firefox renders text over images

Bug #173585 reported by Joe Harrington on 2007-12-03
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox

There is a class of pages that has text next to images, and in which firefox will run text right over an image and even into the next block of text. Here's an example:

go to

click on "change colors" on the left
check "projection"
go to

There are numerous other examples on the web.

I've even seen this behavior on Windows Firefox. Probably it's some common programmer error, but what's wanted is clear, and even IE does it right.


Nanley Chery (nanoman) wrote :

Could you attach a screenshot with the rendering problems circled? I've tried to reproduce your problem but couldn't.

Changed in firefox:
status: New → Incomplete
Joe Harrington (joeharr) wrote :

Here it is. It's 100% reproducible for the given site for me. In this case, you have to change the color scheme, which is an option on the site itself. Other sites do it too, though it's not an everyday occurrence to hit one.

For completeness:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20061201 Firefox/ (Ubuntu-feisty)

Feisty, updated as of today, on a 32-bit i386.


Nanley Chery (nanoman) wrote :

Have you increased the text size in Firefox (either Ctrl&+ or Ctrl&ScrollDown)? This is the only way I could have the text overlapping the image.

Changed in firefox:
assignee: nobody → nanoman
Joe Harrington (joeharr) wrote :

I have not done that, wasn't even aware it was possible (thanks! what other of the reasons I used to prefer galeon are lurking undocumented? can I get my tabs down the left side? paste a URL onto a titlebar icon to get a new page opening it?).

I do see that if I use the ^+ keystroke, I can make the text leak past some static box that must have been set for it. Is that a bug? It looks like at least an incomplete feature: if fonts get magnified, the space they're in ought to be, too.

I restarted firefox to take this morning's update, and lo and behold the page looked fine. The font is smaller than it was before. I was writing an "all done" comment when I decided to see what other browsers did. Opera displays it bigger and leaking out of the box. I made a new tab and visited it in firefox, per the description above, and it was bigger in that tab than in my original one, and leaking over the following text again! When I went back to the original window, so was it. Then I killed both tabs and restarted firefox, and the problem was there with the first visit to the page (after changing colors, which also changes font size).

So, try revisiting the site in another tab and see what happens. Be sure to do the color change as written above.


Nanley Chery (nanoman) wrote :

Are you looking at the web page through a projector? I've just noticed that the color change is actually a color and format change for looking at the webpage through a projector. Thus this may appear wrong on our monitors, or it may be a formatting problem with the website. Could you find any other websites with the same problem? Since Opera displays the text overflowing, I'd have to say it is an improperly coded formatting change by the website makers. If this behavior is the same in IE, then I'd have to say this isn't a bug, and it is what I've stated in the previous sentence.

Joe Harrington (joeharr) wrote :

No, I am not using a projector. A projector just takes what's on your screen and puts it on the wall, it doesn't change what is done in your web browser. The projector mode on this page is probably just so that the font and colors are not tiny and washed out, as these are hard to read otherwise.

I have often come across pages like this, but not often enough that I can just go out and find one (I tried). I probably hit one every couple of weeks or so, often on high-end news/commercial sites with lots of specialized stuff on them. Sometimes the images even go over the text. If I find another one, I'll post it here.

I looked at the page above in IE. The first block is rendered right, but down below they do have an overlapping/leaking block. However, when I do ctrl+ and ctrl-, the whole page just scales, and there is *no* alteration in the relative placement of any page elements. The text blocks do not spill out. The leaking block below stays leaking by exactly the same amount. This is quite different from firefox's behavior. Perhaps the IE behavior could be implemented and offered, at least as an option? I can see advantages to both (firefox always shows you the full content within your current page width, so no horizontal scrolling unless you had it at mag 1. IE never misrenders.

A question: what is firefox policy for things that IE does differently from the standards. such that many web pages incorrectly depend on the IE behavior?


John Vivirito (gnomefreak) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to file this bug report with us. Closing due to age. If this is still a problem in 3.0.7 please reopen this bug.
Also please reopen with all new information on how to reproduce this bug by giving us step by step instructions.
We also need what happens what is expected to happen.
To reopen the bug report you can click on the current status, under the Status column, and change the Status back to "New". Thanks again!

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
assignee: nanoman → nobody
Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Invalid
Joe Harrington (joeharr) wrote :

So far it seems to be fixed. I'll reopen if I find a site where it isn't.


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