Format problem with MSN Explorer

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    I did a search and didn’t find anything on this, so here goes: I got this message from a friend:

    “Need some advice. When you changed your blog site [from Blogger to WordPress] and I went to it there was no formatting. Print was large, and the items that appeared on the right hand column came at the end of the blog. Didn’t say anything because I figured you were in the process of setting up the blog after the switch. We then left on a two week trip and I used our laptop on the trip. The blog was perfectly formatted so I assumed that you had everything worked out. Were home now and I’m back to my desktop and the blog is not formatted.”

    Important info: the laptop (which works) uses Internet Explorer; the desktop (which doesn’t) uses MSN Explorer, which I gather is the latest new version of Internet Explorer.

    I’ve already suggested that he switch to Firefox, but is this a known problem with MSN Explorer? Does he have settings he needs to change? Ever hear of this?



    I have a firefox browser and when looking at your blog site I see the Acadia theme clearly. You may be right in thinking this is a browser issue. Our moderator drmike will be back tomorrow. Perhaps in the meantime you could encourage your friend to force clear his browser cache holding down the control key ctrl key and clicking F5.



    My wife is a Web interface designer for Stanford University, and she took a look using her IE, and said, yes, it’s totally screwed under IE. The reason that IE on the laptop worked is, she says, because it used a different resolution. She’s run into this a lot because (she said) IE is so [expletive] retarded. She said the best bet would be for him to move to Firefox. I’ve been on Firefox so long now that I’ve sort of forgotten that people still use IE, but I guess a lot of them do…



    MSN Explorer is the equivalent of the AOL software you get when you sign up with them but with MSN. Both are, I believe, built around IE but with added in features. You can find an older copy here just for reference.

    Edit: Here‘s the most recent version.

    Actually when I pull up your blog in IE 6.0.2900.2180, I get the larger text and all that although the sidebar looks fine. The sidebar dropping is usually caused by something within one of your posts being too wide for the post area, like a picture or something. Nothing appears to be to wide though currently.

    The issue is, and you’ll find this with many sites, is that Microsoft does it’s own interpretation of CSS. Some theme designers create a seperate CSS file just for IE because of this. You can see from your page source, this theme just has one CSS file called so, in this case, the designer didn’t.

    Heck, when I bring up the CSS file itself, Netscape displays it while IE tries to load Front Page.

    When you bring up the CSS file, you’ll note the font sizes are in either percentages or in ’em’. And that’s where you run into your problem.

    I’ve been sitting here trying to find a chart to show/ prove this but I can’t.

    The text size is determined by em settings in the CSS file. Unfortunely, the basis that the browsers start off with on em is larger in IE than it is in Netscape and the Greko based browsers.

    I still can’t find the chart that I saw a few days ago to prove this. Sorry about that. I did find a forum thread about it but it’s dated in 2001. Says basically the same thing but the reasoning may be different now.

    Best bet would be to suggest to the visitor that they adjust the text setting in their browser, View -> Text Size, and make adjustments there.

    Until Microsoft fixes IE to be like the other browsers, there’s not a whole lot that can be done unless we can get the theme redesigned.

    Heck, try pulling up Google’s home page in the two browsers. Big difference in those.

    Hope this sort of helps,

    reedit: Actually, the sidebar does drop when you go up and down in font size in IE. At Medium for me, it’s fine. At large, it drops.



    Very helpful, and I appreciate the research you put into this. Beats me why people don’t simply use Firefox, keeping IE around only for Windows updates. Many thanks, Dr. Mike.



    Dr. Mike: is it okay if I post your response as a comment to my blog post on the problem (where I advise people to go to Firefox)?



    Keeping IE:

    Unfortunately many organisations (including my employer) will not install anything other than IE as they believe (mistakenly!) that it’s a good standard.

    For some employers (mine – Ministry of Defence) we are restricted in applications to those that meet a very strict security guideline and are approved. Yep, the IS people on site know that FF and Opera are much better than IE, but until the Security guys test and approve it we’re stuck with IE.

    I know that some banks and financial institutions have a similar policy. I believe that drmike has a similar restriction…



    Leisure, it’s fine. Please link back to the blog though of course.

    I’m stuck with IE usually as well or an older version of Netscape. Depends on which library I’m at or at home. (Which won’t usually happen as that’s dial up) I’m also stuck with the broken version of Symantec AntiVirus here which they won’t upgrade and, yes, that has been pointed out to both Library IT and campus IT.

    It’s funny though.

    1st Floor – Netscape 7.0
    2nd Floor – Netscape 7.1 (Which had issues with CSS)
    3rd Floor – Netscape 7.2

    Cornell, security probably won’t pass it though since it’s Open Source and free. If something goes wrong, they don’t think they’ll get support and they isn’t anyone to sue if something breaks.

    Really need to get a better laptop. (The screen’s too small to do serious coding.)



    My IE6 did that & so does IE7 (NOT ready for primetime). I call it tombstoning… The top of the blog appears normal and the tables seem to go haywire farther down. Text size seems to have no effect… but choice of fonts might (just a guess, mine aren’t default, see next sentence). However, when I use IE at a local cafe’ my wordpress blog looks fine. It’s the same with my wordpress/yahoo hosted blog

    I haven’t figured out what’s different about my IE browser’s handling of wordpress… It appears to be the way the tables on the page are being handled, and non-default fonts could upset something, also, AV software or spyware removal software could be the issue.

    Firefox works well, and as a newshound, the rss widgets are invaluable, whereas IE7’s rss feed arrangement can be described in one word… primitive.



    I know of sites that are banning IE7 outright currently. That “feature” that preloads as many linked pages as it can is maxing out some servers with page requests. (No, is not one of them.)

    Netscape 7.2 ain’t all that bad… :)

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