.
Clearly, I could accept the user's default font size and widow width, let the text wrap where it will and let characters per line be damned—and I understand that there is a significant group within the web design community that think this is the proper approach.

My experience is that this results in lines that are overly-long and difficult to read.

My first approach to this was to use window.innerwidth to adjust the font size to make the desired characters per line fit the window. I was unhappy with the results.

My second thought was to use the default font size, if it resulted in a line character count within certain parameters, and then adjust it if it didn't. Javascript can't get font-size out of the a stylesheet unless it has set it—so I could not query to find the user's default font size.

I was also less than happy that both of the above approaches relied on Javascript.

That brought me to my third approach—design a layout that was based on the user's default size, and ignore the window width. On my computer, at a default font size of 12 points, the page displays in an 800-pixel-wide screen with no horizontal scrolling; with a default font size of 16 pts, it displays in a 1206-pixel-wide screen with no horizontal scrolling. I expected that I would get a lot of comments about not filling the screen—I am surprised by the number of "too wide" comments I've received.

But that's why I put it up--to see what people had to say.


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