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Chapter 5. Fonts > Length Units

Length Units

The point unit is the traditional measurement of length in typography, but not always the best for Web design. CSS accepts a range of different units, which fall into three categories:

  • Absolute units – This category includes the point unit previously described as well as other units (mm, cm, in, pc) that describe physical distances that can be measured with a measuring band.

  • Relative units – These units describe distances relative to other distances. The em unit, described in Chapter 3, “The amazing em unit and other best practices,” is the foremost member of this group, which also includes the ex unit.

  • The pixel unit – The pixel unit, as defined in CSS, forms a group of its own since it has some unique characteristics. On normal computer screens, the pixel unit does what you expect. On printers and other high-resolution devices, it does what you hope!


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