TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> 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.
This is -- like most other things we're discussing here -- quite
Some would say an alphabet and a half. Some would say ten to
twelve words (average). There are other rules of thumb as well.
There is quite a nice presentation of this issue in _Words into
Type_ -- which should be on the bookshelf of anyone who does
Line length (which I prefer to call "text column width" to distinguish
body text from other elements, such as headings). is one of the
most abused components of good page design among amateur