Developer Notes

Several layouts of mine have utilized a trick where side columns’ widths are defined in EMs. The reason behind this is that if a user increases the default font size of their browser, the column’s width will increase with the font so that everything you expect to fit on a single line in that column will continue to fit on a single line regardless of the user’s font size.

While mucking around with a new layout, I’ve found that IE needs to be coaxed into performing this trick. Most of my layouts have a top-level element that contains the entire page (usually named pageWrapper or pageContainer) and if I set width: auto in my CSS for this element, IE starts resizing the columns as expected.

Another oddity I’ve come across is font sizes in Opera. In a couple of my layouts I’ve thrown in some CSS to increase Opera’s base font size by 10% so it would match the sizes seen in other browsers. Well it appears this is only the case for Arial. When using Arial, Opera seems to use a font size 10% smaller than other browsers. When not using arial (Times New Roman) the default font size in Opera matches other browsers.

Just thought I’d share.

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