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The Trouble with Pixels

The trouble with pixels has been discussed elsewhere in this book and mainly comes down to this: In IE/Windows, users cannot resize text set in pixels. If you've used 9px type for your site's body text, many visitors will click their browser's Back button faster than you can say squint. Even 11px type might be too small for some, depending on the font chosen (11px Verdana gets fewer complaints than 11px Times, for instance), the monitor size and resolution, the visitor's eyesight, the degree of foreground/background contrast, and the presence or absence of distracting backgrounds. To a person who has less than 20/20 vision, the problem might be annoying. To one who is seriously visually impaired, it might be far worse than that.

There is also the occasional CAD engineer who likes to surf the web on his 4000×3000 32” workstation monitor and pepper web design mailing lists with angry letters about flyspeck-sized text. If he actually wished to solve his problem, he could use a browser that supported Text Zoom or Page Zoom. If he preferred to use IE/Windows, he could switch on its option to ignore font sizes (described a few paragraphs later). He could even write a user style sheet like this one:


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