Default font sizes are rather tiny
You can of course tell your browser to increase the font size for one tab, but I’d like the default WordPress.com font sizes (or at least the one most used, that for post content) to be a little larger, say at least 10 points. Older readers, and readers with larger screen resolutions (like 1440×900 or 1600×1200) will appreciate this I think.
You can change this in your theme by purchasing the CSS upgrade and changing it yourself.
The WordPress.com team has to account for all their viewers, young, old and in between and consider all the different browsers and screen resolutions that are out there.
A quick check of my Google Analytics for my self hosted blog suggests that 45% of my viewers are still using 1024×768, with only 18% using 1280×1024.
I suspect the stats from wp.com (which we can’t see) will provide a much more accurate assessment.
There is a little trick that works in most browsers on most text based sites. You can press the CTRL key (in Windows) on your keyboard and use the scroll wheel on your mouse to resize the text.
When you speak of the “default” font, do you mean on the main wordpress.com pages or in peoples’ blogs? If it’s in blogs then the font size is generally defined by the theme that the blogger is using and overriding that in the theme will affect every blog that is using that theme.
Perhaps you could put this request in through feedback on your dashboard (which is the most appropriate way to make improvement suggestions).
If you are talking about your blog entries, keep in mind that you are in the minority with those extreme resolutions, including widescreen. With my blog, the text looks just fine on my 1280×1024 monitor here at work. At home, it looks a little bigger on my 1152×864 resolution, but still ok. On my wife’s 800×600 resolution, it looks huge.
If you change your CSS to match your monitor, you may be turning off other viewers. Usually, designing for 1024×768 is safe.
The scrollwheel zoom or browser’s “Font Size” option are available for people who have a hard time reading, such as older people.
I mean the default sizes as specified in the CSS files of themes or that of WordPress.com. They’re generally set to tiny sizes like 9px or 11px now. It would help if WP/themes used absolute sizes (like ‘mm’ or ‘pt’) instead of relative ones (like ‘px’ or ’em’). Relative sizes result in larger text on screens with low resolutions (like 1024×768), but smaller text on screens with higher resolutions (like 1440×900, 1280×1024 and 1600×1200). Absolute sizes should give the same size text on every screen resolution.
On my 1440×900, 17.5″ LCD screen, for example, a 9px font size is only 2.4mm tall, barely readable.
On a modal 1024×768, 15″ CRT screen, that would be 2.7mm, acceptable.
On a relatively high-end 1600×1200, 19″ LCD screen, that would be 2.1mm tall, too small to read.
A 9pt font size, on the other hand, would be the same size on all of them, 3.2mm, comfortably readable.
See what I mean?
p.s. With LCD screens becoming cheaper nowadays, mine isn’t really that exceptional I think.
I mean the default sizes as specified in the CSS files of themes or that of WordPress.com.
Just to be clear wordpress.com does not specify default font sizes. Each designer specifies their own default sizes. WordPress does not define specific criteria or indeed any criteria at all for themes.
To request a feature staff has asked that bloggers send in a feedback including reasons for asking for it.
@timethief – Yes, I know that. But the theme designer’s choices go for everyone on WP.com who uses that theme. That’s what I meant.
There’s also the WP.com CSS for pages like the front page and the forums.
So, by ‘default’ I guess I meant whatever is specified in the appropriate CSS file if you don’t have the Custom CSS upgrade.
p.s. Oh, and the post above (#100127) is what I sent as feedback to the staff.
As a visually challenged person I find most font sizes on themes offered here are too small.
I agree with the point about using points instead of pixels. I always use points because it’s universal as you mentioned. But, as cornell pointed out, the CSS upgrade is the only way to let you change the theme fonts. I tried using a style attribute on a paragraph to adjust the font and face because I wanted something to be smaller than the rest of the page, but the editor stripped it all out. I had to stick with the antiquated FONT element with FACE and SIZE attributes.
WP.com staff member Alex wrote:
The way font sizes are handled is up to the theme designer. You might find switching themes will help. You can also change the font size of any theme using the CSS upgrade if you’d like.
Well, there’s a rather useless reply :(
Hey, that’s not what you wanted to hear I know but that’s the way it is. And I’m not surprised because this is as I understood it to be.
The truth is that we volunteers are not paid a cent to do this day in and day out. We answer questions as best we can, even though we have no control over the policy decisions that are made by staff and management. We are not a part of the chain of command. Please take your policy concerns to management.
I didn’t mean to come across as complaining about the volunteers here. Not at all.
I’m sorry if I offended you.
Panic not, it will take much more than that to upset TT!
It’s not a particularly helpful reply, but that’s the way the system’s set up. As has been mentioned, the only way round this is to get the CSS Upgrade and modify it or use the CTRL+zoom option.
Do you know the general age and visibility requirements of your reader base? Perhaps if they are struggling you could offer them the CTRL+zoom option.
Komik0 seems to be under of fundamental misapprehensions as to how browsers work in relation to font-sizing. No one uses mm or pts for heavens sake. The choice of font size is for the reader.
The designers job is to iron out the browser inconsistencies and then to interfere with the user as little as possible. For the heads up consult Owen Briggs on fonts at thenoodleincident.
That’s an interesting article. Thanks for the pointer!
Thanks for digging out the url for me. :)
After digging through several web pages on font sizing recommendations, I’ve found what seems to be the reason pt sizes are eschewed. It’s because Macs set their screen resolution at 72 DPI, and Windows sets it at 96 DPI. And they’re both fixed, inflexible resolutions apparently.
How dumb is that? Why don’t they calculate the real DPI of a screen by dividing the physical surface of the screen by the number of pixels across? That’s what X does, and that’s what makes pt sizes indepent of a user’s actual screen size or resolution.
*headdesk* at stupid OS/GUI developers.
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