Font size? (Odd vs. even)

Subject: Font size? (Odd vs. even)
From: Geoff hart <ghart -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, 'Cedric Simard' <cedricns -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 08:48:28 -0400

Cedric Simard wondered:

> Has everybody used odd font size in technical documents? Is not it better
> to use even font size? Talking about proportion and things like this, can I
> have problems using odd font size?

If you're using scaleable fonts, then you should have no problems other than
those related to readability: if the size you choose is readable, it will make
no difference whether the point size is odd or even. (Bitmap fonts don't scale
as well, and as a result, if you expect to scale a bitmap font, you need to
pick a size that scales well; typically, the size should be an integer multiple
or divisor of the final size so that you don't get rounding errors.) In fact,
since different fonts with the same nominal point size can appear very
different (compare Garamond 12 and Times 12, for instance), sometimes you have
to pick an odd size just to make the font legible.

> Are there any ISO norms about font sizes in technical documents?

I sure hope not. Typography is too context-dependent for it to be easily

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- netcom -dot- ca
Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada
"Most business books are written by consultants and professors who haven't
spent much time in a cubicle. That's like writing a firsthand account of the
Donner party based on the fact that you've eaten beef jerky."--Scott Adams, The
Dilbert Principle

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