Re: Responses on Optimum Page Size Question

Subject: Re: Responses on Optimum Page Size Question
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 11:52:05 +0800

> At 1:29 AM 1/30/96, Shauna Jeanne Jones wrote:
> >Most typesetting references we remember recommended 1-1/2 alphabets as the
> >most readable line length: lowercase a-z, then a-l. Any thoughts?

> >At 05:45 PM 1/29/96 -0500, GFHayhoe -at- aol -dot- com wrote:
> >>0.6" to 0.9" wide left and right margins). And then there are the studies
> >>that recommend that line length not be longer than 2-1/2 to 3 "alphabets,"
> >>where an "alphabet" is the lower-case alphabet typed out once. This will

Sue Gallagher (sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com) thought:
> I've always referred to it as the alphabet-and-a-half rule (so, yes,
> Shauna, your way), but I'd always thought it was uppercase letters,

Brockmann says "...10-12 words in length, or roughly 2 alphabets printed out
in the typeface used" (Writing Better Computer User Documentation, p147).
He doesn't say whether upper or lower case -- I'd guess lower.

He does refer to a maximum width of about 4.5 inches. Assuming a normal
reading distance of about 18 inches, this is about as much as the eye can
scan in one hit.

The source for this paragraph seems to be Richard Rubenstein: 'Digital
Typography' (1988).

Stuart Burnfield (slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au) On the fast lane to ataraxia

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