Different browsers? Help!
Was just wondering why IE and Firefox display font slightly different. IE tends to make the font ever so slightly thicker compared to Firefox. How can I get around this problem as the thicker font messes up my layout.
Different browsers will do different things. There's no rule for one way or the other. This is why HTML is called a "markup" language-- it's basically a list of suggestions and the browser can do whatever it wants. You may be able to find a way to use some sort of conditional comments to make the font smaller in IE, but that's going to be hard and probably a waste of time.
The real answer is to design in a smart and flexible way that allows the layout to work regardless of how anything is presented. It's hard to do this, but that's what makes some sites work everywhere and other sites only work in a single browser.
Consider the influence of mobile web browsers now: will your site break if loaded on a cell phone? Is that what you want?
As for the specific "reason" for this, it's just that they use different rendering engines. The fonts are the same (I think), but the way that the pixels are displayed based on the underlying shapes varies because the browsers interpret them slightly differently.
If you really want to see a contrast, compare a page on Windows to the same page on Mac OSX-- you'll find that the fonts on a mac are much smoother (and slightly blurry) and on a PC they're very crisp (and slightly choppy). This is part of the operating system, so firefox vs firefox should be different, no need to compare even different browsers in this case.
Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum
on things like fixed-size menu items, etc., where the font size really might interfere with the layout, use pixel (px) values for the font-size. But almost everywhere in your site should be able to work with varying font sizes - and you don't want a size that will "break" when someone zooms in, say, because they have poor eyesight and want bigger text.