Dorward's Ramblings

Multiple Columns

Published on

Via the CSS-D mailing list, I've been pointed to CSS3 Multi-column layout considered harmful.

Roger does a nice job of summing up my opinions on the issue; having to scroll up and down is a great annoyance. I run into the problem frequently when dealing with PDFs.

He lists a number of circumstances when using multiple columns might be tolerable. The problem is - how can the author know when those circumstances are occuring?

The IHT is mentioned, and it uses complicated JavaScript to achieve its layout. This results in a columns which take up the height of the browser (but not more) and a paging system if there isn't enough room to fit all the content.

So great! No scrolling needed. Now imagine you use a screen magifier…

…and there we have scrolling (up and down and up and down and up and down and in cyberspace nobody can hear you scream).