W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2004

Re: Using em or percent for properties that need to change

From: Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 17:50:21 +0200 (CEST)
Message-Id: <200408171550.i7HFoLvs014103@asterix.andreasen.se>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On 17 Aug, Patrick Lauke wrote:

> length is dramatically sub-optimal (overly long lines of small text,
> or a large number of very short lines with only one word or less per
> line). This would, I'd imagine (and yes, this is conjecture, I have

  There are studies - and I can't dig up the references right now either
  - which state that the "optimal" line length also varies with the type
  of material; narrow columns are good for newspapers; wider columns for
  books, and soforth.

  In addition - as Robert Bringhurst points out in his excellent "The
  Elements of Typographic Style" - the optimal line length in
  typography is considered to be 66 characters - for a single-column
  page set in a serifed text face. For multiple columns, 40-50 are
  better, 80-90 characters are really no problem for well-set pages, for
  justified text he recommends 40 (in English texts, that is), less than
  38-40 is not recommended, but for small doses of text 12-15 is

  And THEN we complicate it with, for instance, the context. Old
  Egyptian scribes tended to write very wide columns of text
  (hypothesized that is because focus was on the *writing*, not the
  reading) ... 

  The more I learn about the way humans read and the way typography
  works to aid in that endevaour, the more I agree: leave the line
  length a variable to be easily adjusted by the user.

 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
   tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/
   [+46] 0708 557 905
Received on Tuesday, 17 August 2004 15:50:29 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:29 UTC