Re : Line text length

Subject: Re : Line text length
From: Frédéric Wronecki <frederic -dot- wronecki -at- WANADOO -dot- FR>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 15:06:17 -0700


> The relevant factor isn't line length, but angle subtended.

OK, then a 5 in./13 cm-wide line, seen from a distance of 30 cm, subtends
an angle of 25 degrees.
But, unless you adapt your reading distance according to font size, I see a
contradiction with :

> A "rule" that's been quoted at me recently is that column width should be about
> 1 1/2 alphabets.

(which I understand as 26 + 13 = 39 characters)

While BRUCE BYFIELD wrote :

> An alternate practice I've heard is that no line should be longer about
> 52 characters and spaces long, regardless of font size.

Even the 52 char. rule is much narrower than the 5 in. rule.
The table below gives the length of a line according to font size
(text printed in lower case Times New Roman) :
Size Length (cm)
39 char. 52 char.
10 6.5 8.5
12 7.5 10
14 8.5 11.5
16 10 13.5
Does anyone practice one of these rules ?
Frédéric Wronecki
France Télécom, Paris, France
mailto:frederic -dot- wronecki -at- wanadoo -dot- fr

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