As a professional copywriting journalist, I often get asked about the best practices of web design. One important aspect of web design is the use of relative units. In this article, I will explain why you should use REM instead of PX units in web design, the advantages of using REM, and the differences between REM and PX. I will also discuss how to achieve responsive web design with REM and the use of relative units in CSS.
- Using REM units instead of PX in web design allows for more flexibility and responsive design.
- REM units are relative to the root element, while PX units are fixed and do not adjust to different screen sizes.
- Best practices for using REM units include setting a base font size and using REM for all other measurements.
- REM units can be used for font sizes, margin and padding, and other measurements in CSS.
- Using REM instead of PX allows for consistent design across devices and accessibility for users with visual impairments.
The Benefits of Using REM Units in CSS
Now that we know what REM units are and how they differ from pixel (px) units, let’s explore the benefits of using REM units in CSS. Here are some of the main advantages:
- Scalability: One of the biggest advantages of using REM units is that they are scalable and responsive. When you use REM units, your website will automatically adjust to different screen sizes, making it a great choice for responsive web design.
- Accessibility: REM units are an excellent choice for making your website accessible for people with visual impairments. Because REM units are relative to the font-size of the root element, they can be easily scaled up or down, making it easier for people with poor eyesight to read your content.
- Consistency: When you use REM units throughout your CSS, you can ensure a consistent and cohesive design. By basing all of your measurements on the font-size of the root element, you can guarantee that your website will have a harmonious look and feel from one page to the next.
- Best Practices: Using REM units is considered a best practice in modern web design. As the web becomes more responsive and accessible, using REM units can help you stay ahead of the curve and ensure that your website is up to date with current design trends.
- Flexibility: REM units are more flexible than pixel units, as they can be used for a variety of measurements beyond font-size, including padding, margin, and border. This makes it easier to create dynamic layouts and designs that adapt to different screen sizes and devices.
While REM units are a great choice for most web design projects, it’s important to keep in mind best practices for using them in CSS. For example, it’s generally recommended to avoid nesting REM units within other REM units, as this can lead to unintended consequences. Additionally, it’s important to consider the difference between em and rem units in your design decisions, as they have slightly different use cases.
Overall, using REM units in CSS is a smart choice for creating scalable, accessible, and cohesive web designs. By following best practices and incorporating REM units into your design workflow, you can ensure that your website looks great and functions well on any device or screen size.
The Benefits of Using REM Units in CSS
As I mentioned earlier, using REM units in CSS has numerous benefits. Let me summarize some of the major advantages below:
Flexible and Responsive Design
One of the primary advantages of using REM units is that it allows for flexible and responsive web design. REM units are relative to the root (html) font-size, which means that the design adapts to different viewport sizes. This is particularly important with the rise of mobile devices and the need for websites to be optimized for smaller screens.
Another benefit of using REM units is improved accessibility. By using a font-size measured in REM, users can adjust font size in their browser without breaking the layout of the page. This is particularly important for users with visual impairments who need larger font sizes to read content.
Easier to Maintain
Using REM units can also make CSS code easier to maintain. By using relative units, we can avoid having to adjust specific pixel sizes across multiple CSS rules when making changes to the design. Additionally, REM units can help maintain consistency across the website, making it easier to update and improve the design in the future.
Best Practices for Using REM Units in CSS
To get the most out of REM units in CSS, it’s important to follow some best practices. Here are a few tips:
- Set the root font-size to a reasonable value (usually around 16px) in your CSS file.
- Use REM units for font sizes and other layout elements that need to be responsive.
- Use EM units for padding and margin to ensure they scale proportionally with the font-size.
- Avoid using REM units for fixed layout elements such as borders and shadows.
In summary, using REM units in CSS can greatly improve the flexibility, responsiveness, accessibility, and maintainability of your website design. By following best practices and using REM units where appropriate, you can create a more user-friendly and future-proof design.
Q: Why should I use REM instead of PX in web design?
A: Using REM (root em) units in web design offers several advantages. One of the main benefits is that REM units are relative to the root element, which allows for easier scalability and responsiveness. Additionally, REM units are great for accessibility as users can adjust their browser’s default font size without breaking the layout of the website.
Q: What are the advantages of using REM units in CSS?
A: The benefits of using REM units in CSS are numerous. Firstly, REM units provide better control over font sizes, making it easier to maintain consistent typography across different devices. Secondly, REM units are relative, which means they adapt well to different screen sizes and help create a responsive design. Lastly, REM units are more accessible, allowing users to adjust the font size based on their preferences.
Q: What are the differences between REM and PX units?
A: The main difference between REM (root em) and PX (pixels) units is that REM is relative to the root element, while PX is an absolute unit. This means that REM units are based on the font-size of the root element, typically the
<html> tag, whereas PX units are fixed and do not change regardless of other factors. REM units are recommended for responsive design and accessibility, while PX units may be useful in certain situations that require precise control over layout.
Q: How can I implement responsive web design with REM units?
A: To implement responsive web design with REM units, you can define font sizes, margins, paddings, and other measurements using REM instead of PX or other absolute units. This allows elements to scale proportionally based on the root font size and adapt to different screen sizes. Additionally, media queries can be used to adjust the root font size for specific breakpoints, ensuring an optimal viewing experience on various devices.
Q: What are relative units in CSS?
A: Relative units in CSS, such as REM and EM, are measurements that are proportionally based on other elements. REM (root em) units are relative to the root element, while EM units are relative to their parent element. Using relative units provides more flexibility and responsiveness in web design, as they adapt to changes in font sizes and other factors.