Re: text in tables -- smaller than or same size as regular body text

Subject: Re: text in tables -- smaller than or same size as regular body text
From: Pro TechWriter <pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- polycom -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 13:32:27 -0500

Visually, when Arial 9 pt used for tables, and a serif font like Georgia 10
pt is used for body text, they appear to be very close to the same size.
When I did formal document publishing for scientific journals, this was the
reason I was given for the difference in size.

On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 3:34 PM, Combs, Richard
<richard -dot- combs -at- polycom -dot- com>wrote:

> Milan Davidovic wrote:
>
> > I'm looking at a user's manual. I do not have access to the original
> > author and therefore have to guess at their intentions.
> >
> > Looking at the paragraph styles, I see that the various table body
> > (i.e. not heading) styles are in a smaller point size than the regular
> > body style.
> >
> > In looking at other books I have close at hand, I see only table body
> > text at about the same size (i.e. not obviously smaller, though I
> > didn't get a point ruler out to be sure) as regular body text.
> >
> > Any thoughts on why table body text should be smaller?
>
> I think it's fairly common. We use 10-pt Book Antiqua for body text and
> 9-pt Arial for table text. Table headings are 9-pt Arial bold. I'm
> rather aesthetically challenged, but I like the look of a sans serif
> font in tables.
>
> Tables often have relatively narrow columns (compared to body text), and
> smaller text helps to minimize the number of lines with just a word or
> two on them -- which can hinder readability as much or more than the
> smaller font size.
>
> My primary deliverables are PDFs, secondary are help files. In both
> cases, we old fogies can (as Geoff noted) easily increase the size on
> screen if we need to. :-) If your primary deliverables are hard copy,
> smaller fonts are more of an issue. But 9 points is still (barely)
> adequate, IMHO. Of course, my target audience is on average quite a bit
> younger than me. Know your audience, right?
>
> Richard
>
>
> Richard G. Combs
> Senior Technical Writer
> Polycom, Inc.
> richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
> 303-223-5111
> ------
> rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
> 303-777-0436
> ------
>
>
>
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
text in tables -- smaller than or same size as regular body text: From: Milan Davidovic
RE: text in tables -- smaller than or same size as regular body text: From: Combs, Richard

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