Font-size buttons

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I came upon this trick: a usemap with two buttons for
changing the page's font size:

<map name="fontmap" id="fontmap">

<area shape="rect" coords="111,1,126,15"
href=" ">

<area shape="rect" coords="127,0,143,14"
href=" ">



The page itself is:

Two questions:  (1) how does it work?  New pages?
What's the question mark ( "cfm?font..." )  do?

and (2) is this idea useful?

The user *may* have the ability to change font size or
do a zoom in the browser.  
This page button trick  may be more convenient.

      Mason C

Re: Font-size buttons

Mason A. Clark wrote:
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It's done server-side, and it might be done by serving a single new
line of CSS on demand, not even changing the "page" itself. However it
still breaks the notion of font-size being a "client side" control,
which is very important to maintain.

You might really want font size buttons added to a page and there are
good usability reasons why you might, if you have an audience that
needs it and doesn't know there's already a menu option. If you do
though, keep it client-side and link to the browser's menu functon (I
think this can already be done for Mozillas). For other browsers, pop
up a message and say "Look under your text size menu for a handy

Re: Font-size buttons

On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 09:42:26 GMT in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Mason A. Clark favored us
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Not unless the web site visitor is too stupid to operate his or her
own browser.

And in that case, they're probably too stupid to understand your
content anyway.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
HTML 4.01 spec: /
validator: /
CSS 2.1 spec: /
validator: /
Why We Won't Help You:

Re: Font-size buttons

Mason A. Clark wrote:

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Quoted text here. Click to load it

It works by sending a modified page from the server.  Following the main
style section is a second <style> section that sets font-size to 'small'
or 'x-small' etc.  It appears that this value is modified, then the
entire page is resent by the server (based on the time it takes to respond)

A .cfm filetype indicates use of the Cold Fusion development tool.

? is a delimiter between the end of the URL and attached data.  When you
click on one of the links, the entire string is sent to the server,
which can look separately at the data being passed (the part after the
?) and determine what you want it to do.  In this case fontsize=up.

Note that the server is setting an ABSOLUTE value (small, large, etc.)
whereas the user interface is a RELATIVE value (up, down).  This implies
that the server knows what font size is currently in use.  That is done
by setting a cookie on the user's system (more overhead) to remember the
currently-in-use font size.  Each time you change sizes using this
interface, the cookie is fetched to see what that current size is.  Of
course this means the function will not work if the user has disabled

I would not view this as useful or more convenient than using the
font-size capability of your browser.

Chris Beall

Re: Font-size buttons

Thanks for the instructive responses.

   Mason C

Re: Font-size buttons

On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 09:42:26 GMT, Mason A. Clark

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I suggest that something along the lines of is a lot more useful.

(Having written that page a long time ago I suddenly got a bunch of
messages thanking me for it recently. Apparently it briefly got up to
first position in Google).

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AFAIK *every* graphical browser has that sort of ability (as long as the
author doesn't screw things up by using absolute units).

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I doubt it.

Stephen Poley /

Re: Font-size buttons

On Thu, 6 Oct 2005, Stephen Poley wrote:

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What's more: once they've found it and learned how to use it, it works
on every web site (modulo the issue of absolute units, anyway).

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Having to use a different user interface on each and every web site
which offers such a feature is not exactly the most productive way to
proceed, after all.

Sounds like something that would please marketing, though:- offering
the customer something that they'd already got, but with a competitive
difference that, unlike the one the customer already had, this one
wouldn't work with anyone else's products.  Let me join you in a

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