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Font sizing comparisons
June 7, 2002 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Font sizing comparisons The Noodle Incident has screenshots comparing different font sizing methods on various browsers and platforms.
posted by kirkaracha (27 comments total)

 
The comparison is of limited use without Netscape 4.x, which is still used by approximately 10% of web users the last time I checked.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2002


Nice post. This is a site that could actually come in handy for the Web developer community.
posted by boardman at 12:04 PM on June 7, 2002


Good resource. I think he was trying to limit it to browsers that don't completely suck, which is probably why everything tested is 5.0 or above.
posted by mrbula at 12:05 PM on June 7, 2002


re: ljromanoff

I just finished running the stats for my work site (healthcare system). We get about 20k hits per month with the following stats:

79.46% Microsoft Internet Explorer
(versions 3 through 6)
9.84% use Netscape Navigator/Mozilla
(versions 3 through 6)

Nav 4 makes up about 6% for me currently. I can track the curve of people migrating from IE5 to 6 but the migration for those who use NS4 isn't improving by much.
posted by mkelley at 12:07 PM on June 7, 2002


the "By Browser" page only has for Mac. Why not a Mac/PC comparison?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2002


I should also add, that as soon as that 6% drops to 4% and under, I can officially drop NS4, but until then I have to do my redesign in html tables instead of CSS.
posted by mkelley at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2002


Excellent resource. I realize this makes me a huge loser, but the issue of resizable text causes me a fair amount of stress. Agreed that it would have been nice to see Netscape 4.x in there.
posted by stevengarrity at 12:12 PM on June 7, 2002


"... most browsers default to a text size that I have to back up to the kitchen to read, I decided the zen approach to design wasn't for me."

Swell. Because you can't figure out how to configure your browser correctly, you are going to punish those of us who can. The style sheet on this document calls for font-size 80%, and sure enough, the page is 20% too small for me to read comfortably.
posted by chipr at 12:18 PM on June 7, 2002


Paris, scroll to the right.
posted by password at 12:19 PM on June 7, 2002


mkelley, when you say "hits" are you actually talking about hits or do you mean user sessions?
posted by dayvin at 12:20 PM on June 7, 2002


Crap. So size does matter.

*Stares disconsolately at groin*
posted by Skot at 12:22 PM on June 7, 2002


User sessions/visitors....
posted by mkelley at 12:26 PM on June 7, 2002


Good resource, but it doesn't address the large font/small font setting on Windows. (Usually found in Desktop:Properties under the Settings tab)
posted by alan at 12:49 PM on June 7, 2002


Good resource, but it doesn't address the large font/small font setting on Windows. (Usually found in Desktop:Properties under the Settings tab)

yes it does.
posted by jennak at 1:00 PM on June 7, 2002


yes it does.

Not if I understand alan's point, and the page you linked to. What that page shows are the results if you choose different text sizes from IE's "View" menu. It doesn't take into account any changes the user may have applied to the global font settings using Windows' "Display" control panel (or the various aliases to it).
posted by macrone at 1:10 PM on June 7, 2002


i'd have to concur with mkelly's unfortunate findings that NS4 users don't seem to be migrating to newer browsers. on my work site (2 million page views/month) we're still getting 12% NS <= 4.7 and it's only going down about .6% a month. my guess is these folks aren't migrating until they have to purchase a whole new PC.
posted by gwint at 1:12 PM on June 7, 2002


Jennak, that page referes to Internet Explorer's five text settings under the view menu.

In addition to these, there's a display setting that allows you to choose font display sizes for your entier system. Most of the systems I work on give you a choice between "Large Fonts" or "Small Fonts".
posted by alan at 1:38 PM on June 7, 2002


I would also have to say that a lot of the people visiting my site, are from universities who use Netscape as their browser of choice. I did some tracking and a couple of traceroutes and found this to be somewhat true. Until we get the higher education systems to change computers, we could be seeing a these (as Matt pointed out) 5 year old browsers for a while.
posted by mkelley at 1:43 PM on June 7, 2002


I'd like to hear what people are choosing to do with fonts for their latest projects. It looks like Mr. Briggs has chosen %, which seems like the best choice if one wants to allow users to change the font with browser controls.
posted by dack at 1:54 PM on June 7, 2002


Me to Me: duh.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:04 PM on June 7, 2002


My understanding of NS 4 is that it's used in a number of locked-down corporate situations, which is partially why it's stubbornly clinging to its percentage.
posted by jalexei at 2:52 PM on June 7, 2002


My understanding of NS 4 is that it's used in a number of locked-down corporate situations, which is partially why it's stubbornly clinging to its percentage.

That, and Netscape 6 is buggy and bloated. Netscape should do itself a favor and strip everything out of there, stick the name "Netscape 7" or "Netscape New Millenium" or "Netscape that Doesn't Blow" on Mozilla 1.0 and make some sort of effort to win back their market share.

I guess it's easier to pay off attorneys general to keep Microsoft in court than do that, though.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:28 PM on June 7, 2002


Every time a new version of a browser comes out, (especially Netscape-branded Mozilla builds), the software download sites that allow reader reviews get flooded with reviews along the lines of "NETSCAPE 4.0 FOREVER!"
A sample:
"Heh, it's HTML rendering is crappy! And startup is Darn slow! Otherwise pages load fast, but it seems bulky. Netscape 4.78 has better HTML rendering. So does Internet Explorer. Mozilla has better features like tabbed brwser windows. But HTML rendering in that is the same. It's sad really cuz Ive always liked Netscape. But im using Explorer because of the few sites it mangles that explorer renders just fine."
So you can't discount the Luddite demographic, either.
posted by darukaru at 4:37 PM on June 7, 2002


Northwestern still distributes 4.7x on their "software installer" CD-ROMs freshmen get their first day at check-in. It's on all the University computers. I emailed IT about why they still distribute it (they no longer provide support for people with Windows95, even though they're putting out the Netscape browser from that time). They said most computers already come with IE, so they want to give students a choice. My computer illiterate friends still use Netscape 4.7, cause that's what they're familiar with, so any sites I design, they always complain about, cause something inevitably is messed up on it (even when I do everything possible to deal with its buggy rendering). A movabletype site I'm putting up now looks just terrible in 4.7 when images are uploaded. At this point, I don't care.
posted by gramcracker at 4:53 PM on June 7, 2002


ljromanoff, that's what they're doing. Well, minus the "strip everything out of there" part...
posted by whatnotever at 5:20 PM on June 7, 2002


Mozilla was always intended as a complete set of tools (browse, mail, compose, chat). Vendors are free to add or subtract as they see fit. There are already stripped-down versions out there for the folks who want nuttin' but a browser.

And I have found that the correspondence is quite high between people who use Netscape 4 and people who don't care about all that stuff that makes web pages pretty -- you know, style sheets, images ... So I just went for a Zeldmanesque "this site will look better" announcement, trashed all my tables, and haven't looked back. I know this isn't an option for commercial sites, and in fact I've been annoyed at those that have "detected" I'm using Netscape 4 rather than Mozilla, because they dump me into a feature-restricted area. But I agree, five years is plenty. Let's stick a fork in the damn thing.
posted by dhartung at 10:14 PM on June 7, 2002


Northwestern still distributes 4.7x on their "software installer" CD-ROMs freshmen get their first day at check-in.

The computers in the library at NC State also use Netscape 4.7x. I've been told the Department of Defense is still using it, too, although I haven't checked that.
posted by mediareport at 7:13 AM on June 8, 2002


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