Re: Optimal line length for sales documents in pdf

Subject: Re: Optimal line length for sales documents in pdf
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Sean Brierley <sean -dot- brierley -at- gerberscientific -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:21:15 -0500

Perhaps the idea of "the width of your eyes" was meant to allow for
scanning, which could make it easier for people to read materials,
especially technical ones.

Try reading a very long sentence having the page set horizontally and I
think you'll grasp the idea. There's a lot more to reading/understanding
than line width or sentence length, of course, but there's no reason to add
to the readers' task.

Kathleen

On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 7:58 AM, Sean Brierley <
sean -dot- brierley -at- gerberscientific -dot- com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Why were you told the width of your eyes was a good length? Is there
> research to support that?
>
> When I began, I was told "four inches" was a good line width. Being a
> horsey kind of guy, that's always stuck with me, but I can't support it
> with research.
>
> Anyway, ignoring multiple column requirements and that pesky
> print-versus-online thing, here's what a quick search on the Web found:
>
> - 50 to 60 characters per line
> http://baymard.com/blog/line-length-readability
> - 66 characters per line http://webtypography.net/2.1.2
> - 95 characters per line
> https://viget.com/inspire/the-line-length-misconception
> - 9-12 words per line
>
> http://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-2/text-typography/length-column-width
> - Looking at the 8,5x5,5 document I have up, I use about 70 characters,
> 10 words, 4.125 inches.
> - Looking at an A4-designed doc I set up, I use about 80 characters, 15
> words, 4.75 inches.
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Sean
>
> On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 11:20 PM, Di <dicorrie -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > I have a new manager with a sales background.
> >
> > He was writing a document.
> >
> > I saw that he had taken our standard template for long documents, and
> > removed the indent on the body text. So the document had virtually no
> left
> > or right margins and the length of line was almost the entire width of an
> > A4 page.
> >
> > I protested. Seven years I have been telling the staff why it is
> important
> > to leave the indent in and keep the length of a line to about the width
> of
> > a person's eyes.
> >
> > He explained. That's because you write documents that people need to
> read.
> > This is a sales document. Sales documents are judged on the number of
> > pages.
> >
> > I could not think of a suitable answer.
> >
> > I know that in responding to an rfp it is very important that the sales
> > team use the formats that have been given. But this was not one of those,
> > and his argument was a new one on me.
> >
> >
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--
Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Optimal line length for sales documents in pdf: From: Di
Re: Optimal line length for sales documents in pdf: From: Sean Brierley

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