css and older macs using ie5.

trudi_dDecember 26, 2003

Is there anything that can be done to prevent the text breaks that ocur with someone using and older mac and IE5? I'd like to be able to do more than just offer advice on getting an upgrade. Is a patch available that I can put in as a link, or anything else to help someone?


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If there is a problem, it's with your design, not their browser. Make sure you have a page that is adequate without the CSS.

Do you have the URL of the page with the problem?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2003 at 7:31AM
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It's compatability. If you check the net you'll find out about this glitch. I'm ding sme more checking today to see if I can code around it.

Here is a link that might be useful: WSEO Home

    Bookmark   December 29, 2003 at 7:49AM
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Design problems are making it worse. I see forced line breaks in your text (the br code) that will make your page do wierd things unless the visitor has the font size you do. I'm not using a MAC, I'm using Mozilla.

I see this:

Here you will learn about the Winter Sowing
With the method you'll be able to start a
seedlings for pennies, you'll do it outdoors during (*)

Please follow the links to learn how to Winter Sow. The FAQs will show you
many different tips and techniques, they're written in a friendly and *

*the rest of the lines of each paragraph are overlapping onto the paragraphs below, making the page unreadable.

If you get rid of the forced line breaks things will be much better.

I also see a forced table width ... use % instead of pixels and it can adjust as needed.

using position:absolute is not a good idea because you have no idea what the user's resolution is. You are forcing my browser to screw up the text because my windows aren't the same size yours are.

Try the link on my page, and mess with font size and browser window width ... notice how plain HTML can wrap without funky line break problems.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 9:16AM
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Your home page doesn't load.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 9:25AM
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Yes there can be some distinct differences in coding for different versions as well as different browsers. You can either try to design something that at least displays ok in everything OR your index page needs a java script to detect the browser and then it re-directs to the correct page, meaning you have to have many duplicate pages designed for each specific browser.

Yours though looks to be a design problem.

First, why aren't you using an external style sheet so you can just link all of your pages to it?
Second, why do you have so many classes defined? You don't need to define every paragraph when it's the same style. You also don't need a whole class just to italicize 3 words, just do the words as in line. Style sheets are supposed to cut down the amount of code, not increase it.

As far as your pages though. "Div" is a block level element, it should ONLY be used to define paragraphs, heads, tables etc. Because it's "block level", it will put a line break every time it's used.

For your text you should be using "span". "Span" is an in line element and will NOT add a line break when used.

Welcome to the Website of the

WinterSown Educational Organization.


Here you will learn about the Winter Sowing Method.

Why are you putting divisions in for spaces? If you changed the "div" to

Welcome to the Website of the - You would have the spacing you're looking for. You do need to get rid of a bunch of the un-necessary


Here you will learn about the Winter Sowing Method.

kind of coding will confuse a browser too. Your "div" ended where the "span" begins. So some browsers will try to apply the "div" id's instead of the "span" id, since you closed the "div" after the "span". Again though you could do it as

and then use and not have a problem.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 10:33AM
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If you want to continue to use "div", try adding display: inline to all of your classes. That might make the "div class" display in line instead of block level.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 10:40AM
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Thank you Puggy,

I'm working on some changes right now and will save it for HTML 3.2 as opposed to 4.0. That should help considerably. I'll have the reformatiing done by this evening.....it's only about 65 pages. Sigh.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 12:13PM
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I don't honestly think you need to switch to 3.2,
someone has got to really have an old, old computer
or has never upgraded a browser to not be able to read 4.0.
Plus many of those tags are deprecated.

You need to minimize your usage of the absolute positioning
as poohbear suggested and you really should simplify your
style sheet. You should also strongly consider using an
external style sheet, especially if you are going to
continually add more and more pages.
Use the external style sheet to define different font and header classes etc.
Then use an inline style sheet to
control the positioning, if you have to.

For example, if you defined a background in the external
css, you could change it on ALL of your pages instantly
by changing just the external css.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 8:17PM
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It's already done and reformatted. I agree that someone who is using fred flintstone technoloy will have problems but I have no doubt that they may already know that.

Take a look and see if you notice any improvement. Don't forget to hit reload ;-)

Modern site building programs come with the CSS built in....this is not noveau technology and I need to design the site for the future. CSS is the new wave and old hard drives are going to be phased out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's the reformatted version set for 3.2 HTML

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 8:57PM
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This is the program I am using.

Here is a link that might be useful: WebStudio

    Bookmark   December 30, 2003 at 9:02PM
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Trudy -
My provider crashed ... site works now.

Yours looks much better - I can change font size without having the layout go too bad on me.

You are still forcing line breaks and explicit table cell size, which is poor design practice ... size tables by %, not number of pixels.

The "NOWRAP" makes the page shove off to the right with my preferred font size. The height 45 may also be messing up the page.

font FACE="Times New Roman,serif" SIZE=2 COLOR=red//b//u/
/a HREF="Puzzle_Page.html"/
where you'll find word
puzzles to print out, enjoy /br/
and learn with.

