2 replies [Last post]
sixwhippys
Offline
newbie
Essex, England
Last seen: 16 years 43 weeks ago
Essex, England
Joined: 2004-07-23
Posts: 4
Points: 0

Apologies for the preamble to the question...

All my sites use relative font sizing so that they address WAI WCAG checkpoint 3.4. They work consistently across all the CSS compliant browsers, and the text scales up just fine. The problem is that it also scales down and at IE's "smallest" setting (and the equivalents in the other browsers) it's totally unreadable.

Now, this didn't initially bother me because I didn't think people would use the smaller settings. But then I met a new prospect last night who looked at the sites in my portfolio and couldn't read them because the text was so small. I asked her to check her Text Size setting and sure enough it was at 'smallest'.

I explained how the Text Size setting in IE can be used by visually impaired people, but her response was that if she had managed to inadvertently set her text size to smallest without realising it then so would others, and she could lose potentially lose customers because they wouldn't be able to read the copy on her site. And the worrying thing is that she has got a valid point.

So, the question is are there any ways in which I can continue to write my sites so that I can cater for visually impaired users but not at the detriment of sighted users who have - for what ever reason - set Text Size to smallest?

Since there doesn't appear to be a font-min-size attribute in CSS, all I can think of doing is putting some instructional copy on the home page in a fixed size font that tells people to use the Text Size or Zoom control if they can't read the copy, but that's a bit clunky.

Any other suggestions?

Cheers,

[email protected]

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 6 years 18 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

Risk of text size being too small on accessible sites

Hi there sixwhippys,

How are you using text sizing ? are you setting a percentage value in the body, if not have a read of this page,

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/elastic/

and this one,

http://www.thenoodleincident.com/tutorials/typography/

Setting a percentage size for text on the body and then using em is the recommended way of avoiding this sort of problem in IE

If this is old news apologies,

Hugo.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

sixwhippys
Offline
newbie
Essex, England
Last seen: 16 years 43 weeks ago
Essex, England
Joined: 2004-07-23
Posts: 4
Points: 0

Risk of text size being too small on accessible sites

Hi Hugo,

Many thanks for the reply. I was using ems on body - I must admit didn't realise that IE down-sized ems and % differently.

Changing from 0.8em to 80% in body made no difference in IE and got round the text-too-small problem, but it slightly reduced text size in NS7 and Opera (or character spacing or something - what ever, the layout changed).

So solution I've settled on is

body {font-size: 0.8em;}
* html body {font-size: 80%;}

which works fine in IE, NS7 and Opera. I've yet to try it on Safari and Mac IE but I think it'll be ok.

Again, many thanks for you response - the links you gave me had escaped my Googling!

Cheers,

[email protected]