RE: Font sizes for different text elements

Subject: RE: Font sizes for different text elements
From: "Karen Field Carroll" <kfcarroll -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "'voxwoman'" <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'Robert Lauriston'" <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:11:48 -0700

I knew someone would know the details of something I wasn't getting:
x-height! I'll try that, and thanks for the book recommendation; it sounds
like a great read.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+kfcarroll=cox -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kfcarroll=cox -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
voxwoman
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 12:47 PM
To: Robert Lauriston
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Font sizes for different text elements

Garamond appears smaller because it's x-height is much smaller than Arial's.
Arial is really poor-man's Helvetica. (The x-height is the height of the
lower-case x, which defines the height of all lowercase letters in a font.
These vary widely among fonts as do the height ratios from upper to lower
case)

I would not recommend going smaller than 10-pt type on anything that you
want people over 40 to be able to read w/o straining.

If Garamond is seemingly too small in comparison, why not try other serif
fonts, such as Bookman, that have larger x-heights, and won't appear so
small relative to your san-serif fonts.

A very interesting read, for those interested in the minutia of fonts,
is: "Exploring
Typography: An in-depth guide to the art & techniques of Designing with
Type" by Tova Rabinowitz, Thompson / Delmar Learning, 2006

-Wendy

On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 3:28 PM, Robert Lauriston
<robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>wrote:

> Garamond 12 and Arial 10 look about the same size to me, if anything
> Arial 10 looks slightly smaller.
>
> Are you sure something's not messing up your font display or
> substituting another font?
>
> If it's available, try substituting Helvetica for Arial and see if it
> looks smaller.
>
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 12:02 PM, Karen Field Carroll<kfcarroll -at- cox -dot- net>
> wrote:
> > Hello.
> >
> > Thought some of you tech-writing brainiacs might have an answer for
this.
> >
> > In my printed documentation, I use Garamond 12 pt. for text, and Arial
> 12
> > oe 14 pt. for headings (depending on how major the heading). All
elements
> > beyond the actual body text of the document are Arial. My question is,
> how
> > big should the Arial text be for figure captions? Right now I'm using
> Arial
> > 10 pt but it looks huge in the midst of the Garamond 12 pt body text.
> >
> > Thanks.
> > Karen
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
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> Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
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> http://www.helpandmanual.com/
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!
http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Karen Field Carroll
Re: Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Michelle Despres
Re: Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Examples of Great Software/Web-based User Guides: From: Robert Lauriston
Font sizes for different text elements: From: Karen Field Carroll
Re: Font sizes for different text elements: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Font sizes for different text elements: From: voxwoman

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