Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A bug in Google Spreadsheets?

A couple of days ago I tweeted my exasperation with Google Spreadsheets. @ronaldho kindly replied to my tweet, asking for clarification. Here is what's happening.

At first Firefox, and then Chrome have been resizing my Google Spreadsheets fonts. Suppose the text in my spreadsheets was originally 10 points. That's a nice size font I can easily read. Then one day, all of a sudden, the browser shrinks the font. It still shows it as 10 pt, but realistically it now looks like 8 pt. That's a bit too small for me. I didn't do anything to cause this. The browser did it not in response to any of my action (intentional or not), but out of the blue. That's right, the browser window with the spreadsheet was just sitting there, untouched, and suddenly the text shrank.

So I select all the text in the spreadsheet and increase it to 12 points. For a while, all is well. Then, a few days later, the browser shrinks the text again! So now 12 points look like 8!

I increase to 14 points. The story continues. It got to where 18-point font started looking like 8.

I was hoping that this was just a Firefox misfeature, so I switched to Google Chrome. At first, the fonts in Google Chrome appeared their correct sizes. Then, after just 2 days of usage, 12-point font shrank a couple of sizes. So, unfortunately, Chrome does it too. This must be a bug in Google Spreadsheets, not in any browser.

(All the fonts in my other Google docs appear correctly, by the way. This bug affects just spreadsheets.)

If this keeps happening, I won't be able to work with Google Spreadsheets anymore. The font sizes don't go higher than 24. When 24-point font starts looking like 6 points, then what? I'll have to drop Google Spreadsheets. That's a shame, because I have lots of useful data there. I gather data for my own life-logging experiments, which I plan to use to test applications I'm writing. (Hence the data mining I was referring to in my tweet, @ronaldho. It has nothing to do with Google Spreadsheets themselves.)

If there is a way to stop Google Spreadsheets from doing this, I would appreciate the tips.


Richard Hendricks said...

Are you leaving your account logged in the whole time? Perhaps an auto-refresh is triggered, and that somehow causes the font size to shrink.

Ronald said...

When your font resizes, does other text in the menus resize as well? Can you send some screenshots of the changing font to me? That would help us debug it.