Overlapping Text

The parent hosting site for knolleary is BlogsDollocks - a hosting service that I have a hand in.

Last night I spent some time reworking the BD homepage so that it includes a selection of blog entries from the hosted sites. This was easily achieved using the same mechanism as I used for the del.icio.us links in the sidebar.

One of the existing design features of the page that Kyb put together was the BD text at the top of the page. On my laptop, running Ubuntu Dapper with Firefox, it looks like this:

BlogsDollocks Logo on Laptop

I was never quite sure about this overlapping design, but it wasn’t until this morning that I looked at the site with my desktop machine, running Debian with Firefox 1.0.4 that I saw it rendered like this:

BlogsDollocks Logo

This does lead me to wonder which is the correct rendering of the text.

The html for the logo is simply:

Blogs Dollocks

every blog has his day

and the css is:

div.title {
        font-size: 28pt;
        width: 6em;
        margin: auto;
h1 {
        font-family: perpetua, serif;
        font-weight: normal;
        font-size: 28pt;
        text-align: center;
        line-height: 0px;
        padding-top: 20px;

h2 {
        font-style: italic;
        font-weight: normal;
        font-size: 7pt;
        text-align: right;
        line-height: 0px;

It seems that the width property of div.title is what is being handled differently. It all comes down to the magical em unit of measurement.

The differing versions of firefox is a complete red herring. The key is the different resolutions the two machines run at - the laptop at a lowly 1024x768 and the desktop at 1600x1200.

If I set the width to a more rigid value of 200px then the text is rendered more consistently between the two browsers - in this case with the words overlapping as 200px is not sufficient for the text to be layed out fully at its default font size. However this doesn’t work with zooming the page (Ctrl++/Ctrl+- on firefox).

Having conferred with Kyb, the desired rendering is the properly spaced out version. As such, I have changed to css to:

div.title {
        font-size: 8em;
        width: 3em;
        margin-left: 200px;

This keeps the text looking sane at both resolutions, and gracefully handles enlarging the text.

Note I have also moved away from margin: auto so that the title stays in position as the screen size changes.