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Accessible Text Re-sizing

Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways

Today I came across a post on Simplebits asking why Microsoft still insists on Internet Explorers failure to allow resizing of pixel sized font’s using it’s ‘Text Size’ tool:

In the post it asks whether or not this is a decision or a bug. Personally I think it’s a decision, and the more I think about it the more I think it might be the right one.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for accessibility, I even did my University dissertation on the subject, but I believe that a good designer should know if they want a sites font’s resized or not. For a while now I have made use of percentages and em’s to define font sizes. I do this because I think that even if resizing breaks the look of the site it’s the content that is most important to convey. However using pixel sized font’s so that sites do not break may be the best course of action in certain cases.

It is for this reason that IE’s method of resizing might be the more suitable where designers can define pixel sizes where resizing would have an unacceptable result on the site. The emphasis should then not be on the browser to change but for the designers to make accessible websites and ensure that where pixel sized font’s are not strictly needed that percentages and em’s are used instead. This is not a difficult measure to implement as when you define the font-size in the body tag as 62.5% then 1em becomes equal to 10px.