Setting Your Browser for Optimal Viewing
  • This is a sample slide
  • If necessary, please resize your browser window so it roughly corresponds to the size of this slide: from the blue title bar at the top to the gray divider at the bottom, with a little white space on the left and right
  • If the text appears too big, or you are having trouble fitting the slide in the browser window, see the Talking Points for help
  • If you want to know why you might need to change your font size setting, refer to the Narrative

Talking Points
  • If you are using a small monitor, you can use your browser's Options menu to hide the toolbars and the location bar. This will give you a larger viewing area.
  • If you are using a large (17-inch or greater) monitor, make your browser window smaller.
  • If the text seems way too big, you can reduce your default font size. For example, if your font size is currently set to 12 points, you can reduce it to 8 or 10 points. Don't worry: you can set your font size back to its original value when you are done.
  • If you are using a version 4.x browser, you may also have "Increase font" and "Decrease font" controls available in the View menu.

You might be asking yourself, "Why do I need to adjust anything? Why doesn't this just fit in the first place?" The answer is rather technical, and has to do with the amount of control a web page designer has over the precise appearance of text on a page. If you are interested in the details, read on. However, you do not need to understand these technical details in order to understand sustainable community indicators. To skip the technical details and proceed to the workshop itself, go to the top of the page and click on the Next button.

In order to absolutely determine the size and placement of text--while still accommodating a wide range of browsers--we would have had to create a graphic image for each slide. That means you would have had to wait for a graphic to download each time you went from one slide to the next. Personally, we don't like to wait, and we assume you don't either. So we are using plain text for the slides.

Because we are using plain text, we are sharing the responsibility for determining the size of that text with you, the viewer. You see, HTML--the language used to code web pages--does not include the ability to specify point sizes or absolute locations for text. When we code a page, we can't say "Make this text 12-point Helvetica and start it at pixel location 125,256 (with 0,0 at the top left corner of your screen).

Instead, all a web page designer gets to do is say "Here are some fonts I'd like the browser to use (if the fonts are present on this computer) and here is the relative size I want the browser to use to display the text." The browser takes this general instruction, looks to see which fonts you have installed, looks at its own font option settings, and then decides how to display the text. Because you, the viewer, set the browser's font options, you, the viewer, ultimately control the size of text on a page.

So the bottom line is that we need your help to make these slides look right. After all, you control the horizontal, and you control the vertical.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.