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September 14, 2019


Jeremy Church put together a nice little side by side comparison of REM and Em (and PX).1

Both REM and EM are relative units. The difference is in what they’re relative to.

  • EM is relative to the parent.
  • REM is relative to the root (hence the R).

From Jeremy:

Whileemis relative to the font size of its direct or nearest parent,remis only relative to the html (root) font-size. I like to think of it as a reset. If a style sheet is built in a modular fashion, thenremshouldn’t be needed very often, but it can be handy at times.


Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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