Re: HTML 3.xx & scalability

Mike Meyer (
Fri, 10 May 1996 22:08:32 PST

Subject:  Re: HTML 3.xx & scalability
In-Reply-To: <v02140b00adb831813162@[]>
From: (Mike Meyer)
Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 22:08:32 PST
Message-Id: <>

> At 10:37a 05/09/96, Marcus E. Hennecke wrote:
> >On Thu, 9 May 1996 02:40:38 -0700, (Walter Ian Kaye) wrote:
> >(Walter: it would be nice if you could wrap your lines to around 72
> >characters)
> Oh, my message! Thought you meant that it would be nice if we could do that
> in HTML regardless of font. Now that *would* be nice! ;)
> I remember years ago reading a reference about the easiest reading being a
> 17-pt font at 66-character lines, but I can't remember where

There are a number of factors that influence what the "easiest"
reading line length is, the size, the leading, the font, the average
word length distribution of the document, the alignment, and what you
are used to all being part of them. 66 is a longish line for most
things, and 30 is around the shortest that's doesn't get

I got tired of counting characters in random documents to set my
browser width, and wrote a page that discusses these issues and the
"alphabet and a half" rule I've seen mentioned. Feel free to peruse
and use it at <URL: >.

A good book on typographic design should have more information, though
they sometimes tend to disagree with each other.