Character Limits on Interface

Subject: Character Limits on Interface
From: Tom Hinds <THinds -at- TIMESLIPS -dot- COM>
To: "'TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 15:53:02 -0400


I am helping my developers create a set of additional (internal) rules for
interface design. I am sure a publication somewhere covers this specific
question (if so, please refer me to that publication), but, with no other
resource handy, I hope you can help.

When creating an input field, how wide (on-screen) should that field be, in
relation to a character of text?

For example, if I have a field called Name that can hold a maximum of 20
characters, how wide should the Name field be on-screen? Because "W" is
probably the widest character, should the field be able to hold 20 Ws
without hiding characters? Realistically, this case will rarely (if at all)
happen, so I am guessing that setting the field to a "physical" width 20 Ms
or Ns would work, without stealing too much valuable screen real estate.

What rule has worked for you?

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide,

Tom Hinds
Manager of Documentation
Sage U.S. Holdings, Inc.

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