Font sizes in Page and Preview

There’s such a large difference between the size of small in Page view as compared to Preview that wisiwig layout is not possible. I find that if I set the size to 12pt instead of using small, I get a pretty good match. However, when I look at the page in a browser, the letter spacing is much better for small than it is for 12. That is, with 12pt, some letters are too close to a neighbor. For instance, in rendering the word “ill”, the small font setting looks good, while the 12pt setting puts the ‘i’ and ‘l’ too close together.

It must be that “small” is small relative to something, such as “default”. So if I could change the size of default for Page mode independently of its size in Preview, I might have a solution.

So I’m looking for a way to make the Page layout look like the Preview layout with respect to font size.


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Welcome to the crazy world of font sizes on the web. You’re right: when the font size keywords are used, Freeway makes the “small” text the same size as default text with no styling. It seems that Freeway is making the default size too big: in a browser, text set to “medium” will show up the same size as default text with no styling, but on the Freeway page, the “medium” text is bigger than the default text. I think this is a bug.

You can get round the problem by using pixel sizes. The default font size used by modern browsers, on both Mac and Windows, is 16px. If a browser follows the CSS2 recommendations (see http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/fonts.html#font-size-props ), it will use a scaling factor of 1.2 (as near as possible) between “small” text and “medium” text. This means that “small” text will be displayed as 13px text. This is the case with Safari, Firefox, Opera and IE.

A word of warning: pixels and points are not the same thing. When you say “I set the size to 12pt”, I think you mean that you set the size to 12px.


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There’s an easy way around this issue. For example, let’s say you’re setting the default font-size for the site in the body tag (a good idea). Select a pixel unit from the drop-down menu (say 12px) then click the Extended button and add this:

Name: font-size
Value: small

This will keep the text at a respectable 12px in the FW working view but in the stylesheet the CSS will be small.

Note: Small is approximately equal to 12px so this serves as a baseline. When you create other sizes/styles I suggest using % to define them. For example 90%, 220% etc., all of which are based on small. This certainly isn’t the only way to approach it but it’s one method that has an added benefit for older IE browsers/users. Experiment with it and see what happens.

Todd

On Jul 4, 2008, at 1:21 AM, Timothy Larkin wrote:

It must be that “small” is small relative to something, such as “default”. So if I could change the size of default for Page mode independently of its size in Preview, I might have a solution.

On 4 Jul 2008, 1:24 pm, Todd wrote:

Note: Small is approximately equal to 12px so this serves as a
baseline.

Unless the user has changed the text settings of the browser, “small” will be equal to 13px (see my previous message).


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Exactly, which is why I said approximately, for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with relative units (relative to something else) vs. absolute (fixed size) units.

Todd

On Jul 4, 2008, at 9:03 AM, Michael wrote:

Unless the user has changed the text settings of the browser, “small” will be equal to 13px (see my previous message).