Zoom layouts

Joe Clark’s presentation notes from @media 2005.

In most cases, there are limits to how big you can zoom a Web page before it becomes unreadable:

  • The space between lines, called leading or linespacing or line-height, might not scale along with the fonts, so that lines of text will overlap
  • Your nice carefully-crafted layout may have boxes or table cells or divs that are too narrow to hold the text. Sometimes they’ll be too narrow to hold a single word – maybe not in English, but certainly in German or Finnish
  • Or all those structures might also be too short
  • The right-hand side of the Web page might zoom off the edge of the screen.

Part of the solution to the problems Joe brings up is to design pages with flexible line-length.

See it in action on this site; increase or decrease text size, and watch the column width expand or contract. Also included (for browsers that understand it) is a min-width rule on the main content area.