You can use CSS in such a manner that older browsers just ignore it (called "degrading gracefully) and still see a usable page ... "Web Studio" insists on sticking in code that defeats the purpose of CSS, such as the font size and color.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 6:01PM
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You have a very nice simple site, easy to navigate and looks quite clean. When you upgrade from Windows 95 it should eliminate the compatibility problems and you should be able to see my site as it should be.



    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 6:13PM
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"When you upgrade from Windows 95 it should eliminate the compatibility problems"

Uh ... Windows 95 is not a browser it's an operating system and has nothing to do with the problems I have on your page. I am using MOZILLA (v1.3) as a browser. Mozilla runs on Linux (any version), UNIX (most versions), SUN Solaris, and anything Microsoft from Win95 through WinXP. It also runs on Mac OS-10.

"and you should be able to see my site as it should be."

Here's a clue ... the fastest way to lose a visitor is to tell them that they have to upgrade browsers, download FLASH, or do something besides click on links. If you don't like the horse I rode in on, I can find a friendlier saloon.

If you want a widely visited usable site, versus a vanity site, the design issue is not "how cool should I be", it's "how many potential customers do you want to turn away because they find your site onerous to use"? Simple is better.

I've worked on several corporate web sites: one major credit card company, one leading computer chip maker, and a couple of smaller (but still multinational) electronics company sites. We made sure that the site was workable no matter what browser was being used ... none of the "eye candy" was essential.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2004 at 7:21PM
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You have a ten year old operating system. I'm sorry, but to me it just doesn't make sense to fight to remain a dinosaur.

That's your choice.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2004 at 8:10PM
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Trudi -
To repeat, Windows 95 (which dates from August 1996, and is therefore an 7.5-year old OS) is NOT a browser and it does not affect web page display at all. It is a 32-bit operating system, and exists merely to enable my software to use my hardware. My hardware is fully capable of running WinXP, it's that I choose not to waste my money on it. Aside from a few changes to the DLLs and AIPs, sufficient to destroy compatibility and enhance Bill's profits, WinXP is still just a 32-bit operating system like Win95/98/ME/2000. I've been writing customizations to apps for WinXP systems for the past couple of month, and it works just like Win95 under the hood, although XP has newer, fuzzier dice hanging from the mirror and a lot more security problems.

To take care of the "maybe it's an obsolete OS" theory, I downloaded Mozilla 1.6b (released December 9th, 2003) for my Win95 system and looked at the page. I also checked the page while running SuSE Professional 9.0, Mandrake 9.2, and Knoppix 3.3 (Linux operating systems all released within the last 9 months or so) and the most recent browsers (FireBird, Mozilla, Galeon, etc.) ... and that page still has the same problem with text running off to the right.

In short, the problems, which are DESIGN problems in your web page HTML code, remain no matter which OS and browser I try. A good web designer (or web creating program) can produce pages which are browser independent, and look good for all visitors.

I prefer larger font sizes for ease of reading, which means the "NOWRAP", forced table cell sizes, forced font sizes, and other "WYSIWYG" features that WebStudio inserts as you drag and drop things into the page do not display for me the way you think they will.

So what's the problem if one person can't see the page? Well, when you take into consideration all the aging boomers like me who use the web, with our developing presbyopia and increasing fondness for big print ... it makes sense to make sure that font size changes don't screw up the page. It's not just one person. Presented with a hard-to-read page, most people will not bothre to tell you about it - they hit the back button and try a different site.

And your complaint (via email) that I am "the only truly rude person I've had to deal with here, you come off like a ton of bricks. I suggest you learn some manners." ... I'm being blunt, not rude. Your page has design problems. If you don't want to hear about design problems, don't ask for help making pages work better.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2004 at 8:34AM
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Trudi -
I had a geekish friend check your front page with his custom-built system: Soyo Dragon MB and 2400+ Athlon CPU. The operating system is Gentoo Linux (updated as of yesterday), kernel 2.4.22-gentoo-r2, browsers are Konqueror 3.1.4, Firebird 0.7. In other words, quite a bit more bleeding-edge HW/SW than mine, and with horsepower to spare for web browsing. He used to design PC mother boards, now designs chips for computer network cards like those in the routers that run the internet.

... he's seeing the same problem I do when he increases font size. I even tried MSIE and I see the page vanish off the right edge of the screen if I increase font size in it. It's the HTML code, not hardware, operating systems or browsers.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2004 at 9:12AM
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I'd like to comment, but it's a pain to read this running off the screen, so I am going to continue with a new thread.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2004 at 9:14PM
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So why does the text run off the screen in this thread?
It's not the only place I've seen it on THS.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 12:53PM
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Just thought I'd return to this post and to ask if you can see now, after all the recoding, that the site looks much better and cleaner. It's now saved in 4.0 html and I've done a lot to bring it up to HAWS standards (Handicap Accesible Website Standards.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Home

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 5:42PM
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