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What are they doing wrong and do they know it?

I usually go for the largest fonts I can get with my Ctrl-Mousewheel thing.

I often stumble across sites like this:

Sites like these down the tubes as I make the font larger. What are they doing wrong and why don't they know it?

Saturday, August 30, 2003

I dunno... but while we're on the general subject:

For as long as I've been reading Yahoo news, their "printer-friendly" format hasn't worked for me.  My printer consistently cuts off about an inch of text off the right side of the page.

I used to think that this problem was specific to my set-up, but I tried it at work a few days ago -- and the same thing happened there.

See, for example, this article:

On the first line of the article, I lose everything to the right of the word "common".

I wrote to Yahoo about this problem, but they just responded with a form letter telling me I'm crazy.

Alex Chernavsky
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Alex, it wraps for me. My pixel measurer says that the yahoo window on that page is about 770 pixels wide. I get the bottom scroll bar when I make my IE window any narrower that that.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Using IE the only way I can get that Yahoo news page to print correctly is to set my default IE page margins to .25.  They need to tweak their format.

Guy Bjerke
Saturday, August 30, 2003

I have such mixed results printing from browsers that I rarely even try.  I nearly always copy the text into Notepad and print from there.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Is it the div id# styles that make the redfisheffect sites not work properly? I think it may be.

Ron Lane
Sunday, August 31, 2003

"why don't they know it?"

- lack of testing, thats all it is. It doesn't have to follow that your site doesn't scale if you use CSS; my site looks just as good (or if you prefer, just as bad!) no matter what size you set the text at.

Robert Moir
Sunday, August 31, 2003

Its the div id's. they are all "position:absolute;", which basicly means it doesn't budge when the text grows larger. it's probably the worst mistake you can do to a web-site. well, atleast after specifying the text-size so that it can't be enlarged. that simply enfuriates me.

john doe
Sunday, August 31, 2003

I get this problem all the time when printing from IE. The only workaround I've found is to set the page layout to Landscape, and print two pages per sheet of paper. It's not perfect, but at least it doesn't cut off the right side of the page.

Darren Collins
Sunday, August 31, 2003

Terry -- to answer your original question: they probably have a style sheet or are using CSS and specifying the size of their fonts in absolute pixels.

The reason they are specifying the size of their fonts in absolute pixels is that every other possible way of specifying the size of fonts causes some kind of problem for some kind of web browser or displays at radically different sizes on different web browsers, so for a long time the CSS gurus like Zeldman were telling people they had to use pixels.

IE for Windows is the only web browser in the world that doesn't know how to adjust the size of fonts whose sizes are specified in pixels. Unfortunately, it is also the most popular web browser in the world. Microsoft has steadfastly refused to fix this bug or the other font size bugs for many years and now does not appear to even be working on their web browser...

I suggest you do what I do: switch to Mozilla Firebird for browsing! Or at least keep it around for websites with tiny fonts. It can scale fonts any amount and always succeeds at scaling the fonts.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, September 02, 2003

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