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You've discovered for yourself one of the major principles of
What you are on to, and what others may be overlooking, is the
relationship between font size and line length.
When people use default margins on letter-size paper, small point sizes
create lines that are too long. So larger sizes work better. (This has
nothing to do with how far your nose is from the page, by the way, or
with the assumed visual acuity of the typical reader.)
The maximum line length for good readability--at typical text
leading--is between 60 and 70 characters.) (This is because of the way
the eye moves across when reading. Therefore, once you select a font and
margins,the variable that is easiest to control is point size.
That--line length--is the reason behind your observations of comfortable
point sizes in different circumstances.
PS to Sharon--leading (pronounced ledding) is the number of points of
space added between lines. It used to be done with strips of the metal
Robert -dot- Partridge -at- MONDEX -dot- com wrote:
> Hi all,
> Does anyone else use 9pt? Anyone use smaller? My personal taste is that
> body text in 11pt or bigger reads like the books you find in the library for
> with not so good eyesight. I read a lot of novels and am comfortable reading
> typefaces. I was just wondering why we persist in using 11pt, 12pt or
> for our documents when most people are comfortable reading the small type of
> newspapers and books.