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I’ve just been using some of these techniques on a client’s site who needed 8 tabs all the same width, which fill the available space – I had it working fine in Firefox, but the tabs didn’t fill the space in Safari or IE. I found that you really have to do the maths, rather than just use trial and error – they all round the numbers slightly differently. Once I’d checked my calculations, rather than tinkered with the numbers, it works fine everywhere, at least at standard font size.
One other correction from someone’s comment earlier on – you can resize text in IE7 – click the page icon at top right. Why you need both this and the ability to zoom, I’m not sure, but it’s there at any rate.