Re: Line length

Subject: Re: Line length
From: Sally Yeo <sallyyeo -at- EXECPC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 20:58:50 -0800


On line length, I have certainly heard the one-and-a-half alphabets,
which does account for point size.

Of all the theories on this, the one that makes the most sense to me is
to keep line lengths about 4 inches, at least on paper. This is based on
studies on eye-movement during reading. Fluent readers can read a 4-inch
line with very little, if any, back and forward eye movements. Therefore,
short line lengths increase speed and avoid the problems of tracking from
the end of one line to the beginning of the next. It is also why
newspaper columns are so narrow.

If you think about most published books, like novels, the line length is
about 4 inches, although the lines have a lot more than 1.5 alphabets.

Sally Yeo

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