RE: CSS Font Sizes and Macs

by Romek <zylla(at)>

 Date:  Sat, 30 Sep 2000 12:26:12 +0000
 To:  =?iso-8859-1?Q?St=E9phane?= Bergeron <stephberg(at)>
 Cc:  hwg-techniques(at)
 References:  lodz bgsgroup ncrel ncrel2
  todo: View Thread, Original
At 18:56 29-09-00 -0400, you wrote:
>At 06:20 PM 29/09/00 +0000, you wrote:
>>At 10:50 29-09-00 -0400, you wrote:
>> >On 29/09/2000 at 8:12 AM Michael Heliker wrote:
>> >>'s the other way around. Macs display at 72 dpi, and pcs=
>> >96.
>> >>We did some tests here at work to confirm this.
>> >
>> >
>> >Are you SURE about that?  I always thought it was PC's at 72 and Mac at
>> >96...  How did you test this?
>>   I am not kidding.
>>   Make square image 72px width and height.
>>   View it on your Mac.
>>   Get a ruler and measure the square on the screen.
>>   If it has an inch  vertically and horizontally
>>   then the resolution of your screen is 72 dpi.
>>   DPI  means  dot per inch -  you can translate it
>>   to  pixels per inch.
>No you can't...

  I can and he can if we both agree that "Mac is 72 dpi"
  is understood by both of us as  72 pixels per inch.
  Of course dpi is not ppi  but I assumed he meant ppi.

> As stated before by someone else on this list, dpi is=20
>completely irrelevant to the screen... it's a print concept=20
>that has nothing to do with the screen.=20

  You are right in all you wrote (as usual :)
  except I provided the experimental
  method to resolve the problem of:
            "I always thought it was PC's at 72 and
             Mac at 96...  How did you test this?"

  Below some thinking about "is 72dpi equal to 72ppi ?" =20

  It was original (maybe not so original) concept of early
  graphical user interfaces that one can see - on screen -
  his work as close as possible to what will be printed.
  Mac or any other computer of that time was not e-Book
  - the device to read books.
  Macintosh was conceptually the typesetting machine for
  typesetting and print book (and memos, broshures etc)
  at home.
  Compare that to early Wordstar or Word Perfect used in
  non-graphic mode.  Fixed size fonts was used. Bold or other
  style was simulated with screen attributes.  Number of
  words/characters per line was different from what was
  printed on laser printer. =20
  Laser printer was able to use proportional fonts.
  Justified text on print was suddenly "de mode" because
  wordprocessors (on PC) were unable to recalculate word
  spacing the same as used by laser printer.
  Mac was different.


>>   And BTW  Mac was probably the first WYSIWYG system
>>   which meant:  what (size) you see on the screen
>>   should be exactly the same (size and shape) on printout.
>>   Windows on PC is not (in this respect) WYSIWYG system.
>I don't know where you picked up that strange information

  It is my personal observation.

> but on both Macs and PCs, the size you see on the screen=20
>has very little to do with what's printed on paper...

  On nowdays big screens yes, it has nothing to do but
  most users try to set screen resolution according to
  screen size.  With small 15inch screens they use 640x480
  For 17inch they use 800x600  etc.
  It must be some logic in that.  Me think, users try to
  obtain  WYSIWYG  that is consistency between screen size
  and print size of the material meant to be printed.
  Some even adjust vertical size of the picture on CRT to obtain
  the same vertical and horizontal size for circles and squares.

  Some of them calibrate the color of theirs monitors=20
  to obtain  WYSIWYG  in colors of printed graphics.
  But of course one can argue that because RGB is not CMYK
  and that is not Pantone  this could not be done.

>St=E9phane Bergeron

Romek Zylla
~~~~~~~~~~~  after all the work done by Micro$oft (R)  ~~~~~~~~~~
        Personal Computer Science is an experimental one (C)

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